Camp Myles Standish

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Camp Myles Standish
Taunton, Massachusetts
Coordinates 41°56′52.38″N 71°7′56.66″W / 41.9478833°N 71.1324056°W / 41.9478833; -71.1324056
Site information
Owner Massachusetts
Site history
Built by United States Army
Battles/wars World War II
Garrison information
Garrison Taunton, Massachusetts
Occupants U.S. Army

Camp Myles Standish was a U.S. Army camp located in Taunton, Massachusetts. It functioned as a prisoner-of-war camp, a departure area for about a million U.S. and Allied soldiers; and a candidate site for the United Nations Headquarters, soon after the military camp closed.

History[edit]

The city of Taunton was notified in June 1942 by the War Department that 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) would be taken for use as a military staging area. The design of the layout for the camp was made by the J.F.Worcester Company. The Matthew Cummings Company of Boston received the contract to construct the buildings. The camp opened on October 8, 1942 and was named in honor of Myles Standish who was the first military commander in the Old Colony region. Camp Myles Standish represented the Boston Port of Embarkation where American soldiers as well as soldiers from Canada, Great Britain and Australia process before engaging in the European Theater of World War II.[1]

As the camp functioned as the port of embarkation, a quartermaster was set up so an entire division could be prepared for deployment within a day. Often, divisions would go to Africa or Iceland. This made train traffic understandably chaotic, with trains regularly coming into town from Providence, Rhode Island Springfield, Massachusetts and Boston.[2] The yard itself, run by the New Haven Railroad, contained about ten miles of track.[3]

German soldiers who were captured during the war were detained at this camp. Also, Italian soldiers were detained there as well although they were considered 'co-belligerents' because Italy had surrendered by the time the Italian soldiers arrived at Camp Myles Standish.

The camp closed in January 1946 following World War II. The site of Camp Myles Standish was briefly considered as a possible site for the United Nations.[1]

There are several buildings that were once part of Camp Myles Standish that still remain standing as of 2009.

Redevelopment[edit]

Massachusetts took it over from the federal government to create the Myles Standish State School for the Mentally Retarded. The patients of the institution were housed in the former hospital area for the former army camp. In 1951, Governor Paul A. Dever was instrumental in providing for over two dozen new brick buildings on the south part of the former army camp site as the new campus for the metally retarded patients of the Myles Standish State School. Following the death of former Governor Paul A. Dever, the Myles Standish State School was dedicated in memory of Paul A. Dever.

The City of Taunton acquired over 700 acres (2.8 km2) of the former army camp in 1973 for the purpose of constructing a modern industrial park. The Myles Standish Industrial Park has continued to expand and has become one of the most successful industrial parks in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Units that passed through[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]