Camp Ellis community updated on munitions removal

Published June 15, 2018
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Louisville District hosted a public meeting May 15, 2018, at the Bernadotte Township Hall near the former Camp Ellis Military Reservation –a formerly used defense site (FUDS) in Table Grove, Illinois. The team provided an update to local residents on the status of the remedial action being conducted to remove munitions from the Aircraft Bombing Area (Area D) and the Obstacle Area (Area M).

The latest field effort, which began in January of 2018 with digital metal detector surveys is now using more advanced instruments to refine the list of anomalies to be excavated and removed. 

Throughout the spring the investigation has uncovered a total of 15 munitions confirmed to present an explosive safety hazard, and another 18 that may potentially present an explosive hazard.  Items recovered from the former Obstacle Area included M1 practice mines with M1A2 fuze.  Items recovered from the former Aircraft Bombing Area included M43A1 TP 81mm mortars.  

“Completion of this action will address our priority to mitigate safety issues potentially posed to the community by unexploded ordnance,” explained USACE Louisville District project delivery team members Valerie Doss and Cynthia Ries.   

More than 125,000 troops trained at Camp Ellis during World War II and approximately 7,000 German and Austrian Prisoners of War were housed there in the 1940s. Camp Ellis was used from 1943 to 1950 for various types of military training including small arms and munitions training. USACE initiated environmental response at the roughly 18,000-acre Camp Ellis property in the 1990s.  Upon completion of remedial actions currently under contract, approximately 17,400 acres will require no further response.