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From Our History Files ...

Throughout 2009, Fort McCoy will celebrate a Century of Service to America. Each issue of The Real McCoy Online will feature a historical photo and tidbits of history from our past.

Photo: Black Women’s Army Corps personnel, in uniform, sit around a piano at Camp McCoy circa the 1940s. Women have served in the military at Fort McCoy since the World War II-era. Fort McCoy is celebrating "A Century of Service" during 2009. (History Center Photo)
History Center photo

Women's Army Corps ...

Black Women’s Army Corps personnel, in uniform, sit around a piano at Camp McCoy circa the 1940s. Women have served in the military at Fort McCoy since the World War II-era. Fort McCoy is celebrating "A Century of Service" during 2009.

On this date ...

March 8, 1945: Army Arts contest winners were announced here.

March 9, 1951: Mrs. Milton L. Spencer, cadet corps director of the Winona Service Volunteers, and 35 Junior Hostesses from Winona, Minn., were the guests of Service Club No. 2. There was a fried chicken supper and a dance. A dance band composed of members from the 317th Army Band will furnish music.

March 27, 1951: Using their 155-mm "Long Toms," personnel of the 847th Field Artillery Battalion established a precedent on McCoy’s ranges March 27 when they fired over Highway 21 and both the Milwaukee and Northwestern railroad tracks. Firing continued throughout the day, with interruptions only when guards posted along the railroad tracks radioed the fire direction center to report that trains were approaching. Guards along the highway also stopped motorists and informed them that overhead firing was being conducted.

March 30, 1951: The girls Service Club of Milwaukee extended an invitation to all military personnel to attend their parties that were held every other Sunday from 2 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the KP Hall. The parties featured refreshments, dancing, and hostesses.

March 2, 1952: Twenty-six soldiers watched with interest as Camp McCoy’s Commander, Col. Harlan R. Statham, snipped the tape which officially opened the post hospital’s "model ward," in an informal ceremony recently. The 26 soldiers were postoperative patients who had just been moved into their pleasant new quarters. Many of the soldiers are veterans of combat in Korea — and veterans of other Army hospitals. Ambulatory patients looked with anticipation at the sun-flooded solarium at the end of the ward, bright with flowered drapes and comfortably furnished with card tables, reading chairs, desks for letter-writing and a combination radio-phonograph. Two private recovery rooms for patients returning from the operating room adjoined the ward.

March 30, 1952: Whether the mission in Korea was a patrol action or a major attack, the Army’s topographic units paved the way for ground forces by supplying up-to-date battle maps. And many of the men who served with the "topo" units in Korea, and in other zones of operation, were trained by units such as Camp McCoy’s 322nd Engineer Topographic Company. At Camp McCoy, the 322nd Engineers produced many maps for use by units training here. Often these maps gave the men their first experience in reading Army maps — a technique which was essential in the performance of combat missions.

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