Gulf Coast Military Academy

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Gulf Coast Military Academy

Gulf Coast Military Academy (GCMA) Was founded in 1912 by Colonel James Chappel Hardy in Gulfport, Mississippi and was a West Point Honors Military Academy.

The Senior Branch of the Academy was closed in 1953.[1] and the grounds were purchased by the federal government.[2]

At that time, the Senior Branch grounds and buildings became property of the USAF as Keesler Annex #3. The former Senior Academy facilities were initially used as Technical Training Headquarters for Keesler AFB and the old Academy Chow Hall became the Base Chapel.

Officer training was conducted in electronics for communications, ground electronics (radar), and weapons controller assignments. Many of the former academy buildings were used for classrooms, administration, and storage. Air Force buses drove to and from Keesler AFB on a daily schedule using US Highway 90 along the gulf coast.

In 1973 the former Senior Academy grounds and facilities were transferred to the US Navy.[3]

At this time, the Navy Retirement Home was moved to the former Academy grounds. Later the Navy Home was redesignated as part of the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH).

Meanwhile, the Junior Branch (Grades 1-9) remained open through the Summer Session of 1976 when then President and Owner of the Academy, COL Charles M. Holt, closed the school and sold the remaining, property and buildings to William Carey College (Now William Carey University) in Hattiesburg, MS.

In 2005, the facilities were severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina and all the residents of the Retirement Home and College were moved to other locations.

Plans are pending, but rebuilding the AFRH on the Gulf Coast may be considered risky. Source Sep 2006 article by the Gulf Coast News concerning plans for the Armed Forces Retirement Home.

The only cornerstone to the old office complex, the former C & D Companies and the administration offices was salvaged by Dr.Rhiannon A. La Passioneria, MAJ MSG/ CDR USN Ret., and is now in the hands of the Armed Forces Museum, at Camp Shelby, MS. The grounds both the Senior and Junior Academies are now completely empty and nothing remains of the former West Point Honors College or the great institution it all once was.

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nice Story about Gulf Coast Military Academy, The Sun Herald (Biloxi, MS), February 27, 2005 by Pam Firmin.
  2. ^ Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program - Project 95-10092, Training To Fight: Training and Education During the Cold War, By David F. Winkler July 1997, page 153.
  3. ^ Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program - Project 95-10092, Training To Fight: Training and Education During the Cold War, By David F. Winkler July 1997, page 153.

Coordinates: 30°23′17″N 89°01′00″W / 30.38806°N 89.01667°W / 30.38806; -89.01667