DVIDS – News – This Month in Fort McCoy History — August 2022
Fort McCoy, Wisconsin was founded in 1909. Here’s a look at its history from August 2022 and back.
80 years ago – ‘New Camp McCoy’ opens; 50,000 visits
On August 30, 1942, Camp McCoy held an open house for public viewing of the “new” Camp McCoy. According to the Provost Marshal, Captain Hans Biegel, the crowd was close to 50,000 visitors for this historic day.
Fort McCoy was established in 1909 at the location many know today as the South Post. It originated as the Sparta Maneuver Tract, which included Camp Emory Upton and Camp Robinson. This area was renamed by the War Department as Camp McCoy in 1926 after the death of the region’s visionary, Major General Robert Bruce McCoy.
In February 1942, the War Department announced the construction of a cantonment area, called “New Camp”, which is still today the cantonment area of Fort McCoy.
By early 1942, the new campground was all scrub oak, jack pine, and wild grasses.
Over 1,500 buildings were constructed by over 8,000 workers, taking nine months to complete at a cost of $30 million (about $545 million today). The triangular portion of the cantonment area, or “triad”, was designed to allow troop units to live and train effectively under one headquarters.
“The most memorable part of the whole operation was the wonderful cooperation of everyone in the surrounding communities,” Lt. Col. DC Lamoreaux, the area’s construction engineer in 1942, said in a local news article. “They (the community) have contributed immensely to the success of the camp.”
Similarly, an article in the August 28, 1942, edition of The Real McCoy newspaper also covered the opening of “New Camp McCoy” as announced by the camp commandant at the time, Col. George M. MacMullin.
“Huge isn’t the name for it,” the article reads. “The camp is larger than most towns in the territory, and the training plans, according to Colonel MacMullin, will bring in more soldiers than there are civilians in several of the neighboring communities.”
Real McCoy’s article also discussed the actual construction of the cantonment area.
“The actual construction and leveling operations for the erection of the hundreds of buildings began on March 20, 1942, although the initial survey by a corps of engineers was made in July 1941. Building permission was was given by the War Department on February 9, 1942.”
The article also states: “Each of the new buildings is of the most modern military design for the comfort and welfare of the soldiers. All are equipped with the latest scientific devices. The first soldiers to settle in the new area were the military police from Camp McCoy. Hundreds of mechanics of all types and descriptions were employed to level and construct the hundreds of buildings, warehouses, recreation centers, chapels and other buildings needed. A few months ago this new campsite was countryside with beautiful hills and valleys dotted with scrub oaks, jack pines and wild grasses. Today it is one of the best military camps in the world.
(Article prepared by the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office.)
A scene from 1942 is shown where the cantonment area of the former Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, is being built. This photo of a photo is from 1942. However, according to Army history, construction and leveling operations for the erection of the hundreds of buildings at “New Camp McCoy” began on March 20, 1942, although that the original survey by a body of engineers was made in July 1941. Authorization for construction was given by the War Department on February 9, 1942. (Historic U.S. Army Photo)
Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office’
Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, Camp McCoy, Cantonment Area, Army History, World War II
|Date posted:||23.08.2022 17:05|
|Location:||FORT MCCOY, Wisconsin, USA|
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