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Fort Devens (1917-Present) - First established in 1917 as Camp Devens in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Named in G.O. 95, 18 Jul 1917 after Bvt Major General Charles Devens, a Massachusetts son who served in the Union Army during the U.S. Civil War, and later was named U.S. Attorney General. Renamed Fort Devens in 1931. Deactivated in 1996 and divided between the Devens Commerce Center and Devens Reserve Forces Training Area (DRFTA). DRFTA renamed Fort Devens in 2007.
World War I (1917-1918)
Originally established on on 5 Sep 1917 as one of 16 temporary cantonment areas in the United States during World War I. Construction crews built out temporary WWI buildings to house 10,000 troops. The camp processed more than 100,00 draftees into the Army during the war and demobilized over 150,000 when the war was over.
Camp Devens was placed in caretaker status on 1 Sep 1921 and was used as a summer training camp for the National Guard, Reserve units, ROTC cadets and Citizens' Military Training Camp (CMTC) candidates. Camp Devens was designated a permanent military post and renamed Fort Devens in G.O. 10, 5 Nov 1931.
World War II (1941-1945)
With the start of the peacetime draft in 1940 a massive construction project built out over 1,200 wooden temporary WWII type buildings including two 1,200‑bed hospitals. Over $ 25,000,000 was spent on expanding the post in preparation for World War II.
During the war, Fort Devens trained three divisions, was the site of the Chaplains' School, and operated a 500‑man German prisoner of war camp. After the end of the war the post again served as a demobilization center and processed the returning troops.
Cold War (1947–1991)
The post was again placed on caretaker status until reactivated for the Korean War. Fort Devens played a training and support role in the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield. With the end of the Cold War the post was deactivated and divided between civilian uses and a National Guard/Reserve training area.
Active duty post. The Devens Reserve Forces Training Area was renamed Fort Devens again in May 2007.
Location: Middlesex County, Massachusetts.
Maps & Images
Lat: 42.5462958 Long: -71.6141613
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 397-398
Fort Devens Picture Gallery
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