FORT LEE

The Post-World War II Era

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MARCOA Media

Unlike at the end of World War I, there was no immediate decision to dismantle the second Camp Lee. The Quartermaster School continued operation, and in 1947 the Adjutant General’s School moved here as well (where it remained until 1951). The Women’s Army Corps likewise established its premier Training Center here from 1948 to 1954. Also, in 1948, the first permanent brick and mortar structure – the Post Theater – was constructed.

On 15 April 1950 the War Department reached the critical decision to keep Camp Lee as a permanent facility, while renaming it Fort Lee. At nearly the same time the Quartermaster School picked up from the Infantry School at Fort Benning the “supply by sky” mission, and began training airborne riggers here at Fort Lee. Then in June 1950, war again broke out … in Korea. Once again the installation quickly sprang to life as tens of thousands of Soldiers arrived between 1950 and 1953, to receive logistics training for what would later be called the “Forgotten War.”

The 1950s and 60s witnessed almost nonstop modernization efforts as one by one Fort Lee’s temporary wooden barracks, training facilities and housing units began giving way to permanent brick and cinderblock structures. New multi-storied brick barracks were built in the mid-50s, along with whole communities of Capehart housing for permanent party. The new three-story Quartermaster School Classroom Building, Mifflin Hall, was dedicated in May 1961. Kenner Army Hospital opened in 1962, replacing the remnants of the old WWII era facility; and the privately-funded, new brick Quartermaster Museum opened its doors in 1963. Some years have seen far more change than others, but the overall process of modernization has continued ever since.

The rapid logistics buildup in Vietnam after 1965 signaled an urgent need for many more Quartermaster Soldiers. Fort Lee responded by going into overdrive. For a time the School maintained three shifts, and round-the-clock training. A Quartermaster Officer Candidate School opened in 1966, for the first time since World War II. A mock Vietnamese “village” was created on post to familiarize trainees with guerrilla tactics and the conditions they could expect fighting in the jungles of Southeast Asia. Part of the sixties-era Quartermaster training program also saw the first widespread local use of automated data processing equipment.

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