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Abilene in Taylor County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

45th Infantry Division at Camp Barkeley

 
 
45th Infantry Division at Camp Barkeley Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, December 14, 2014
1. 45th Infantry Division at Camp Barkeley Marker
Inscription. The 45th Infantry Division, comprised of National Guard units from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, was one of the first four divisions ordered into Federal service by Congress’ joint resolution in 1940. Initially stationed at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, the 45th was relocated to Camp Barkeley in early 1941. The “Thunderbirds” found Abilene’s citizens welcoming, but Camp Barkeley was as yet little more than a tent city on undrained prairie. The new arrivals nicknamed their quarters “Camp Smokey Okie” and began rigorous training at once.
     In April 1942 the 45th was order to Fort Devens, Massachusetts. After another year of training in three more states they departed for North Africa and Sicily. World War II took the 45th far from Taylor County. They saw fierce combat in Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany, culminating in the liberation of the concentration camp at Dachau in April 1945. After 511 days in combat and 3,650 men lost, the 45th Infantry was one of the most distinguished military units of the war. Eight Congressional Medals of Honor were awarded to its members, who won the admiration of Allies and Axis powers alike.
     The division was released from active duty in November 1945. Hundreds of 45th Infantry soldiers came back to Abilene to marry and make their homes, their love for the
45th Infantry Division at Camp Barkeley Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, December 14, 2014
2. 45th Infantry Division at Camp Barkeley Marker
city recorded in their letters and their lives. The 45th was again called to active duty during the Korean Conflict, suffering 834 casualties. One “Thunderbird” was posthumously awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor for his Korean service.
 
Erected 1998 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 12214.)
 
Location. 32° 26.745′ N, 99° 43.948′ W. Marker is in Abilene, Texas, in Taylor County. Marker is at the intersection of Oak Street and S. 4th Street, on the right when traveling north on Oak Street. Touch for map. Marker is located in the front lawn of the 1914 Taylor County courthouse building. Marker is at or near this postal address: 301 Oak St, Abilene TX 79602, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "I Shall Never Surrender or Retreat" (a few steps from this marker); Honoring E Battery Lost Battalion WWII (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of Thornton's Store (within shouting distance of this marker); Taylor County Veterans Memorial (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Site of Curfew by John J. Clinton (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Texas & Pacific Railway
Marker in Front Lawn of 1914 Taylor County Courthouse image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, December 14, 2014
3. Marker in Front Lawn of 1914 Taylor County Courthouse
(approx. ¼ mile away); First Presbyterian Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Pine Street Shootout (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Abilene.
 
Also see . . .  45th Infantry Division (United States) - Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on December 19, 2014.)
 
Categories. War, KoreanWar, World II
 
Markers in Front of 1914 Taylor County Courthouse image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, December 14, 2014
4. Markers in Front of 1914 Taylor County Courthouse
45th Infantry Div. marker is on the right side of the lawn
View to North Along Oak Street image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, December 14, 2014
5. View to North Along Oak Street
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 19, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 220 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 19, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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