John P. Harris

Colonel John P. HarrisColonel John P. Harris was born in Wilmington, Delaware on August 14, 1892. Colonel Harris was directly responsible for the success of the U. S. Munitions Program during World War II.

Foreseeing a possible world conflict, Colonel Harris conceived and directed the preparation of a plant site file in 1938. The plant site file identified 500 locations throughout the nation which were most desirable for powder and ammunition plant construction. The availability of this file greatly facilitated the rapid and orderly expansion of the production of powder and explosives from 133,000 pounds in 1938 to over 3 billion pounds in 1943.

Through his leadership and efforts, industry developed and perfected the production of synthetic toluene and expanded ammonia production capacity. His persistence and dedication to the development of these two key components of munitions assured that sufficient quantities were available during World War II.

Through his dedication, hard work, and foresight, the powder and explosive program of the Ordnance Corps during World War II was made possible within the limited time available. Colonel Harris retired in 1953 and is now deceased.