Camp Hood – This is Camp Hood (PDF)



The Story of Camp Hood ……. Here the spirit of the black panther is instilled into tough combat teams to break the chains barbarians would put on free men. Here his cunning and stealth – his knack of killing from ambush, is combined with all the modern technique of war. Here the newest mechanized equipment and men toughened by intensive training are brought together- the primitive blends with the modern way of war, the human factor with the armored, quick-hitting war machines, to the end that enemy tanks shall be smashed into scrap. No matter where we may go to finish our part of the job, we’ll remember the constant drive of activity at Camp Hood, the Tank Destroyer Center; along the avenues and streets, across the fields to the bivouac areas, every energy aimed at our primary job, the destruction of hostile tanks by superior marksmanship. Little more than a year ago Camp Hood was a rolling plain in Central Texas that stretched to the horizon, a vista scarcely broken by any human touch. And then, overnight it seemed, buildings arose as if by magic; roads and courses took shape, and the men of the Tank Destroyers moved in. By May, 1943, Camp Hood had become one of the largest military installations in the country, with a reservation of 160,000 acres designed to provide the special training which has made the Tank Destroyers one of the most feared Arms of Service today. North Camp Hood had been set up, providing a second cantonment on one of the finest natural sites for Army training in the country … a training ground unmatched for its variety of terrain and climatic conditions to fit the men for battle anywhere in the world. Like a modern factory, the Tank Destroyer Center uses a multiple assembly line method in training. On one line we may be trained as individual replacements; another line turns out units fully trained as such, and the final assembly line sends these combat teams out to the battlefronts as a cohesive, striking force. It is an elastic system, one which can turn out battalions, groups, regiments or brigades, shaping its product to the current needs of the combat theaters. We may enter this assembly line as raw material from the induction centers, to be trained as individuals with the replacement training center, at North Camp Hood, or we may be assigned to other groups to join our fellow soldiers in combat teams, later to be sent to the Unit Training Center at Camp Hood; we may join the Training Brigade to act as part of the demonstration platoon, or we might become specialists in the Tank Destroyer School. We will come to appreciate the careful planning which has gone into the making of this Center as we learn to drive, to maneuver the tank destroyers over difficult terrain, to handle the basic weapons of the TDs. From the first battle-conditioning and infiltration courses in the Army we learn combat discipline, self-preservation, offensive measures; to conquer fear and to have confidence in the techniques we have learned on Hood’s far-flung acres. When the time comes for us to face the enemy our utilization of this knowledge and training will be invaluably effective. Constantly improvements are being made in instruction methods as reports come in from all over the world of the achievements of Tank Destroyer battalions, “the first to march into Bizerte.” That is what we are trained for here, to meet the enemy wherever we can surprise and waylay him, to match him or better him, weapon for weapon, man to man, hand to hand and to emerge the victor! That is the Tank Destroying Panther’s job to “Seek, Strike, Destroy!” Many of these pictured scenes we’ll soon know from experience, they’ll be treasured later when we return home, after we have utilized the benefits of our Camp Hood training to help destroy, forever, the Evil Forces of Germany and Japan that made it imperative for America and our Allies, in the interests of honor and self preservation, to depart from our normal ways of peace.