Susan at A Southern Daydreamer is our wonderful host for "Outdoor Wednesday". If you are interested in this event head on over to Susan's place....There is a link on the logo picture....go visit more Outdoor Wednesdays and learn what it is all about. Join in the fun..... See all the wonderful places and events that others are sharing!
Thank you very much Susan
FORT CHAFFE ~ Barling, Ar
On September 9, 1941, construction started on Camp Chaffee, named after Major General Adna R. Chaffee. Then on December 7, 1941, the first soldiers arrive. Between 1943-1946 some 3,000 German prisoners of war encamped at Camp Chaffee. It was the home of the 5th Armored Division from 1948-1957. In 1975 Fort Chaffee Refugee Processing Center for 50,809 Vietnamese refugees who were processed there. In 1980-1982 Fort Chaffeewas designated a Cuban refugee Resettlement Center. 25,390 Cuban refugees were processed through. Because Fort Chaffee retains it's WWII look, several motion pictures have been filmed at the post. In 1983 the motion picture "A Soldiers Story" was filmed at Fort Chaffee. In 1987 the movie "Biloxi Blues" was also filmed there. More than 10 , 000 displaced Hurricane Katrina victims were processed at Fort Chaffee in 2005, but for the most part it is used as a training base for the National Guard.
January 29, 2008, winds whipped power lines to the ground which ignited fires that burned 150 buildings in the cantonment area - mainly old barracks that in the past housed soldiers, Vietnamese and Cuban refugees, and Hurricane Katrina evacuees.
These are the remains from that fire
Old deserted barracks
The Army's presence at Fort Chaffee will continue on lands retained for the reserve components where more than 50,000 Army National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers train there annually. The City of Barling was originally a farm town, however, by the early 1940's the winds of war were blowing across Europe and were to dramatically change the destiny of this small Arkansas community. The mission of the post was to train U.S. soldiers for combat in Europe, America and the Pacific. The City of Barling experienced a tremendous boom in housing, businesses and people. Following WWII, Camp Chaffee became Fort Chaffee and continued to train U.S. Army personnel in a variety of military specialties.
These barracks are not as run down but still not used
In 1958 Elvis Presley was inducted into the U.S. army and did his basic basic training here. This is where Elvis had his first military haircut girls. The Barber Shop is now a museum
Fort Chaffee is a part of military history and Arkansas history and that needs to be maintained. Several buildings located at Fort Chaffee are eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places including the Maness Schoolhouse building, which dates back before the 1940's. Another 21 sites are potentially eligible for inclusion and another 22 sites will require further investigation.
This base is on the list of bases to be closed and demolished. I think that is shameful! However the Secretary of Defense is fighting the closure of this base. There is an active base behind another gate house but we couldn't get in to take pictures. We could see buildings back there and activity of vehicles. There is a huge amount of buildings that are deserted and I am sure behind that check point there is a lot more.
Hope you enjoyed the tour of Old Fort Chaffee....