★•.•´¯`•.•★Campground Reviews★•.•´¯`•.•★

click above link to visit our campground reviews

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

~~~ Fort Chaffe ~ Barling, Arkansas~~~


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.
Old Church renewed and use for weddings & The old theater (deserted)
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....

Until Later

Hugs And Kisses
Camouflage

26 comments:

Mary said...

What history this place has to tell and you captured wonderful snippets of that for us. Your photos are terrific and I loved the commentary you provided to walk us through them.
I hope you are having a wonderful day.

Regina said...

Wonderful outdoor post. Thanks for sharing

mbkatc230 said...

Great tour. If those walls could talk, what stories they would tell. It would be shame to lose such a big part of our history. Thanks for sharing. Kathy

Martha said...

It is a historic place. My DH was at Chaffee when the Cubans were there -- it was his annual training and they were in the barracks and he was in a tent (think big tent -- not individual ones) -- it rained so much the first week that the poles would hardly stay in the ground -- then it was so dry and hot the second week that they had to leave them! He has fond memories of Chaffee -- it's nice to see it.

Joe and Sherri said...

Thanks for the tour. We will have to stop by and see this when we cross Arkansas again.

Becky K. said...

This was a very interesting tour.
Thanks!

Becky K.
Hospitality Lane

SmilingSally said...

I remember that haircut and how sad it made me! LOL

Stacey said...

My boys would love that place. You see the neatest things on your adventures. :)

Rick and Paulette said...

Thanks for the great tour and pics Donna. Great description of the history of Ft. Chaffe!

bj said...

OMgoodness...I do so remember when Elvis, *swoon, went to Ft. Chaffe.
Thanks for this great lesson about the fort.
**Oh, I did a post around July 4th of a luncheon in the vineyard. i was staying with my grands for a week while their parents went on a cruise. We spent the better part of an afternoon, setting up the table and etc. Really turned out nice. ...and we had a lot of fun.

Jerry and Suzy said...

It's a tough situation now, trying to maintain historic places like this, even if the history is only 70 years old. As our economy recovers, hopefully more folks will be able to visit places like this, support them with a dollar or two. And maybe, just maybe, the government will find another dollar or two and take on the responsibility. Of course, volunteer groups haved saved, preserved and operated other wonderful historic sites, and we need to support them as well.

Margie M. said...

This was a very interesting history lesson with great pics. Thanks for sharing it. I do think that Arkansas is a very under-rated state that many people just skip. This is another terrific reason for people to make that visit to Arkansas. There are really a lot of things to see and do there.

Happy Travels,
Margie M.
www.bruceandmargiesfulltimejourney.blogspot.com

Tootsie said...

this is such a beautiful place!!! it sure has a rich history...and your photos are so nice...it is like being there with you...thanks for taking me traveling again!

Diana said...

Oh Elvis! All that beautiful hair going down the drain. So sad...

Baba's Special Babies said...

Good morning Donna, the story of this fort is very interesting...I was born on the day that soldiers were moved into the fort, 12/7/41

I was a big fan of Elvis and saw him in person in Savannah at the age of 15..what a thrill that was for me!! Of coarse I had to buy a hat and wallet from the show...

Enjoy your day.... Hugs, Baba

Melissa said...

Great photos and a wonderful tour!

Blondie's Journal said...

Wonderful pictures from your tour!! Interesting commentary filled with facts. Love it!

xoxo
Janie

Mike McFall said...

I enjoyed the tour... Arkansas is a great place...

Your Blog is superb,,,,it would take me all day to do that much..

NEAT!!!

happytrails said...

Thanks for the tour!!! I love history.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Donna, I haven't been there since the fire. I was shocked to see these photos. Thanks for sharing them. laurie

Justine said...

How can they have several buildings eligible for the national registry, but then have plans to wipe the whole place out? With all that history? That would be such a shame :o (

Justine :o )

themartaman said...

My name is Larry Walden. I arrived at Fort Chaffee in January of 1962. Basic traing amd AIT there. Wondrful area and great people in Fort Smith. A resident would pick me up om Sunday for church. He was a service manager at the chevrolet dealer.

CharlesR said...

Hello, I live just afew miles from Fort Chaffee and I drive by it everyday. It never got tiring seeming those old building where the amry would live and train. Imagining what it was like back then when the base was fully operational. My father was Elvis's Master Sgt. when he came to Fort Chaffee and I remember he would tell me stories bout meeting him and when he got his haircut. It has changed alot with the moving of that gaurds shack from it's original spot and those builds burning down, but for the most part has remained unchanged. Your pictures and story are a great insite about the place and it would be a shame to see it destroyed.

Anonymous said...

I really like your blog and i really appreciate the excellent quality content you are posting here for free for your online readers. thanks peace sandro

Anonymous said...

Nice post, well just to add to the history of the place, i was born there! :)

Charles J. said...

Thanks for the tour. Served there from 1962 to 1964. The old barracks pictures bring back some fond memories....

Get your mamogram & check up today... Early detection saved my life....

breast_cancer_survivor

My Awards