Camp Breckinridge, Ky (PDF)



36 pages
History of Camp Breckinridge ……. Camp Breckinridge is situated in the extreme western part of Kentucky, 12 miles from the Ohio River. This entirely modern Army camp, designed primarily for Infantry training, covers 56 square miles of gently rolling, brown clay terrain formerly devoted to agricultural pursuits. The speed with which Camp Breckinridge sprang into existence in 1942 stands as a tribute to Army and civilian engineers. Plans for the camp were outlined at Washington, D.C., in August of 1941. Actual construction began April 1 of the following year. An around-the-clock work schedule was maintained during the early months and within five and one-half months all prime contracts had been filled. On July 1, 1942, the camp was activated and the first cadremen established headquarters in the brick schoolhouse of Boxville, Ky., a community taken over by the government as part of the military reservation. Shortly thereafter headquarters was relocated in new administrative buildings. First of the hundreds of cream-colored frame structures to dot the Kentucky countryside marking the arrival of the new Army camp were hospital facilities, barracks, mess halls, warehouses and office buildings, to be followed by chapels, service clubs, theaters, recreation halls and post exchanges. There are 14 post exchanges (general stores for soldiers), 10 non-denominational chapels, five theatres, three Service Clubs, three guest houses and a field house or gymnasium large enough to enable the playing of three basketball games simultaneously. In reality the camp is very similar to a large city. It includes a spacious hospital, laundry, incinerator, cold storage plant, motor repair shops, sewage disposal plant, five fire stations, all utilities, paved roads and sidewalks, together with other facilities. Camp Breckinridge was named in honor of John Cabell Breckinridge, one of Kentucky’s outstanding statesmen of the 19th century. At 35 he was the youngest vice-president in history of United States, presiding over the Senate with conspicuous impartiality. Ironically, a few years later he was caught in the Civil War turmoil and eventually distinguished himself as a Confederate general. Nearest town to Camp Breckinridge is Morganfield, Ky., three miles distant. Henderson, Ky., and Evansville, Ind., 24 and 33 miles away respectively, are the closest large cities.