Camp Croft – A Camera Trip Through Camp Croft Spartanburg, SC (PDF)

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History of Camp Croft ……. Two years after treachery struck the blow at Pearl Harbor that plunged the United States into a bloody war, Camp Croft is well into its third year. Under the able leadership of Maj. Gen. Durward S. Wilson, commander of the infantry replacement training center, and Col. Wilbur J. Fox, post commander, Camp Croft has played an important part in the events which are graven across the pages of history in smoke and flame. From December, 1940, when the first spadeful of earth was turned up on the site that was later to become one of the finest training camps in the country, the cantonment forged ahead weathering many storms during its period of construction. Then, March 27, 1941, the first group of recruits began to trickle in with Brig. Gen. Louis A. Kunzig in command of the post and entrusted with the task of turning civilians into soldiers steeled to the rigors of modern warfare. Many changes in the command of the post took place in the ensuing months with Maj. Gen. Oscar W. Griswold, Maj. Gen. Alexander M. Patch, Brig. Gen. Clarence R. Hueber, and Maj. Gen. P. L. Ransom taking the reins in rapid succession. For a year Camp Croft was a beehive of activity, turning out fighting men for America’s armed forces, and then, on April 6, 1942, the citizens of Spartanburg were given the chance to see the results obtained when 1,000 Croft soldiers participated in an army day parade through Spartanburg’s main street. April also saw the activation of the first negro regiment at Croft under Col. John D. Newton. Expansion was still the order of the day when Croft added 1,349 acres of land the following month to take care of the rapidly growing population of South Carolina’s “newest city.” In June a new unit was added to the cantonment with the formal opening of the Induction station near the station hospital. The first big change in Camp Croft’s headquarters set-up since the activation of the camp in September when the infantry replacement training center and the Fourth Service Command units were split into two distinct departments, with Maj. Gen. Charles F. Thompson named as commandant of the infantry replacement training center, and Col. Griffith designated as post commander. This month also saw Brig. Gen. Reginald W. Buzzell installed as assistant to General Thompson. General Thompson, however, held command of the infantry replacement training center for only two months before Maj. Gen. Durward S. Wilson took active command on Nov. 10, 1942. On April 18, 1943 Brig. Gen. Francis V. Logan had been named assistant commander of the infantry replacement training center, replacing General Buzzell. Colonel Griffith retired from active duty in the army on Sept. 30, 1943, with Colonel Fox taking command. Colonel Fox had been identified with the post several years before when he did a tour of duty as the camp special service officer. Camp Croft bears the name of the late Maj. Gen. Edward Croft, once chief of infantry, who was born and reared in nearby Greenville, S. C. The suggestion of the Croft name came from General Kunzig, first commander of the post, and currently post commander of Camp Blanding, Fla. Camp Croft carries on with every man resolved that the dawn of victory shall dispel the darkening shadows of aggression on the not too distant horizons.