Military Installations on Postcards

Camp Rucker (Fig. 1) was open on May 1, 1942 and lies in a triangle formed by the towns of Ozark, Enterprise and Dothan, in the southeastern corner of AL. It was named after Colonel Edmund W. Rucker, an outstanding officer of the Civil War.

The name was changed to Fort Rucker in October 1955. Hanchey Army Heliport became the home of the Department of Rotary Wing of the Army Aviation School on October 5, 1959, making the first time the Department was centralized.  

Construction began on Travis Air Force Base (Fig. 2) – originally named Fairfield-Suisun Army Air Base – in 1942. The base was renamed in 1951 in honor of Brigadier General Robert F. Travis who was killed when a B-29 Superfortress crashed on Aug. 5, 1950. Formal dedication ceremonies were held on April 21, 1951. Today Travis AFB is home of the 60th Air Mobility Wing. It is located in Fairfield, Calif.

From August 1950 to February 1953, Camp Cook (Fig. 3) was used as a training installation for units slated for combat in Korea, and as a summer training base for many other reserve units. On Feb. 1, 1953, the camp was again inactivated while the U.S. disciplinary barracks assuming responsibility for security and maintenance. Four years later the military would return to Camp Cooke, but this time the Air Force was here to stay.

On Oct. 4, 1958, Cooke Air Force Base, Lompoc, Calif., was renamed Vandenberg Air Force Base in honor of the late General Hoyt S. Vandenberg (1899-1954), the Air Force’s second Chief of Staff.

Today it is known as the United States Penitentiary at Lompoc.

Construction began at Lackland Air Force Base (Fig. 4) in San Antonio, Texas, in 1941, and was originally part of Kelly Field. In 1948, this facility was named Lackland Air Force Base after Brigadier General Frank Lackland.

Randolph Air Force Base (Fig. 5) in Universal City, Texas, near San Antonio was dedicated on June 3, 1930, as a flying training base and continues in that mission today.

Fort George G. Meade (Fig. 6) became a military installation in 1917. It was named after Civil War Major General George Gordon Meade. It was one of 16 cantonments for troops drafted for the war with the Central Powers in Europe. Today, Fort Meade provides support and services for more than 100 tenant units which include the National Security Agency and Defense Information School.

Camp Custer (Fig. 7) in Michigan, was built in 1917 for  military training during WWI. Named after Civil War cavalry officer General George Armstrong Custer, more than 100,000 troops trained or demobilized there during the war.

In the years following WWI, the camp was used to train the Officer Reverse Corps and the Civilian Conservation Corps.

On August 17, 1940, Camp Custer was designated Fort Custer and became a permanent military training base.

In 1968, the Michigan Department of Military and veteran Affairs assumed control of Fort Custer. today, the facility is federally-owned and state operated.

Fort Sheridan (Fig. 8) was established in 1887 and closed in 1993. It was also used as a forward logistics supply base during the Pancho Villa Expedition of 1916-1917. The Army retained two parcels of 114 acres each, which continue to serve Army Reserve missions.

The garrison at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., (Fig. 9) includes the U.S. Army Intelligence Center, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training Battalion and 11th Signal Brigade. 

Camp Knox (Fig.10) was built in 1918 and renamed Fort Knox in 1932. It is home of the U. S. Army Armor Center, the U.S. Army Armor School and U.S. Army Recruiting Command. 

Camp Lee VirginiaThe gold bullion reserve has also been at Fort Knox since 1937.

Camp Lee, Va., (Fig 11) was built in 1917. It was named in honor of General Robert E. Lee. It is well known as the Quartermaster Training Center and WAC (Women’s Army Corp) Training Center.

In 1950 the name was changed to Fort Lee. Today it has a garrison of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command, U.S. Army Quartermaster Center & School, Army Logistics Management College and the U. S. Defense Commissary Agency.

Marine Barracks, Port Royal S.C.U.S. Marine Corps were first stationed on Paris Island (Fig. 12) in 1891. During that time the military buildings and homes were constructed between 1891-1914. On November 1, 1915, Paris Island was officially designated a Marine Corps Recruit Depot and training was continued from then on.

On June 22, 1917, the official designation of the Marine Corps post at Port Royal, S.C., was changed from Marine Barracks, Port Royal, S.C. to Marine Barracks, Paris Island, S.C., at the request of the Postmaster General to avoid delay in the delivery of the mail.

Camp Grayling, Mich.Camp Grayling, Mich., (Fig. 13) was founded in 1913. Troops first started training there in 1914. During the summer months it hosts National Guard units from Michigan and surrounding states. The central attraction of Camp Grayling is beautiful Lake Marqrethe (pictured).

Hospital Fort Benjamin HarrisonFort Benjamin Harrison, Ind., (Fig 14) was the city’s major military facility before its closing in 1991. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service-Indianapolis is still located at the former post, as well as several U.S. Army Reserve and Indiana National Guard units. The fort served in a training capacity for two World Wars, the Cold War, Vietnam War, and other U.S. actions. It remains an excellent example of military facility planning from the early 20th-century and includes many of its original 1902-10 era buildings.

Author’s note

Collecting postcards is fun! Having collected thousands of postcards over the many years – my specialty is post offices on postcards – however when looking for DPO’s (discontinued post office) postmarks at the same time, I come across some very interesting postcards, especially military postcards.

I have selected various military installations on postcards that I think you will enjoy – I know I have! This by all means is not all military installations – it will just give you an idea of what can be found for those lucky individuals who are looking for these type of postcards.
Having served in the U. S. Army for 23 years, it gives me great pleasure to feature “Military Installations on Postcards” in the Postcard Collector magazine.

Paul E. Petosky –