USASTRATCOM

This blog was created for USASTRATCOM Long Lines Battalion Army personnel who served in Taiwan during the 1965-72 time frame. Specifically, those who lived and worked in and around Taipei are the target. If you worked at the Grass Mountain or Gold Mountain facilities or anywhere in downtown Taipei, we would like to hear from you. All are welcome to visit and contribute to this blog. Your comments and pictures are encouraged.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Korean War, And Camp Gordon Becomes Fort Gordon, GA

After WW2, the new Camp Gordon in Augusta, Georgia, found itself in a similar position as that of the original Camp Gordon in Chamblee, Georgia, after WW1.  

In other words, was it going to be abandoned?

Both were finished training soldiers for combat and had the mission of discharging soldiers from active duty.  Around 86,000 were discharged after WW2. POWs were repatriated.

In 1946, Camp Gordon had the task of jailing American servicemen who had committed felonies during the war.  Does anyone know which area of Gordon was used for this task? 

Then, within a few months in 1948, the 545th MP School was transferred from Carlisle Barracks, PA to Camp Gordon and a signal school was established in Camp Gordon, relieving the burden on Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey.

The signal school would soon become the USASESS or Southeastern Signal School.

This, along with a civilian affairs school gave credence to the future existence of the WW2 temporary camp near Augusta. Camp Gordon had a future established.  


Picture from scholarblogs.emory.edu   

The pennant with crossed pistols signifies the 545th MP school.  More than any other transfer into the Camp, this MP school was of great significance.  

This combination of pictures from Augusta.craigslist.com   


The person selling this merchandise apparently had come to the point of wanting to unload a collection of pictures, symbols and postcards from Camp Gordon.  


Map from 545thmpassn.com

There is no source for this poster, although it pops up whenever trying to find anything relevant regarding the 545th MP school at Camp Gordon. 



Photo from etsy.com             

Is this T-shirt really  from the 1950s?

To see MP school at Camp Gordon in the 1950s, click HERE. 

Photo from gordon.history.army.mil

This may be out of historical sequence, but it is the headquarters of the Military Police School.  

Photos from 545thmpassn.com

The Provost Marshall was the actual center of the Military Police at Camp Gordon.  

Photo from 545thmpassn.com

This may be either the first or one of the first graduating classes from basic MP School. Before leaving Georgia, the MP School graduated over 150,000 MPs.


Photo from gordon.history.army.mil   

Chances are that if you became an MP, you had your training at Camp Gordon after 1948. This class graduated in 1954.


Photo from gordon.history.army.mil   

The MP School grew so fast that Camp Gordon quickly became the center for the training of MP officers such as this class in 1955.

Photo from hgdefaultytimg.com    

This looks to be a typical duty of the MP which was to show a presence in a city or area. 

Photo from eBay.com

Thus established, a post newspaper The Camp Gordon Rambler began publication.  This newspaper would continue on for decades.  

Photo by Robert W. Kelley   

This picture is one of the few that could be found verifying the presence at Camp Gordon of the new signal school. 

Climbing poles is an Army MOS that has been around since WW2.  The above picture was taken in the 1950s, but could easily have been shot up to the present.   

Map from realestatehunter.com    

In the spring of 1956, Camp Gordon, with its future intact, had its name officially changed to Fort Gordon, Georgia. 

 Photo from gordon.history.army.mil     

Major General John Brown Gordon, still dead, had no comment on his name being used for the third time.  

This is actually the third different picture of the General we have used in the Fort Gordon history.
For all of the postcards pictures and descriptions, this map is actually the first one we were able to find.  Although it says Camp Gordon, within months it became Ft. Gordon. 

This map is very close to the way Ft. Gordon looked when we arrived in 1967.  Its features will be referred to again in future posts. 

Picture from pinterest.com     

This may be a little early in the Fort's existence. The entrance still indicates the 3rd Army Training Center, meaning basic infantry combat training.  

Friday, June 19, 2015

Korean War, Causes, Combatants, Casualties, North-South

After WW11, the American economy gradually shifted from a wartime machine, back to a peacetime, market based economy.

The dollar price alone was staggering, but victory was achieved.  Then, just as we were coming out of another recession, the rumblings began in Korea.  

Hundreds of thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines were needed again in such a short time span.  

The positives that were created before and during the Korean War were the total racial integration of the Armed Forces, the creation of the United States Air Force as a separate branch of the service. 

Also the pay scale for men and women in the service of their country was equal. 

