Rock Island, Illinois: Atomic Cannon

The Atomic Cannon was designed to fire a nuclear warhead far enough to kill an enemy but spare the cannon crew.

Rock Island Arsenal

Address:
Rodman Ave., Rock Island, IL
Directions:
On an island between Rock Island, IL, and Davenport, IA. I-74 exit 2. Drive west on 7th Ave. to 14th St. Turn right and go straight down the street, up the ramp, across the 16th St. bridge to the island (You'll need a picture ID to enter the Island). You'll be on Rodman Ave. The cannon will be about a mile on your left, in Memorial Park.
Admission:
Free. Show photo ID.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Visitor Tips and News About Atomic Cannon

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Atomic Cannon

There are two gates to the Rock Island Arsenal, which is an Army installation. The west gate, from the 24th Street bridge, was closed when we got there at the evening rush hour, after spending 25 minutes on the bridge to reach that point. I would recommend the east gate, which is reached via the 16th Street bridge. From that gate the cannon is a short drive, located on the left.

[Wes, 09/19/2014]
Atomic Cannon

Show ID to get on base. Nice collection of military tanks and rocket launchers, etc. designed here. The buildings date back to the 1800s. Worth a short detour.

[Dana, 07/28/2012]
Atomic Cannon. Atomic Cannon

Was a little tricky getting to Rock Island because the bridge was under construction. Followed the detour and made it to the park.

Besides the atomic cannon, there are over thirty other tanks, cannons, and missiles on display. Perfect spot for the gun enthusiast, military buffs and kids who like to see big guns. Who doesn't like big guns?

Interesting thing is that the guard at the gate didn't even know about the atomic cannon when we asked where to find it. The cannon is the M65 atomic cannon from 1956.

[Chris Gemlo, 04/10/2010]
Atomic Cannon

There's an Atomic Cannon in Memorial Field at Rock Island Arsenal, Rock Island, Illinois. To my knowledge there is only one of the group of remaining Atomic Cannons that still has the two large prime movers attached. That one is at Aberdeen Proving Ground Museum.

Memorial Field is a function of the Rock Island Arsenal Museum. Access to Arsenal Island is open to all citizens of the U.S. upon presenting a picture I.D. Admission to the museum is free.

[Robert Horton, 06/26/2003]

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