Near Abilene in Taylor County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
(February 15, 1941 - March 21, 1945)
Site of main entrance to Camp Barkeley, one of the nation’s largest military camps of World War II. At peak, 60,000 men were in training here. Named for Pvt. David B. Barkeley of the 89th Division, who died on a secret scouting expedition behind German lines during the Meuse–Argonne battle of World War I. Among famous units trained here were the 45th and 90th Infantry Divisions and the 11th and 12th Armored.
A medical replacement training center, the largest in the country, was also established here, with 15 battalions. In May, 1942, the Medical Administrative Corps Officer Candidate School was activated and graduated about 12,500 candidates.
Camp Barkeley eventually grew to be a complete city unit twice the size of Abilene of the 1940's. It had a 2,300-bed hospital, 2 cold storage plants, a bakery, 4 theaters, 2 service clubs for enlisted men, 15 chapels, and 35 post exchange buildings.
The military personnel were housed in hutments, except for some 4,000 in barracks. Part of the post was also a German prisoner-of-war camp. Once some of the prisoners escaped, to the alarm of Abilene citizens, and others
Erected 1969 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 648.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, World II. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1942.
Location. 32° 21.404′ N, 99° 52.008′ W. Marker is near Abilene, Texas, in Taylor County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 277 and County Road 257, on the right when traveling north on U.S. 277. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Abilene TX 79606, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Drummond Cemetery (approx. ¾ mile away); Dyess Elementary School (approx. 5.2 miles away); Taylor County (approx. 5.4 miles away); The Ernie Wilson Museum (approx. 5.4 miles away); Vicinity of Indian Fight (approx. 5.8 miles away); Town of Buffalo Gap (approx. 5.8 miles away); Buffalo Gap College (approx. 5.8 miles away); Air Force Medal of Honor Recipients (approx. 6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Abilene.
Also see . . .
1. Camp Barkeley. From the Texas State Historical Association’s “Handbook of Texas Online”. (Submitted on October 6, 2014.)
2. Camp Barkeley - Texas Escapes. From the Texas Escapes Online Magazine. Includes photographs and a description (Submitted on October 6, 2014.)
3. David B. Barkley - Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on October 6, 2014.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 6, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 585 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 6, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. 7. submitted on October 6, 2014.