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Collection Title: Camp Shelby History Collection

Accession Number: AM 91-49

Dates: ca. 1934-1971

Provenance: Unknown.

Volume: 10 items

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

Encompassing more than 134,820 acres, Camp Shelby, located 10 miles south of Hattiesburg, Mississippi is one of the largest state-owned and operated field training sites in the United States. It is a training ground for the Abrams M1 Tank and home to the 177th Armored Brigade. In addition, the camp also serves as a training site for National Guardsmen and reservists from throughout the country hosting as many as 100,000 personnel annually.

Camp Shelby was originally activated in 1917 as a training camp for World War I troops and deactivated following the war. In 1934, the State of Mississippi acquired the site for use as a summer camp by the National Guard. During wartime, the camp's mission is to serve as a major, independent mobilization station of the U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM).

During World War I, elements of the 37th Division, Ohio National Guard, were stationed at Camp Shelby, as well as the famed "Cyclone Division," the 38th, of Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia. The 38th Division got its nickname as a result of a tornado that occurred during their World War I training at the camp.

The 31st (Dixie), the 43rd, 65th, and 69th Divisions also trained at Camp Shelby, as well as the famous Japanese-American 442 Regimental Combat Team, which became the most highly decorated unit in the European Theater. Women's Army Corps (WAC) units also trained here. The post contained a large convalescent hospital, and a prisoner of war camp which initially housed members of the German Africa Corps. At one time during those early years, the population exceeded 100,000 troops, making Camp Shelby the largest training center in the world.

The Camp Shelby of World War II contained 360,000 acres with an additional 400,000 acres leased for maneuver space. In all, over a thousand square miles were in use for training. Initially, troops using Camp Shelby were housed in tents (over 14,000), forming the largest tent city in the world. Construction workers (17,000), and Army engineer units constructed 1,800 buildings and 250 miles of improved roads at a cost of 24 million dollars.

After World War II, the post was again closed. The War Assets Administration sold the federally owned property. Even the water pipes were dug up and sold, most of them going to Oklahoma City, where some are still in use!

During the Korean Conflict, Camp Shelby was developed as an Emergency Railhead Facility, and $3 million was spent to restore rail, water, and electric services. In the summer of 1954, non-divisional National Guard units trained at the post and in 1956, the Continental Army Command designed Camp Shelby as a Permanent Training Site, under the direction of the Third Army Headquarters.

Initially troops performing annual training at Camp Shelby were housed in tents, but in 1958 Congress allocated money for the first of the permanent-type barracks. In 1959 the Department of the Army approved the overall Camp Shelby plan and adopted it as the model for future construction at all field training sites.

The 199th Light Infantry Brigade trained here prior to their overseas deployment to Vietnam. The money derived from their training was used to construct Building 6606.

Currently a new Armed Forces Museum is under construction at Camp Shelby.

Form of Material:

Newspaper clippings, postcards, correspondence relating to the history of Camp Shelby.


Accession Number: AM 99-5

Dates: 1918

Provenance: Copied from a photograph loaned by Mr. Shane Jones.

Volume: 1 item

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Form of Material:

Panoramic photograph taken at Camp Shelby by J.O. Medley of El Paso Texas, dated February 1918. The photograph shows personnel of the 113th AM. & SP. TR against a background of tents and barracks. The original photograph hangs in a building in Picayune, Mississippi associated with "A" Company of the 890th Engineering Battalion, headquartered in Gulfport, Mississippi.


Accession Number: AM 2001-29

Dates: 2001

Provenance: Given by Donated by Mr. Garland Sullivan.

Volume: 2 items

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Form of Material:

  1. Program for the retirement ceremony of Colonel John Edmond Baggett, Commander, 3rd Brigade, 87th Infantry, at Camp Shelby, Mississippi from May 1998 to February 2001.
  2. Invitation to Change of Command ceremony at Camp Shelby, Mississippi on February 25, 2001. Colonel John Edmond Baggett relinquished command of the 3rd Brigade, 87th Infantry, to Colonel Joseph Dwight Dyess.

Accession Number: AM 2001-33

Dates: 2001

Provenance: Given by Donated by Mr. Garland Sullivan.

Volume: 2 items

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Form of Material:

One copy of the dedication program for the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge Memorial at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, on March 17, 2001.


Accession Number: AM05-10

Dates: July 1941

Provenance: Transferred from the Political Campaign Collection.

Volume: 1 item

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Form of Material (Letters, Minutes, etc.):

An invitation to a formal dance sponsored by the Non-Divisional Units of Camp Shelby and the Camp Shelby Co-Operative Association. The dance was held on July 18, 1941, at the Hattiesburg High School Gymnasium.


Accession Number: AM06-22

Dates: May 7, 1918

Provenance: Given by Diane Ross

Volume: 1 item

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Form of Material:

One 8" x 46" panoramic photograph of troops at Camp Shelby, Mississippi during World War I. The photographer was McDuff. The image has been torn, and is in two pieces.


Accession Number: AM06-23

Dates: September 1943

Provenance: Given by Diane Ross

Volume: 1 item

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Form of Material:

One 7" x 15" black and white photograph of Battery "A", 267th F. A. Bn., Camp Shelby, Mississippi, taken in September 1943. The photographer is not known.


Accession Number: AM06-40

Dates: 1941 - 1942

Provenance: Given by Diane Ross

Volume: 2 items

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Form of Material:

1. One 7” x 29” black and white panoramic photograph of barracks and tents at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. (1941)

2. One 10” x 27 ½” black and white panoramic group photograph of the men of Co. “L”, 103rd Infantry Regiment, 43rd Division, Camp Shelby, Mississippi. (April 1942)


 

 


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