District Ordnance Officer
Until 26 September 1943 there was no District Ordnance Officer in the Eighth Navel District. On that date the District Fitting Out Officer was assigned additional duty as the District Ordnance Officer. When the Commissioning Details, USN, Gulf Area, was established in January 1944, the duties of the Fitting Out Officer were taken over by that activity.
The District Ordnance Officer advised and assisted the Commandant on all matters pertaining to ordnance material in the district. He knew where ordnance equipment was located and, when any became available, aided in having it transferred to activities that could use it. Before the establishment of the District Redistribution Office, on 1 March 1945, the District Ordnance Officer notified the Bureau of Ordnance what equipment of a disestablished activity had been taken over by other activities and what remained. Later he worked in conjunction with the District Redistribution Officer on such matters. The District Ordnance Officer authorized the issue of the allowed ammunition to ships for which that service was not rendered by either the Industrial Manager or the Port Director (these two offices had the responsibility of supplying ammunition for all but a few vessels of special type). He kept track of ships taking aboard certain kinds of ammunition and issued to them special instructions on security. He had on hand a supply of Ordnance Pamphlets and Ordnance Circular
Letters to issue to any ship needing them, and obtained other publications on request. He acted as consultant and adviser to inexperienced gunnery officers assigned to ships commissioning or being converted in the New Orleans area.
When training activities of the district requested ordnance material from the Commandant, the District Ordnance Officer authorized its issue, by the Supply Officer at the Naval Repair Base, New Orleans, and notified the bureau of Personnel of the transaction. He authorized the issue of small arms for security purposes on the recommendation of the District Security Officer.
The District Ordnance Officer maintained liaison with the ordnance officer under the Industrial Manager, though the relationship resulted in scarcely more than an interchange of information.
The activity of the District Ordnance Office decreased, naturally enough, with the reduction of the shipbuilding program and the defeat of Germany. The original complement of three officers was reduced to two just after V-E Day, and further reduced to one just before the surrender of Japan.
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