Fort Lee (4)
World War I (1917-1918)
Camp Lee was one of sixteen U.S. Army National Army Mobilization and Training Camps established in 1917 to train and integrate National Army units for service in a U.S. Army division. Camp Lee was established in July 1917 under the supervision of construction quartermasters Major F. B. Edwards, Major E. K. Coe and Major E. H. Abadie. The camp was to have a capacity of about 74,000 officers and enlisted men that would become the 80th U.S. Infantry Division and train other individual units. The camp was mostly complete in October 1917 at an eventual cost of $ 19,600,000
The first commander of the camp was Major General Adelbert Cronkhite (Cullum 2941), who formed the 80th U.S. Infantry Division on 27 Aug 1917 and initiated troop training. The 80th arrived at Camp Lee in September 1917 and departed for France in June 1918. The 80th distinguished itself in combat suffering 1,141 killed and 5,622 wounded. The 80th returned to the U.S. via the Newport News Port of Embarkation in May 1919 and was demobilized on 26 Jun 1919.
At the end of the war the camp became a demobilization center until it was abandoned.The temporary buildings were removed with portions of the reservation made into a wildlife preserve and part given to the Petersburg National Battlefield. Some portion of the reservation remained as a military post.
World War II (1941-1945)
Camp Lee was reconstructed on the original site in 1940 as World War II became inevitable. The post became an Army Quartermaster Corps Replacement Center in 1941. The camp evolved into the center for both the basic and advanced Quartermaster training.
In the last year of the war, Camp Lee housed some 1,000 German prisoners of war. The Germans began arriving in February of 1944 from Italy and North Africa and continued through the end of the war.
After the war, Camp Lee was kept as a permanent center for Quartermaster training and the post was renamed Fort Lee.
Active military installation. Two museums on base, the Quartermaster Museum and the U.S. Army Women's Museum. The U.S. Army Ordnance Museum which had a rich collection of U.S. and captured enemy fixed and mobile weapons systems is being moved from Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) to Fort Lee.
2016 Update: The APG weapons collection has been moved to Fort Lee and is currently stored under cover awaiting construction funds for the new museum. The 12" Railway Gun that was at APG is on display in the Ordnance Campus area of the base. The German Leopold Railroad Gun is also on display. The Huge T-12 43,600 pound general purpose bomb now graces the center of the rotary at the intersection of Shop Road and 11th Street in a brand new coat of paint. Four or five other selected pieces from the collection are on display at the entrance rotary to the Ordnance Campus but the vast majority of the APG collection is in storage.
Visited: 27 May 2016, 6 Apr 2012