Loading, Please Wait...
aA
Songs and Stories
     September 17, 2019      #2D-260 SsK
 
picture1
The front page of the Kankakee Republican-News on June 5, 1942, delivered details of the explosion that had rocked the community in the early morning hours. Forty-eight workers, 14 of them from Kankakee County, were killed.

Kankakee County Museum Photo Archive

Jack Klasey: 1942 Explosion killed 14 locals 

By Jack Klasey

At 2:45 a.m. June 5, 1942, Kankakee firefighters were dispatched to deal with a reported explosion in a vacant building at 192 S. East Ave. They found a shattered window, but no other sign of a blast.

There had been an explosion, however — at the Elwood Ordnance Plant, a gigantic munitions factory located more than 20 miles to the northwest of Kankakee. Shock waves from the explosion were felt as far away as Waukegan, Ill., and Gary, Ind. In Kankakee, display windows were broken at a number of downtown stores, and hundreds of area residents called police after being shaken out of a sound sleep.

By Jack Klasey

At 2:45 a.m. June 5, 1942, Kankakee firefighters were dispatched to deal with a reported explosion in a vacant building at 192 S. East Ave. They found a shattered window, but no other sign of a blast.

There had been an explosion, however — at the Elwood Ordnance Plant, a gigantic munitions factory located more than 20 miles to the northwest of Kankakee. Shock waves from the explosion were felt as far away as Waukegan, Ill., and Gary, Ind. In Kankakee, display windows were broken at a number of downtown stores, and hundreds of area residents called police after being shaken out of a sound sleep.

1 of 1
With a NEWSPAPER TICKET, you can finish this article plus gain access to a growing library of on-demand news and entertainment. CLICK HERE to buy a ticket, or CLICK HERE to sign-in the ticket you already have.
picture2
To commemorate the men who died in the June 5, 1942, explosion, this statue was erected in 2001. It was financed by a fundraising campaign conducted by Elmo Younger, of Morris, a former Elwood worker. The statue's pedestal is engraved with the names of the 48 men who died in the 1942 explosion and s

Jack Klasey
With the Clean Ticket Company, your money goes to those who do the work!