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Camp Edwards 1940-1945

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Camp Edwards Falmouth Ma 1940-1945 as an example of

military base activity preparing for and during WWII.


1940: US Army leases the camp & starts major mobilization construction.


Walsh Construction Co contracted to constuct initial 1300 bldgs with

the goal of housing & facilities for 30,000 men by 1/1941 when the 26th

Infantry Division is scheduled to enter the camp for a year of training.

The project was completed in 125 days (9/1940-1/1941) and served as

the national prototype for other camps.


1941: In January, the 26th Yankee Division comprised almost entirely of National

Guardsmen, was federalized for a year of service. In Feb & March, selectees

from NY & New England filled in the ranks of the division, bringing the cantonment

close to it3s 30,000 capacity


Between April & November, the 26th ID left the Camp to participate in the

Carolina Manuevers. They returned to Camp on 12/6 . The bombing of Pearl Harbor

12/7, and subsequent declaration of war by the US, resulted in extension of service

for all of the Division through 1944.


1942 In May of 1942, the 26th ID left Camp to go on Coastal Patrol.


The camp was now involved with a variety of activities associated with troop training.


The US Army Air Corps 14th AntiSubmarine Patrol Squadron operated at Edwards

1941-1943. The Objectiveswere to provide Off-shore sea patrols for enemy

vessels & submarines.


The 2nd Battalion, 64th Coastal Artillery Regiment (anti-aircraft) was stationed at

Edwards 1942-44 and comprised the core of the Anti-aircraft Artillery Training Center.

The AATC serviced 42 battalions. Anti-aircraft training included firing guns at aircraft

pulled targets, as well as searchlight training to locate aircraft at night.


First of it's kind, the Engineer Amphibian Command(EAC) was activated 6/10/1942.

Renamed the Amphibious Training Command by the War Dept...amphibious training

was conductd with EAC units and combat infanrty units, including the famous Texas

Division (the 36th) and the 45th Division in the summer of 1942. This group

"invaded Martha's Vineyard" during summer exercises and tested seasickness pills

by the Defense Dept.


A Convalescent Hospital was established, and in addition to serving wounded

coming back from Europe & the Pacific, became famous for convlescent trains

that crossed the US & for it's WAAC training program for New England nurses.

Over 2500 nurses trained here before going overseas between 1942 & 1944.


The Camp constructed a "mock German Village on post for training exercises.


1943: The East Coast Processing Center was established & was the 1st such facility on the

1944 East Coast. The Center houses men who'd gone AWOL at the time their units were

shipped overseas. Between 1943 and 1945, 40,000 men were processed through

the center - most staying a month before being shipped out to Europe or the Pacific.


Shortly after the North African campaign began, the Army built a POW camp for

captured German soldiers at Camp Edwards. It housed up to 2,000 POWS at a

time, many of whom were from Rommel's famed North Africa Corps. The prisoners

worked around the camp, but were also sent to work in the area's farms &

cranberry bogs. The 1114th SCU maintained security & managed the camp throughout

the war. By wars end, 5,000 POWS had been processsed & repatriated.


1945-46: Camp Edwards housed one of the larger Temporary Separation Centers for

discharging soldiers - 12,900 men discharge between 45-46.

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Camp Edwards now Otis Air Force Base is home to four branches

of the service - Army,Marines, Coast Guard and an MNG Air Wing.


Unfortuantely the Air Wing is scheduled to be moved soon and the

nearest Fighters available will have to come from a base in new Jersey

in the event they are needed at Logan International Airport Boston.


As of now the CG is going to maintain their Rescue Copters there.


Biggest activity there now is the Veterans Cemetary - filling up fast!!



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Here's a link for their site. It also includes the HISTORY page which you have provided above. :D




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Sgt Leo,


My dad used to take us to Old Silver Beach in Falmouth &

of course we had to go by "Edwards" - now Otis -

whenever we were on the Cape.


He took us quite a few times to see the Blue Angels perform too.


I could KICK myself :hit: now for not paying more attention.


Anyway, one thing that I have a vivid memory of - is a "park"

near Edwards where we used to always stop & have picnics.

(Do families do that anymore? I think it sadly ended in the 50s/60s.)

I remember the picnic tables were in a wooded area with lots

of boulders and, scattered throughout the trees, there were tanks :tank:

jeeps, :1028::1032: and airplanes (I distinctly recall a Jap Zero). My brother & me thought

that place was so COOL! We couldn't figure out how all the tanks, jeeps,

and planes got there.


I wish I knew where it was, but I strongly doubt it's still there.


What a shame that we gotta rely on fighters coming from Jersey.

What genius made THAT decision :banghead::banghead:

Especially considering that Logan was where the planes were hi-jacked

on 9/11.


M1 - I didn't include the Edwards link cuz those nincompoops had

a number of date mistakes in it.



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More Camp Edwards Trivia:-


To the best of my knowledge that park went south with all the

expansion of houses etc. on the Cape and especially in that area.


One of my daughters married a "Coastie" and lived on the Base in

a single family home even though he was a Petty Officer and it was

quite a house along the style of a Garrison Colonial type. FREE!!!!


One of my nephews is(was??) a crew chief for the fighter squadron

and he is in limbo at this point. He lives in West Bridgewater so the

Base wasn't all that far away. Where to now ????????????


The 79th ID left from Camp Myles Standish and we were asked one

time to go to Boston and get a train to Edwards via Providence,RI

with a bunch of Italians POWs. We had SIX men for three cars of the

POWs - one man in each cars vestibule becaused the doors were locked.

Actually I think you could have put those POWs on the train alone and

they wouldn't have tried to escape because they were getting great

treatment(food,clothing etc.) here and had no desire to fight or go home.


The guy that was our interpreter didn't have to say much as one of

the POW Officers spoke perfect English and all we had to do was to

tell him do thus and so and it was done. Piece of cake detail!!


My wife's uncle went through there as a Combat Engineer and wound

up in the 9th ID Trouble was he was one of the first draftees and didn't

make it home until after VE Day when he should have been discharged

in January 1942. He had a LOOONG LOOONG war!!


There was also a CMTC(Citizens Military Training Course) on Base that

only lasted two weeks to a month so a lot of guys had a vacation on the

Cape courtesy of the Army.


Sgtleo :machinegun:

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M2. I would love to use excerpts from your father's diary in my documentary. I kindly request your permission before doing so. If it is all right with you, some of the entries from pre Dec 7th, would go into the first episode.


Let me know sweetie. Thanks in advance...



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Oh M2 - by all means - if it's not too late. I'm just reading this msg now.

My Dad would've been THRILLED! It'd be an honor to be included in your documentary!






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It's a two-way street, so many thanks to you too. :heartpump::clappin::clappin:

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With all due respect, Camp Edwards STILL exists. US Army National Guard training is still done there.  There is a Mock Village that is used for training as well a a Forward Operating Base (FOB) located there as well. In regards to the Jets having to come from NJ is concerned, the Otis ANG F-15's were moved to Barnes Field in Western MA, where they continue to provide coverage for New England and New York. The ANG still has a sizeable presence on the base. There is an "Open House" held every other year. The next one will be during the year 2019.


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Even though this is a very old post (2007), we can always learn something. Thanks!

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Oh no disrespect taken. :-) As stated, we are always delighted to learn new facts! Sorry I came off that way, but that was certainly not my intent! :wub:


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