One of only 2 Navy bases in New Jersey, Naval Weapons Station Earle has been in operation since 1943, but not under the same name. During World War 2, there was a very great need for ammo and supply depots on the east coast, near New York City. Naval Weapons Station Earle was the answer. The depot was originally called the Naval Ammunition Depot Earle. It was named after Rear Admiral Ralph Earle, the chief of the Bureau of Ordinance during World War 1. The base was constructed in a perfect location: right on the water, for easy ship access, and right on several railroads, so ammunition and other supplies could be shipped to and from the depot easily.
The base was officially commissioned on December 13, 1943, and work continued on it for several years more. After World War 2 ended, the base, still called Naval Ammunition Depot Earle, continued to expand. It was finally renamed to Naval Weapons Station Earle in 1974, and divided into 2 main sections: main side, and the waterfront area.