Explanation from slideshare.net 


Explanation from slideshare.net

Explanation from slideshare.net

Project from  debbiemayer.wordpress.com

Chart from pacificstarsandstripes

Chart from humbolt.edu

Map from shoomp.com

Photo from globalresearch.ca

Map from factmonster.com

Bar chart from blogs.britannica.com

Bar charts from the guardian.com

Bar chart from openstudy.com

Bar chart from flickr.com

Map from history.army.mil

Pie chart from oceania.blogspot.com

 Photo from en.wikipedia.org

Aerial view of Korean War Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C. Created in 1995.

Photo from armedforcesreunions.com


Photo of wall of reflection from washingtonstockimages.com

Photo from des.wa.gov

Many states, cities and organizations have memorials to soldiers in all wars in which Americans fought and died like this one in Olympia, WA.


Photo from en.wikipedia.org


This monument is located in Seoul, South Korea, dramatically depicting a country divided by wars.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

WW11 POW Cemetery At Fort Gordon, GA

One little known fact is that almost every fort and camp in the United States had Prisoners of War assigned to them. 

There were about 700 POW camps with about 425,000 prisoners in total.  Most prisoners were German.

Camp Gordon, Georgia was no exception. Look at this tape HERE 

Between 2,000 and 4,000 prisoners were assigned to each camp or fort and they worked in the fields, highways, county roads and beautification of the grounds.

After the war, most POWs were reunified with their countries.  Surprisingly, thousands of Germans, once repatriated, made requests to return to the U.S. in order to start a new life.  

Being in the United States as a POW was far more livable than those who became POWs of the Russians.  About 3.5 million Germans became prisoners of the Russians and, of those, about 381,000 died.  


List from globalsecurity.org/military/facility


 Photo courtesy of chronicle.augusta.com  

Every year, around November, tribute is paid to the 22  WW2 Prisoners of War who are buried just inside Gate 2 at Fort Gordon.  

Not every soldier buried there died at Camp Gordon.  The list of all of these soldiers is at the bottom of this post. 


 Photo courtesy of chronicle.augusta.com  

Civilian and military representatives pay their respects.


Photo courtesy of chronicle.augusta.com   

Wreaths are laid at the graves by military and civilian representatives from the Augusta area.

 Photo courtesy of chronicle.augusta.com   

This is the grave site of the only Italian POW in the cemetery.


 Photo courtesy of chronicle.augusta.com  

The white chains and posts enclose the burial grounds of the 21 German Prisoners of War. 



 Photo courtesy of chronicle.augusta.com  

These wreaths and headstones are reminders of the unfortunate young men who died so far away from their native country.


 List from history.army.mil 

Photo from chronicle.augusta.com


Postcard from luckybogey.files.wordpress


Thursday, May 21, 2015

WW2 And The New Camp Gordon, Augusta, GA

I told you I liked Ft. Gordon. This posting has some information about building the second Camp Gordon.

In early 1941, months before Pearl Harbor, word came from Washington D.C. to begin constructing another military facility in Georgia.

You might believe in conspiracy theories, coincidence, or irony.  Regardless, the timing of this order is very curious.  

Eastern Georgia, not the Atlanta area, was to have this Army camp built. That's right, another cantonment camp which are usually temporary.

Construction began on a site of over 50,000 acres of land about 15 miles west of Augusta. It covered parts of four counties, mainly Richmond.

Built at an accelerated pace, another Army basic training facility was going up. It had several similar characteristics to that of Camp Gordon of WW1.

First, the name was no surprise.  It was taken from mothballs, cleaned up and presented to the public.

This Army camp was to be known as Camp Gordon, west of Augusta, Ga.

Photo from en. wikipedia.org 

Major General John Brown Gordon makes another appearance, so to speak. 

Arguably, Georgia's greatest General during the Civil War, it made sense to use General Gordon's name again.

The location was a little strange. The Camp Gordon built during WW1 was near the railroad tracks of Atlanta.  

Camp Gordon of WW11 was built away from tracks and surrounded by cornfields and highways.

 Map from realestatehunter.com  

Because of the relative speed at which the camp was built, not many pictures of the construction are available.  

It was estimated that at the height of the building going on at all of the Army forts and camps in America, one building was completed every 45 minutes.  

Those of us who served during the Vietnam War Era would attest to the quality of these wooden structures. 

Photo from justiceomercy.com

However, postcards similar to those of the first Camp Gordon abound. Here is a picture of Camp Gordon 20 years after the first Camp Gordon was abandoned.

Photo from justiceomercy.com 

The caption to this picture says that this is an interior of a Camp Gordon barracks. No bunk beds? Maybe we are in an officers' quarters.

