Camp Rucker – A Picture Parade of Camp Rucker Alabama (PDF)

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Description

Camp Rucker, Alabama, of which Colonel Lloyd S. Spooner, Infantry, is the commanding officer, is built on a 65,000 acre reservation in the southeastern corner of the state. Its cantonment area, location of approximately 1,800 barracks, mess-halls, warehouses and other buildings, lies on a J-shaped ridge at the southernmost end of the reservation, between the towns of Enterprise and Ozark. The latter town provides the Camp’s rail connection as well as a branch Post Office. Dothan, Alabama, the Camp’s largest nearby civilian community, is 26 miles to the south, and Montgomery, the state capital, is a transportation terminal 100 miles to the north. The reservation, roughly rectangular in shape, includes streams, rolling country, open and wooded area. Sufficient in length to permit an Infantry division’s Artillery training, its terrain is also well adapted to the training of troops of many other arms and services. A thousand acre lake provides an ideal location for land-and-water tactics. Since its activation on May 1, 1942, Camp Rucker has always been the home station of an Infantry division. In addition, it has been headquarters for numerous “group” commands including several of the Armored Force; a detachment of Second Army, and Medical Department organizations. The only basic training center for Army Nurses in the Fourth Service Command is located at Camp Rucker, largest and most varied military installation in the state. In appearance Camp Rucker differs from other cantonment camps of similar age thanks to a far-sighted program to prevent soil erosion, dust and sand storms, undertaken by its first commanding officer, Brig. Gen. F. W. Manley, USA, retired. During the Camp’s first year, channeling conduits were placed at strategic points, thousands of acres of stripped ground were planted to Bermuda, St. Augustine and Zoysia grass, and more than 120,000 trees and shrubs were placed along roads and near important central buildings. The physical appearance of the Camp today belies its short existence. Recreation for the training soldier at Camp Rucker is afforded by four service clubs, three libraries, cafeterias and guest houses. There are six theaters, a central field house and scores of day rooms. Swimming facilities are maintained at Lake Tholocco during summer months. These are all Special Service activities, as is also the “Camp Rucker Reporter”, a weekly newspaper. Catering to the tastes of its soldier population, Camp Rucker’s Army Exchange Branch operates 19 PX’s, including a bowling alley, barber shops, and, for Nurses, WACS and civilians, a beauty parlor. More than 25 chaplains care for the spiritual welfare of Camp Rucker’s soldiers. Eleven architecturally-standardized Army chapels have been individually decorated with funds supplied by the Army Exchange. From Chapel No. 1, the Public Relations office in collaboration with the Camp Chaplain, offers three weekly music and religious service radio programs, heard over Dothan’s Station WAGF. In addition, from its own building, the Public Relations office maintains a Saturday afternoon program, available for soldier talent, bands, glee clubs, individual musicians and entertainers. The personnel of the Station Complement, Army Service Forces, who administer these, as well as the many other facilities for the furtherance of training and the welfare of Camp Rucker’s troops, are proud of their Camp. They feel it has an individual character, made of creative planning, work and happy circumstance. This pictorial record, both of the Camp and the training-in-warfare for which it exists, will serve, it is hoped, as a valued souvenir for the tens of thousands of men and women who during this war have made their military home at Camp Rucker.