Camp Crowder (PDF)


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From the four corners of the nation, America’s finest manhood flows into Camp Crowder, Missouri, the home of the Central Signal Corps Training Center, the largest Signal Corps training center in the entire world. The camp, located on the edge of the picturesque Ozark mountain region, is named for General Enoch Herbert Crowder, a native Missourian, who authored the Selective Service Act of the first World War and who, as Provost Marshal General, was responsible for its successful administration. At this training center the soldiers receive complete and comprehensive courses in all phases of communications work, learning how to “Get the Message Through” under every possible condition which might arise in today’s all-out global warfare. Here they are taught to operate and maintain those communication mediums, telephone, radio, telegraph and their related fields, that knit our far-flung armies into one coordinated unit. Ground was broken at Camp Crowder on August 30, 1941, on what was then rolling farm land, dotted with small orchards, corn fields and modest farm homes. The first troops moved in December 2, just five days before Pearl Harbor. With the declaration of war, the camp’s construction program was put into high speed and the serious business of training soldiers in even greater numbers got immediately under way. Today, the post encompasses nearly 50,000 acres and is a city of thousands of buildings. Every possible Signal Corps training facility is at hand, and virtually every convenience is available in camp for the men during their spare-time hours. These include numerous post-exchanges which purvey hundreds of personal articles soldiers may need or desire; three Service Clubs, where entertainment is provided every evening; three Guest Houses, which are operated as hotels for soldiers’ guests; five theaters, presenting first-run movies every evening; many chapels, where every soldier may worship according to his own faith; a huge fieldhouse, with facilities for every type of indoor athletics; scores of recreation halls and dayrooms; a modern hospital; post office; radio broadcasting studio, from which soldier-talent shows are aired daily; bakery; laundry. A camp newspaper, “The Camp Crowder Message,” is published weekly. Regular bus service around camp and to surrounding communities is available, as well as train service directly from camp. Camp Crowder is situated five miles south of Neosho, a thriving community with a pre-war population of 5,000. Larger communities, Joplin, 40,000 population, and Carthage, 12,000, lie some 20 miles farther and may be reached by hourly bus service. The region around Camp Crowder is one famed for its folk-lore and its recreational facilities.