You veterans of the Korean War and Vietnam Era may be surprised at how similar some postcards from this camp look compared to when you had your training there.

Postcards from commons.wikimedia.org
  
Photo from moodyscollectibles.com  

Looking inside the letters, you can see some of the buildings that were constructed and were considered worthy of being on a post card.
 
Photo from history.army.mil

It didn't matter where you were inducted into the Army. Somehow, thousands of young men found their way to Camp Gordon for basic training.
 
Postcard from digitalcommonwealth.org

The post headquarters building is probably the most easily found of all the postcards available even today. 

The picture below gives a little more realistic view of the place.  It was the most recognizable building in the camp.


Postcard from postcardman.org   

This may or may not be a picture of the post headquarters in 1942.  Notice the chimney, as most of the buildings in the camp were heated by coal.  

Postcard from cardcow.com
Postcard from cardcow.com

Postcard from commons.wikimedia.org

Postcard from commons.wikimedia.org
 
Postcard from cardcow.com

Postcard from digitalcommonwealth.org

Postcard from eBay.com
 
Postcard from cardcow.com


Postcard from cardcow.com
 
Postcard from digitalcommonwealth.org

 
Postcard from cardcow.com

Postcard from eBay.com

 Now would be as good time as any to show this Camp Gordon film. Just click HERE.

 
Article from Chicago Tribune

So, after the 1942 Masters' golf tournament, the club voted to give part of the tournament's earnings to Camp Gordon. 

The money was to be used to build a driving range and putting green for the enlisted men.  It, indeed, was constructed near the southern section of the camp.

Postcard from digitalcommonwealth.org

Well, there are golf courses and there are non-golf courses.  This one at Camp Gordon would be the latter.  

It seems as though we are looking at the putting green with soldiers showing the young ladies the proper grip and stance.  
45th  Evacuation Hospital, 1942

So, here we have another temporary hospital being built inside the new Camp Gordon. It was located in the northeast section of the main camp area.

However, in addition to injuries and illnesses incurred at the camp, this hospital served another purpose. Think prosthetics.

Drawing from history.amedd.army.mil

Remember, cantonment meant temporary. The  soldiers  were  taken here from  Europe and The Pacific. Most all were missing a limb or limbs.

The idea was to tend to these men for a few days, weeks, or even a few months.  They would then be transferred to the V. A. Hospital in Atlanta where they would be fitted with prosthetic arms and legs.  

The arrangement was successful during WW2, as thousands were served by the staff at the hospital.

Postcard from eBay.com  

This is exactly how a hallway at a cantonment hospital looks.  A long corridor is attached on both right and left sides by single-story wards.

I know this for a fact since the same hospital that was built in 1941 was still standing and used until after the Vietnam War. 


Postcard from digitalcommonwealth.org.  

Built around the same time as the new Camp Gordon near Augusta, the Lawson V.A.. Hospital was located on Carroll Avenue in Atlanta.


Postcard from bidstart.com     

With the guard shack out in front, this picture gives a better idea of how these temporary hospitals looked.  

Having drawn duty at the hospital in Ft. Gordon in 1968, I can attest to the fact that place was a maze of buildings that were attached to each other. 


Photo from history.army.mil       

If you notice, this is the actual picture from which the postcard above it was made.  The amputees there had high morale since they were alive and with others who had similar injuries. 

Harold Russell, a Navy man, was fitted with his 2 prosthetic arms at Lawson V.A. Hospital  in Atlanta in 1944. In 1947, Mr. Russell received an Academy Award for the movie, The Best Years Of Our Lives.

This system of being transported from Camp Gordon to Lawson V.A. Hospital worked for the entire period of WW2.  

Then Lawson V.A. was abandoned and the structures were taken over by the Internal Revenue Service. 

All of the equipment and the machinery was moved to Camp Gordon where it was much more convenient for the soldiers to stay at the hospital where they could then receive treatment.

So far, you have seen many buildings and grounds made available for the war.  Of course, Camp Gordon turned out thousands of soldiers trained for 8 weeks in Basic Combat Infantry Training.  

Also, as in many other camps and forts, soldiers were organized into specific divisions.  At Camp Gordon, there were three.  

All 3 were available on eBay  The most prominent of these divisions was the 4th Infantry Division known as Ivy.  The 10th Armored Division was also formed at Camp Gordon as well as the 26th Infantry Division.  
 

The Memorial on the left is Augusta's homage to the 4th Infantry Division.  On the right is the national memorial to the 4th Division which is located in Arlington, Virginia.