b'C HAPTER T WOT H E N A V A L P R O V I N G G R O U N DThey had a place where civilians could watch them fire the guns occasionally. I remember how theground would shake; it was a terrific concussion. Your eyes sort of vibrated and your vision wasblurry.After the shot, you could see a poof of dirt in the desert.Kay LambsonA s tensions built looked inland for support facilities. Gun 1 was situated on 211 acres about threefactories, for example, needed to be miles north of Pocatello. The Navysecure from potential enemy raids by sea. chose the site because Pocatello wastoward world war in the late 1930s, the home to one of the largest UnionU.S. Navy hired contractors to build The Sixth Supplemental National Pacific Railroad terminals in the coun-naval bases on the Atlantic and Pacific Defense Appropriation Act of 1942 try and on the route of a transcontinen-coasts, Hawaii, Guam, and at five placed two support facilities in Idaho. tal highway. Lying east of the coastalPacific atolls named Johnston, Palmyra, One was the Farragut Naval Training mountain ranges, it was reasonablySamoa, Midway, and Wake. The bases Center, a training base for sailors at the secure, and the plant could take deliv-were to implement a war plan named southern end of Lake Pend Oreille. The ery of steel, chemicals, ordnance, andRainbow Five. In the event of war with other was the Naval Ordnance Plant at battleship guns shipped from the WestJapan, the five westerly bases would Pocatello, established on April 1, 1942, Coast.form a kind of defensive curtain pro- under the command of the Navystecting the Navys major fleet base in Bureau of Ordnance. 2 The guns came from such fighting shipsHawaii. Offensively, they were to be as USS Missouriand USS Wisconsintake-off points for bombers to hit whose revolving armored turrets, stud-Japanese targets in the Marshall ded with sixteen-inch guns, theIslands and Kwajalein. Navys most powerful,helped win the PacificThe war started war. Repeated firingbefore the bases of the guns erodedwere ready. In the bore, wore outDecember of 1941, the rifling, andJapan crippled the compromised thefleet in Pearl accuracy of theHa ror gun. The b , attackedMi dway, and cap- Pocatello planttured Wake and Guam, removed the dis-preventing the United States from carry- Built by the Morrison-Knudsen torted inner sleeves of the gun barrels,ing out Rainbow Five. The Navy quickly Company of Idaho, one of the Navys relined them with fresh metal, rifled theexpanded its West Coast bases and also major contractors, the ordnance plant new linings, and then tested them for8'