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Dover Air Force Base Mortuary Facility

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2002–2003, Becker Morgan Group. On the base; not open to the public

Dover Air Force Base is famous for the televised arrival of flag-draped coffins from foreign wars. After 9/11, the U.S. government accelerated plans for a new, 84,800-square-foot facility to receive the dead, allowing “efficient processing during mass casualty situations.” At such times, 500 staff can perform one hundred autopsies a day. The first caskets came from the Iraq War. Inside the glass barrel-vaulted lobby, a curved “wall of honor” commemorates “each event that has sent Americans through the facility.” With the opening of the new building, the arrival of coffins was no longer televised—to hide the true cost of war, critics charged.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Dover Air Force Base Mortuary Facility", [Dover, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 257-258.

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