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.

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. 

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  

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

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 

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.

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

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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.  

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 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

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.

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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  

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  

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

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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. 

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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. 


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