Camp Barkeley – A Camera Trip Through Camp Barkeley, Texas (PDF)



The History of Camp Barkeley ……. Originally planned as a temporary tent camp to house an infantry division and necessary service of supply troops, Camp Barkeley, located nine miles southwest of Abilene, Texas, today is one of the largest military establishments in Texas. First war department announcements of plans to build the camp placed the estimated cost at less than $4,000,000, but subsequent expansions and conversion from a temporary tent camp to a cantoriment of hutments have boosted the overall construction expenditures to some $25,000,000. The camp was officially accepted by the army from the constructing quartermaster on February 15, 1941. Early in January of 1941 the War Department announced that the Camp had been named Camp Barkeley in honor of a young San Antonio soldier-hero of World War I, one David Barkeley. The camp is one of the only two in the nation named in honor of an enlisted man. Young Berkeley lost his life in the Meuse-Argonne forest on a daring, voluntary mission behind enemy lines. For this heroic act he wos posthumously aworded the Congressionel Medol of Honor end his body now rests in the Stote’s most secred spot the Alomo Cemetery. First major expansion was authorized in August of 1941 with the letting of contracts for building facilities for a 4000-man Medical Replacement Training Center. This was completed by December 1 , on time for scheduled activation of the MRTC on that date. Since activation, the MRTC has been greatly enlarged and although naturally a military secret, its strength today has grown tremendously. Another expansion in 1 942 was building of facilities for the Medical Administrative Corps’ officer candidate school, activated early in May, 1942. The OCS at Barkeley now is the only school of its kind operated by the Medical Administrative Corps. While the original division which trained at Camp Barkeley has long since gone to other scenes, another has replaced it, and is now receiving the training that modern warfare demands. Here infantry end artillery, along with engineers, ordnance, signal, medical, quartermaster, and other groups, are coordinated into an outfit that is rightfully proud of the insignio it wears. In addition there are a number of other units, principally medical and QM, in training at Camp Barkeley. The Camp is a city within itself, boasting every facility essential to a modern army camp. It has a 2300-bed hospital, adequate storehouse storage space, two large cold storage plants, a bpkery, a bonk, four lorge theoters, two enlisted men’s service clubs, 1 1 chapels and some 35 post exchange buildings. All military personnel at Barkeley are now housed in hutments except for the 4000 occupying the only 64-man barracks on the post. This is truly a busy post and these pictures show in some part the life of a soldier here at Barkeley. Although there is much work from sun-up to sun-down, from the start of the week to its end, there is also ample opportunity for relaxation and recreation. Just as in civilian life, after work, a man can find opportunities for playing games, indulging in sports, reading in fine libraries or lolling in the Service Club. It’s on interesting life to say the least end certainly leaves few unoccupied moments in the daily routine.