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Sagami Depot

In addition to the installations at Tokorozawa and Sagami, there are also four subdepots for the storage of petroleum products and ammunition. They are: the Sasebo POL Subdepot located about 800 miles from Sagami Depot; the Akizuki Ammunition Subdepot, about 540 miles from Sagami Depot; the Tsurumi POL Subdepot, about 24 miles from Sagami Depot; and the Ikego Ammunition Subdepot, about 31 miles from the Sagami Depot. Designed by the Japanese Navy for the storage of ammunition and petroleum products, these facilities have been used by the U. S. Army since the termination of World War II. These facilities were constructed during the period of l900 to 1935, and they now required extensive maintenance and repair; however, they do provide a significant portion of the U. S. Army active and reserve storage capability in the Far East. Other remote storage facilities utilized by the depot include cold storage plants, a small POL storage area, and a facility used for storing inert ammunition.

The U.S. Army Science and Technology Center Far East, monitors, acquires and reports on foreign science and technology information and materiel within Asia, Pacific Nations, Pakistan and India in support of Research, Development and Acquisition (RD & A) programs of the Army, Department of Defense and other U.S. Government Agencies. STCFE capitalizes on its unique use of technical representatives with world class professional expertise to collect science and technology information that is often otherwise unobtainable or unavailable. It also provides a gateway into the Japan Defense Agency for Army Materiel Command and Acquisition Community and maintains vital two-way communications on topics of interest to both countries.

Sagami Depot is located in the city of Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, Honshu, Japan. Sagami Depot is home to the 35th Supply and Service Battalion, the Defense Commissary Agency Central Distribution Center, the US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine-Pacific, The US Army Science and Technology Center Far East, the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office for US forces in Japan, and Navy Medical Storage.

Sagami Depot stores and supplies equipment designated for special HQDA-approved projects. These include bridging materials, deployable medical systems and inland petroleum distribution systems. Additionally, the cold medical storage capability improves response time for critical medical supplies.

Several small tenant activities are located on Sagami Depot. A transportation motor pool, Facility Engineers, Military Police Security guard element, Fire Station, and maintenance activity provide installation support. Environmental Health and Engineer Agency, 74th Test Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment element, Defense Reutilization and Marketing Organization, and a MARS radio station, plus tenants from the Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard utilize our facilities. At present, approximately 800 Japanese employees and 100 US Military and Civilian personnel work at the Sagami installation. There are 400 various types of buildings with a combined floor space of 2,500,000 sq. ft. on 530 acres.

The US Army Facility Sagami, often called the Sagami Depot, is a former Japanese military establishment. The Sixth Arsenal of the Imperial Japanese Army was established in 1935 and later became known as the Sagami Army Arsenal. During World War II, the Sagami Arsenal was one of the largest industrial developments constructed by the Japanese Government to manufacture tanks for their armies. In addition to the construction of hundreds of buildings and elaborate tunnels; underground excavations were devised to accommodate the more critical activities. The Sixth Arsenal of the Imperial Japanese Army was established 1935 in Sagami under Colonel Ikeda as a branch of the Tokyo First Army Arsenal. In 1936 it became a separate activity, commanded by Lt General Takasu Okada, and it was renamed the Sagami Army Arsenal. Plant 10, Building No. 171-1 was used for the production of tanks. Right before the end of World War II, the first 100 ton tank was completed in this building; however, the tank was too heavy to be moved to Yokohama Port.

Many other items were also made at the Sagami Arsenal. Of particular interest were the fire bombs carried by free balloons which drifted across the Pacific to start forest and other fires in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. Component parts were made in what is now Plant Three, the Box and Crate Shop of the Care and Preservation Branch, and assembled in Bldg 166-1. These balloons were launched from the Chiba Peninsula, across the bay from Tokyo. Tractors, shells, gauges, and an airborne guided missile were also produced at the Arsenal.

Several reminders of the old Sagami Arsenal are still visible today. By far, the most prominent and charming is what is now known as Shrine Park. The Arsenal at its peak employed approximately 11,300 Japanese personnel. A ground breaking ceremony was held 30 June 1942. Employees from the various areas of Japan collected plants, shrubbery, stone and trees from their hometowns to place in the park surrounding the shrine.

On 12 and 13 December 1942, Japanese mythical Gods Katori and Koshima (Purported to be ancestors of the Emperor) were enshrined. At the end of World War II worship to the Gods Katori and Koshima was transferred to another shrine in the local vicinity, however the exact location of the shrine remains a mystery. After the war no maintenance work was provided for the shrine until 1968. At this time, Japanese and American employees contributed to a fund for renovation of the shrine. Former Japanese employees also contributed to the fund. Extensive renovation was completed on the shrine in April 1972. Constructed during the tenure of General Okada, it contains a shrine to the Shinto Gods of War, Kashima and Katori, who, by Japanese mythology, are ancestors of the Emperor. The shrine was designed by Dr. Tai Tanabe a-professor at Waseda University, Tokyo. The park, as a whole was designed by Professor Tone a graduate of Cornell. Some features of the park are the large red "Taiko" bridge, the pond replete with large goldfish, and the many varieties of trees and shrubs.

