Camp Mills (1917-1920) - A U.S. Army World War I Training and Embarkation Camp first established in 1917 near Garden City, Nassau County, New York. Named Camp Mills after Major General Albert L. Mills (Cullum 2796), who was awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry at Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish American War. The camp was abandoned as an active post in 1920 and later absorbed into Mitchel Field. Also known as Camp Albert L. Mills
First established as a U.S. Army National Guard Training Camp in 1917 to mobilize U.S. National Guard units into the 42nd U.S. Infantry Division for sea transport to the war front in Europe through the Hoboken Port of Embarkation. Camp Mills was established in July 1917 on a site of about 500 acres under the supervision of constructing quartermaster Major C. H. Smith as a temporary mobilization tent camp.
The first commander of the camp was Major General William A. Mann (Cullum 2574), who formed the 42nd U.S. Infantry Division and initiated troop training. The 42nd was organized on 5 Aug 1917 and departed for France on 18 Oct 1917. The 42nd returned to the U.S. 26 Apr 1919 and was demobilized.
After the 42nd had left Camp Mills the post was rebuilt with permanent barracks and increased capacity so as to serve as an additional embarkment camp for the Hoboken Port of Embarkation. A transit area with a capacity of 40,000 troops was established with a total camp capacity of about 46,000. The camp was completed and upgraded at a cost of about $ 12,000,000 for the first fiscal year.
Camp Mills began to be used as an embarkation camp in early 1918 and the transit area was filled and refilled many times. When the orders to embark came, troops moved to the East River piers 20 miles away by the long Island Railroad and were loaded onto ferries for transport to the Hoboken piers where the troop ships waited.
At the end of the war the camp became a disembarkment center until it was abandoned as an active Army post 3 Apr 1920. The east side of the post became a part of Mitchel Field in 1938.
A Marker (northeast corner) and Stone monument (southwest corner) at Commercial ave and Clinton road in Garden City, Nassau County, New York.