A Dedication Ceremony of an Illinois State Historical Society historical marker honoring the completion of the War Emergency Pipeline at Norris City will be held at Enbridge – Texas Eastern in Norris City on November 11, 2019 (Veterans’ Day) at 2 P.M.
Everyone is invited to attend the Dedication. There will be displays and pictures of the building of the “Big Inch” pipeline, the Norris City terminal, the Dedication Ceremony in 1943, and refreshments.
The dedication of the completion of the War Emergency Pipeline on February 19, 1943 at Norris City was an historical event for our nation and for World War II.
Beginning in February 1942 German submarines (U-boats) were sinking American oil tankers hauling oil from the Gulf of Mexico to the east coast oil refineries. This consisted of 95 percent of the oil destined for east coast refineries with 90 percent of it being from Texas oil fields. These American tankers were being sunk at the rate of three per day.
A pipeline was built from Longview, Texas to Norris City, Illinois where oil was then transported by railroad oil tank cars to the east coast refineries, plus fifteen 80,000 barrel oil storage tanks were built at Norris City.
The dedication of the completion at Norris City on February 19, 1943 was attended by over 2,000 people and was covered by a live broadcast from Norris City by the NBC Network and filmed by Paramount Studios and shown as a newsreel before movies in theaters nationwide. Even Nazi German maps showed this oil terminal at Norris City as a target to blow up.
The War Emergency Pipeline’s importance on the World War II war effort was tremendous by enabling the safe and timely transport of vital oil during the height of the war.