This month in Fort McCoy history: May 2019
Story by Theresa R Fitzgerald on 05/10/2019
72 years ago May 20, 1947
The Station Hospital at Camp McCoy, Wis., was closed May 20, 1947, in accordance with a recent letter from Fifth Army Headquarters. Effective May 15, 1947, all admissions to the Station Hospital other than acute emergencies were discontinued. A Station Dispensary continued to render medical attention to the personnel remaining on the post, and a limited number of beds were maintained for treatment of patients on a quarters status.
Patients requiring hospitalization after May 15, 1947, and not suitable for treatment in the dispensary on a quarters status were transferred to the Station Hospital, Fort Sheridan, Ill. Emergency hospitalization for those military patients who transferred to Fort Sheridan were hospitalized in civilian agencies.
60 Years Ago May 28, 1959
The first U.S. Army Reserve units, which spent 15 days of intensive active-duty training, arrived on post. More than 1,500 men from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Michigan formed the first U.S. Army Reservist contingent. More troops arrived June 7, and the post reached a peak in population the following week when Wisconsin’s 32nd Infantry National Guard Division arrived.
50 Years Ago May 3, 1969
The 367th Engineer Battalion (Minnesota and North Dakota) already had a lot to show for its efforts since arriving at Camp McCoy on May 3, the first unit to attend ANACDUTRA (Annual Active Duty Training) during 1969.
According to Sgt. Charles McGinley, projects non-commissioned officer, the 367th utilized the talents of its 357-man detachment to repair the Alderwood dam and bridge on North Post, construct a 7.5-mile firebreak along Interstate 90, and maintain post roads and parking lots as well as numerous other projects.
“Our mission here (was) two-fold: the men have been training and at the same time contributing to the maintenance and improvement of Camp McCoy through their involvement in site support work,” said Capt. Leonard Eilts, the S-3 operations officer for the 367th.
Arriving on post May 10, 1969, were three units from Illinois: 685th Transportation Company, Peoria; 92nd Medical Dispensary, Peoria; and the 300th Supply Company, from Freeport; two units from Minnesota: 417th Light Equipment Maintenance Company, Faribault; and the 544th Heavy Equipment Company, Wabasha; and one unit from Iowa, the 339th Military Police Company, Pocahontas.
In all, 45,379 Army Reserve and National Guard troops attended ANACDUTRA at McCoy during the period from May 3 to Aug. 30, 1969.
40 Years Ago May 31, 1979
The 416th Engineer Command left its mark on Fort McCoy for all to see and use. Most units come to annual training, dig fox-holes, cover them up, or fire ammunition and police up the brass, leaving little or no trace of their presence. Not so with the engineers. They compiled an impressive list of troop projects which assisted incoming units in accomplishing their missions.
The 416th built a timber bridge on the tank driving courses, installed concrete pit latrines, made repairs on some of the older buildings and bridges, and performed necessary road maintenance throughout the post.
30 Years Ago May 10, 1989
Fort McCoy observed its first-ever Safety Awareness Day May 10 a day for Soldiers and civilians to think and learn more about the importance of safety in maintaining readiness and protecting the post’s most important resource its people.
And although was the installation’s first observance of the day, it’s not likely to be the last.
According to an Army News Service release, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Carl E. Vuono directed all major commands and their subordinate units to designate one day during May as Safety Awareness Day and prepare for increased operations during the summer with safety-related training.
20 Years Ago May 1, 1999
Fort McCoy’s new Modified Record Fire (rifle) Range (Range 32) opened for business May 1. Sixty-seven members of the 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry of the Iowa Army National Guard participated in the inaugural firing on the range.
Range 32 replaced the field fire range that had been located at the site. The facility is operated and maintained by the Remote Enhanced Targeting Systems Branch and can be operational around-the-clock.
The range can support record fire (qualification) and field fire (practice), and night muzzle flash simulators can be used for night fire. The range targets are computer controlled and computer scored. The range can accommodate as many as 16 firers every 15 minutes.
10 Years Ago May 25, 2009
On May 25, 2009, Maj. Gen. Paul Hamm and Brig. Gen. Jeff Talley, stood to attention as 844th Task Force Soldiers passed by for a final review. It is the last inspection by higher command before they head to the Middle East.
Hamm is commander of the 412th Theater Engineer Command and Talley is commander of the 926th Engineer Brigade.
Engineer companies attached to the 844th include the 808th, the 961st, the 375th, the 655th Platoon and the 321st Engineer Detachment.
Nearly 700 Soldiers from 34 states deployed with the 844th as part of the nearly 90,000 Soldiers who have gone through Fort McCoy since 9-11. The 844th executed engineer support operations in both Iraq and Kuwait.