The standard design for the military ammunition bunker is evident throughout the U.S. at WWII era military installations. Constructed of reinforced concrete covered by an earthen berm, the ammunition bunker resembles the mastaba form of early Egyptian burial vaults. At the Wendover and Tonopah airfields and at dunlap navy base, the bunkers remain mostly unchanged from their original state, sitting on the periphery of the now closed wwII bases.

The ammunition bunker held two functional requirements; to protect the ammunition from outside attack, but equally to protect the base itself from the forces of the potentially volatile weapons. For this reason a secondary blast wall was built to contain any explosions from escaping and damaging other buildings.

Used briefly during WWII for the storage of bombs and artillery, the bunkers have found uses today as wine cellars for local casinos or chemical storage for industry, and in niland as homes for desert dwellers.


wendover, ut
©polar inertia 2003


tonopah, nv
niland, ca