Courtesy photo
Louis Dellamonica retired in 2007 with more than 65 years of service to the Hawthorne Army Depot.

Recipients for the prestigious Louis Dellamonica Award for Outstanding Army Materiel Command (AMC) Personnel of the Year for 2017 were announced by the U.S. Army Materiel Command last week.

The award is named in honor of Hawthorne’s own Louis Dellamonica, who was a general engineer with a 65-year career at the Hawthorne Army Depot who “exemplified integrity, innovation, leadership and outstanding dedication to the Army Materiel Command’s mission.”

Each year, AMC military and civilian personnel below the rank of general officer and senior executive service are nominated for the Louis Dellamonica Award throughout the organization which covers all 50 states and more than 150 counties and consists of more than 64,000 employees. These personnel are awarded for their work accomplishments to the Army Materiel Command’s “mission, goals and objectives, and who have demonstrated an ability to inspire coworkers to improve the efficiency and quality of their work.”

Dellamonica was born on March 23, 1912 in Yerington He earned a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Nevada in 1934. He began his career as an electrical at the Hawthorne Naval Facility in 1941 working in the battery shop.

Soon, his talents led to more challenging tasks. At that time, the depot was a loading, assembly and packing plant for ammunition. Dellamonica was tasked with designing and the overall installation of lighting systems throughout the plant and on the production lines. This electrical system would need to be anti-spark and explosion proof. He completed the task.

In 1948, he was converted to electrical engineer and in 1977 to general engineer. Another appointment would come a year later when he was appointed as the chief of the engineering division. Dellamonica would continue to shoulder his responsibilities.

After World War II, as other ammunition facilities were closing down, Hawthorne continued to expand. Dellamonica would acquire machinery from closing facilities to improve production lines at the depot.

He also developed test systems for work being done on 2.75-inch and 5-inch Zuni rockets and naval mines being loaded at the depot.

His biggest project in his career was the design and construction of the Western Area Demilitarization Center, better known to Mineral County residents as WADF. WADF was used to demilitarize ammunition.

The projected cost for WADF was estimated at 25 million dollars by the Army. Dellamonica would complete the project for 8 million dollars. WADF was a new and safer way to demilitarize ammunition, including the techniques such as: contour drilling; hot gas decontaminations; plasma arc demilitarizing; propellant to fertilizer conversion; thermal shock cryogenic treatment and hot paraffin melt out.

His efforts would help to safely demilitarize over 67,000 tons of ammunition during his tenure.

At the age of 94, Dellamonica retired in 2007 with more than 65 years of service.

Those awarded the Louis Dellamonica Award for outstanding personnel for 2017 are:

John M. German – Headquarters, U.S. Army Materiel Command; Heather L. Hamilton – Headquarters, U.S. Army Materiel Command; Wade Pasquarella – U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command; William L. Kaundart – U.S. Army Security Assistance Command; Lt. Col. Toney R. Stephenson – U.S. Army Contracting Command; Jason McDonald – U.S Army Communications-Electronic Command; Charlie R. Gonzalez – U.S. Army Communications-Electronic Command; Walter L. Hall – U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command; Michael F. Pohland – U.S. Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity; Robert G. Bernazzani – U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command and Floyd H. Bavery – U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command.