Vestiges remain of the high earthen walls that once formed the outer perimeter of the old arsenal, and of the now blocked tunnels that had been dug for air raid protection during the latter days of the war. Events proved the tunnels to be unnecessary, as the Arsenal was attacked only once by a lone US Navy plane.

The first U. S. Forces unit to occupy the Sagami Arsenal after the termination of World War II was the 5th Cavalry Regiment in September 1945. In late 1946 the regiment moved to Camp McGill, and the depot area was released to the Japanese Government. It was not until the end of 1948 that the U. S. Army again made plans to reoccupy the installation. The Engineer Depot at Yokohama began preliminary surveys for the conversion of this facility into a supply depot in the latter part of 1948, and construction of the depot and movement of Engineer Supplies into this area started in the summer of 1949. The outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 necessitated major changes in construction plans for greater operational areas and storage facilities. This installation played a major role in the support of the Korean War. Building 175-1, known as Plant 1, had production lines for overhauling 10 Jeeps per day. At the peak, a total of 16,000 MLC, American and contractor employees were utilized in this installation. In mid-1956 the Depot was re-designated the Japan Engineer Supply Center and at the end of the same year was re-designated the U. S. Army Engineer Supply Center, Far East.

As the result or the phasedown of US Army operations directed in Japan in 1957, this installation was selected as the site for the US Army General Depot, Japan with a view towards consolidating the supply operations or all technical service depots in Japan. The first unit to integrate with the General Depot was the Transportation Depot which physically moved from its location in Kawasaki. In rapid succession there followed the Quartermaster, Medical and Chemical Supply Depots from Camp Drew; Signal Supply Depot from Isogo, Yokohama; and the Ordnance Depot from Oppama and other locations. The phase-in of the US Army Ordnance Depot on 1 October 1958 completed the consolidation of all technical service depots in Japan into the US Army General Depot, Japan.

On 1 May 1959 the General Depot organization was discontinued and the installation renamed the U. S. Army Japan Depot Complex. The principal effect of the reorganization was to place the executive direction of the supply and maintenance activities of the technical services with the chiefs of those services at Headquarters, US Army Japan. It remained in this organizational posture until the organization of the US Army Depot, Japan on 11 March 1963 under General Order No.10, dated 7 Mar 1963, which discontinued the technical services logistic system at Sagami.

On 1 July 1966, the US Army Depot, Japan was redesignated the US Army Depot Command, Japan Simultaneously, the mission and functions of the US Army Logistical Center Japan (USALCJ), located at Tokorozawa city, were transferred to this Command. Logistical support of US Forces, PACOM MAP countries, AID missions, Free World Military Assistance Forces and civil governments were thereby combined under a single command responsibility.

The former US Army Logistical Center Japan (USALCJ), located at Tokorozawa city, Saitama prefecture was a Japanese Air Force Base during World War II and also the cite of the oldest airfield in Japan. The Fuchu Ordnance Depot and Tokorozawa Ordnance Sub-Depot were established in 1948 to store and repair general purpose vehicles for depot stocks. In 1950, the Fuchu Ordnance mission was expanded to include the repair of heavy trucks and trailers. In February 1954, Tokorozawa Ordnance Sub-Depot was assigned. an additional mission, that of establishing an MLC Depot Repair Shop. In the fall of 1954, the headquarters of Fuchu Ordnance Depot moved to Tokorozawa and in February 1955, Tokorozawa Ordnance Sub-Depot was redesignated as Tokorozawa Ordnance Depot.

After the Korea Armistice, consolidation of certain ordnance activities was required and in September 1954 Tokorozawa Ordnance Sub-Depot was assigned the additional mission of receiving, storing, and issuing certain Class II and TV supplies and maintaining reserve storage of both major and secondary items, including theatre reserves for Japan Ordnance Command. In October 1956, the new mission of receipt, classification, storage, maintenance-in-storage, and issue of Class II and IV ordnance supplies and stock control for material in support of Military Defense Assistance Program (MDAP) countries was assigned.

On 15 March 1957, the Tokorozawa Ordnance Depot was recognized as the Military Assistance Program Depot in Japan with the mission expanded to include Engineer, Ordnance and Signal activities and renamed the United States Army Logistical Depot, Japan. On 23 December 1959, this installation was designated by Department of the Army as a Military Assistance Program invent9ry control point, distribution depot, procurement activity, and materiel reb4ld operation, to be known as the United States Army Logistical Depot, Japan (USAIDJ), to support MAP, Ordnance, Engineer; and Signal equipment in the PAC area.

On 31 March 1962, the Ordnance rebuild shops were closed to the US Army Logistical Depot, Japan, and the rebuild mission was transferred to the US Army Japan Depot Complex at Sagami.

On 15 May 1962, the U. S. Army Logistical Depot, Japan was redesignated as the U. S. Army Logistical Center, Japan. On 1 July 1964, the USALCJ supply mission was realigned with the Federal Supply Classification as a means of identifying items supplied instead of end items supported. On 1 July 1966, the consolidation of USALCJ and the US Army Depot, Japan was directed by Department of the Army.

 




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