Camp Dawson (West Virginia)
|Near Kingwood, West Virginia, USA|
|Type||Military training camp|
|Controlled by||United States|
|In use||1909-1917; |
Camp Dawson was established on May 7, 1909, when the West Virginia Legislature authorized the purchase of 196.5 acres (0.795 km2) of land on Dunkard Bottom along the Cheat River. The camp was named in honor of William M. O. Dawson, a native of Preston County, who had served as governor of the state from 1905-1908. Troops first trained at Camp Dawson during that summer and continued until the entry of the U.S. into World War I in 1917. The camp was not used again until 1928 when it was reestablished as a training site for the West Virginia State Militia. Units trained regularly at the camp until the outbreak of World War II at which time the state government leased the camp for use as a prisoner of war facility.
Since the original land purchase, six additional tracts have been acquired by the installation bringing the total acreage to 4,177.5 acres (16.906 km2). Training opportunities that are unique to the site and its environs, such as the very rugged local terrain, have attracted U.S Army units and sister military services (both Active and Reserve) for many years.
Dawson Army Airfield
The first airfield at Camp Dawson, Dawson Army Airfield, was constructed in the early 1970s on the left-descending bank of the Cheat River across from the Camp Dawson base. By 1976, this was replaced with the current airfield on the right-descending bank just south of the main base.
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