, located in Tullahoma, Tennessee
-Demographics:As of the census of 2010, there were 18,655 people, 7,717 households, and 5,161 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 88.1% White, 7.0% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 1.1% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races...
, was one of the U.S. Army's largest training bases during World War II. It was an active Army post between 1941 and 1946.
The camp, named after Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...
Cavalry Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest
Nathan Bedford Forrest was a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. He is remembered both as a self-educated, innovative cavalry leader during the war and as a leading southern advocate in the postwar years...
, was originally named Camp Peay. Camp Peay was named after the Tennessee Governor Austin Peay
Austin Peay was Governor of Tennessee from 1923 until his death in 1927.-Biography:Peay, a native of Kentucky, moved to Clarksville, Tennessee and opened a law practice in 1896. He was first elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1901 and re-elected in 1903...
and built in Tullahoma as a National Guard
The National Guard of the United States is a reserve military force composed of state National Guard militia members or units under federally recognized active or inactive armed force service for the United States. Militia members are citizen soldiers, meaning they work part time for the National...
Camp in 1926. Camp Peay covered 1,040 acres (4.2 km²). Camp Forrest covered 85,000 acres (340 km²) located just beyond the old Camp Peay.
The camp was a training area for infantry, artillery, engineer, signal organizations, and cooks. It also served as a hospital center and temporary encampment area for troops during maneuvers. Maj. Gen. George Patton brought his 2nd Armored Division
The 2nd Armored Division was an armored division of the United States Army. The division played an important role during World War II in the invasions of North Africa and Sicily and the liberation of France, Belgium, and Holland and the invasion of Germany...
from Fort Benning
Fort Benning is a United States Army post located southeast of the city of Columbus in Muscogee and Chattahoochee counties in Georgia and Russell County, Alabama...
, Georgia for maneuvers.
William Northern Field, an air training base, was an addition used as a training site for crews of four-engined B-24 bombers of the Army Air Forces.
Incoming troops had the normal amenities such as service clubs, guest houses, library, post exchanges, post office, hospital, religious services, theaters, showers, Red Cross, and Army Emergency Relief facilities. Recreation facilities include swimming, archery, tennis, a sports arena and a nine-hole golf course.
Camp Forrest officially became a prisoner of war camp May 12, 1942. The camp housed Italian and German POWs. Prisoners became laborers at Camp Forrest in the hospitals and on farms in the local community. Initially the camp held civilian detainees who were arrested at the outbreak of the war under a program called "Alien Enemy Control." Many of these internees were incarcerated without legal process. Official government documents made available in the late 1990s indicate that over 25,000 Alien Enemies were held at various locations throughout the United States. Camp Forrest's population was over 700. In 1943 they were transferred to other Internment Camps to make room for actual POWs captured on the field of battle.
In 1945 the U.S. government implemented an Intellectual Diversion Program to educate Germans on the American way of life. This program used educational and recreational media to change views of POWs, and the government claimed success with many prisoners.
Tullahoma was greatly affected by the installation of Camp Forrest. Because of maneuvers and operations, civilians had to adjust to blocked roads, traffic jams, crowded stores, the absence of mail delivery and driving at night without lights. Soldiers camped out on lawns and fields; many crops and fences were destroyed.
In 1940 the population in Tullahoma was 4,500. By the end of the war, the population had grown to 75,000. Many military people who moved in for construction and operation of the camp remained after the war.
In 1946 the war was over and Camp Forrest and Northern Field were declared surplus property. Buildings were sold at auction, torn down and carted away. Water and sewage systems and electrical systems were sold as salvage. All that remained were roads, brick chimneys and concrete foundations.
Soon after the close of the camp, the area was selected for the site of the Air Force's new Air Engineering Development Center. In 1951 the center was dedicated by President Truman and renamed the Arnold Engineering Development Center
Arnold Engineering Development Center is a ground-based flight test facility operated by the US Air Force Materiel Command.-Mission statement:The AEDC mission is to:...
in honor of General of the Air Force Henry H. "Hap" Arnold
Henry Harley "Hap" Arnold was an American general officer holding the grades of General of the Army and later General of the Air Force. Arnold was an aviation pioneer, Chief of the Air Corps , Commanding General of the U.S...
. General Arnold was World War II Commander of the Army Air Corps and the only Air Force officer to hold 5-star rank.