CAMP FANNIN TEXAS

The first official recognitions of Camp Fannin occurred during 1993 when the State of Texas set an "Historical Marker" on highway US 271. November 11, 1997 the Veterans Administration Clinic at the University of Texas Health Center, located on the grounds of the original Station Hospital, was named in honor of Camp Fannin. An exhibit is on public display in the Clinic area. March 1998, highway US 271 from Tyler to Gladewater was recognized as the Camp Fannin Memorial Highway. On Memorial Day, 1998, a permanent memorial marker was dedicated at the Regional Postal Distribution Center located on FM 3311. It recognized all who trained at Camp Fannin and especially those who died in combat. A "Camp Fannin" room located within the building is open to visitors when not in use during business hours.

A Guide has been written which provides tour directions and information specific to various sites. Smaller markers have been set to guide visitors on a Drive-Ur-Self Tour, within more than 14,000 acre site of Camp Fannin located between highways Texas 2351, FM 346, Texas 155, and US 271.

map of camp fannin texas


Camp Fannin, Texas...named in honor of the hero of Goliad, Colonel James Walker Fannin, was located northeast of Tyler, Texas. In March 1943 Camp Fannin was officially dedicated as an U.S. Army Infantry Replacement Training Center.

There have been few military facilities located in Texas that have made greater social and economic contributions than has Camp Fannin. Camp Fannin is a place where more than 200,000 young American men became Army Infantry Replacements between May 1943 and December 1945. When they had finished their training, these soldiers were assigned to serve in both theaters of war at places with names such as Anzio, Normandy, Malmedy, Remagen, Leyte, Bougaineville and many other sites of combat. Many became casualties.

By applying the 2.4% average WWII casualty rate of all Army personelle, it is probable that at least five thousand six hundred who trained here made the supreme sacrifice, losing their lives while serving their country. Twice that many may have been wounded. Because most who trained at Camp Fannin served as infantry, these estimates are considered conservative. (A combat infantry casualty rate greater than 4.5% is suggested by some military historians.)

Today, few recognize that this WWII Infantry Replacement Training Center ever existed. Even local residents are not aware of the magnitude of the gift given by the young men who came here to learn how they could protect and preserve our freedoms.

Camp Fannin trained combat veterans who returned had conducted and deported themselves in a manner equal to those whom we honor as having made the greatest sacrifice. As suggested by one of them, "They returned not as Great Soldiers, just Grateful Soldiers." All served their country well and honorably. All contributed in major measure to protecting our freedom as an American Heritage.

After WWII ended may of the veterans who received training at Camp Fannin returned to the area. Some married sweethearts they had met while stationed here. Others returned because they believed this area to be an ideal place to live and raise families. Business opportunities attracted quite a few. Still others have found this area to be well suited for retirement and have moved here later in life.

The area where Camp Fannin existed was returned to non-military use during 1946, and few vestiges other than foundations of some of the many buildings were built in the main cantonment area can be found. A few hardstands built in range areas where training exercises were held also remain. People live in homes or work with companies that have been built on the foundations of this place which was Camp Fannin. It can be recognized that it is indeed a place such as that referred to in the Old Testament, Isaiah 2.4, "a place where the swords are beaten into plowshares". It is in fact a "Living Memorial" to both the site and to those who trained and served here.

Regimental Memorial Markers located throughout the original Camp Fannin area were dedicated during the 1999 CFA Annual Reunion. Flags are flown from these markers on appropriate National Holidays. Here is an original Handbook of Information given to all the recruits who trained at Camp Fannin - courtsey of Her1man@aol.com.

In his book, Camp Fannin, Texas...A 50-Year History*, Gordon K. Neilson's introduction reads in part: "I want to tell you, as clearly as possible, what Camp Fannin was, what it is now, and what it has meant-not only for the Allied victory in WWII, but what it meant for all of East Texas-then, and now..." Congressman Ralph M. Hall, Fourth District, Texas, wrote the Forward for the publication, in which he states: "Camp Fannin made an invaluable contribution to Tyler and East Texas. In return, the area was able to make a tremendous contribution to the war effort...Long after the closing of Camp Fannin, the positive effects of the military establishment continue to be seen in Tyler and East Texas."



Camp Fannin Association Museum Fund
P.O. Box 132024
Tyler, TX 75713