Fort McCoy News June 23, 2017

This month in Fort McCoy history

50 years ago — June 3, 1967

Seventy-six members of the 44th General Hospital completed two weeks of active-duty training at Camp McCoy. The 44th General Hospital, a Madison-area Army Reserve unit with sections in Menasha and Sheboygan, opened and operated the Camp McCoy Provisional Hospital to provide physical exams and dispensary services for Reservists and National Guardsmen training at Camp McCoy.

40 years ago — June 2, 1977

Maj. Gen. Orris Kelly, U.S. Army chief of chaplains, visited Fort McCoy to observe National Guard and Reserve training and meet with all active and Reserve chaplains on post.

30 years ago — June 9, 1987

The Post Exchange annex located near Fort McCoy's Alderwood Lake sustained heavy damage after a June 9 fire which caused about $15,000 damage to the converted semitrailer which houses the facility. An investigation revealed the fire was electrical in nature.

20 years ago — June 13, 1997

Paintings by Pfc. Henry J. Wenclawski, who was stationed at then-Camp McCoy in 1943-44, are shown in building 842 at the Fort McCoy Commemorative Area..
Paintings by Pfc. Henry J. Wenclawski, who was stationed at then-Camp
McCoy in 1943-44, are shown in building 842 at the Fort McCoy
Commemorative Area.
Photo by Scott T. Sturkol

A memory of World War II, which was revealed earlier in 1997 from its hiding place inside the walls of building 1662 at Fort McCoy, was placed in building 842 at the Fort McCoy Commemorative Area.

While tearing out wallboard to begin the process of rehabilitating the barracks, Directorate of Public Works carpenters noticed a flash of color on the inside wall. When the area was cut out, it was discovered they had destroyed a painting. Proceeding with caution, the DPW crew rescued seven mural-sized pictures.

The paintings are the work of Pfc. Henry J. Wenclawski, who was stationed at then-Camp McCoy in 1943-44. Wenclawski had studied at the Art Institute and American Academy of Arts at Chicago. One of his many hobbies was painting replicas of the Vargas Calendar Girls on barracks walls. The Vargas Girls were slightly risque, pinup-type pictures.

The pictures were painted directly on the original walls. The pictures were preserved marvelously between the walls and the wallboard. The pictures remained in excellent shape for more than 50 years. (Note: The pictures remain on display in building 842.)

10 years ago — June 8, 2007

Fort McCoy selected its first all-female Army Ten-Miler team after tryouts were held at Rumpel Fitness Center. Representing Fort McCoy's 2007 four-member team were Capt. Monica Radtke of the 84th Training Command (Leader Readiness), Maj. Nancy McCoy of the 84th, Master Sgt. Misty Brown of the U.S. Army Reserve Pay Center, and Sgt. 1st Class Leslie Guttenberg of the 181st Infantry Brigade (2nd Battalion, 411th Regiment).

For more information about Fort McCoy history or to make arrangements for a group tour of the History Center and the Commemorative Area, call the Public Affairs Office at 608-388-2407.