The construction and operation of Camp Croft
brought major changes to the Spartanburg and Glendale area. The camp
itself was only about two miles from Glendale. Camp Croft was only one
of several hundred military facilities built all over the United States
at the beginning of World War II.
The size of the camp was huge and it was built in what seems like
a miraculous time compared to modern projects. The ground breaking ceremony
was held on Dec. 5, 1940 and construction began right away. There were about
167 acres in the basic camp area and about 20,000 acres in the total facility.
Enormous quantities of construction materials were needed in the construction.
By January, 1941, there were over 12,000 employees at work on the base.
In February, 1941 part of the camp was ready for use and on March 7th the
first trainees arrived. The initial was construction was completed in May
1941. Over 674 buildings had been completed.
Soldiers from the Camp, in their rare time off, sometimes visited the Glendale
Community. The photo and story of one such visit is shown at Sgt. Robert P. Emerson. (Thanks to Mr. Ron Crowley
for making this picture available.)
From 1941 to the end of the war, over 200,000 men were trained at
Camp Croft. After the War, the camp was closed. The Spartanburg County
Foundation purchased the troop housing area and the state purchased the 7,000+
acres that became Croft State natural Area. The rest of the property was purchased,
at fair market value, by returning veterans and other people.
There are many famous men who trained at Camp Croft. One such person
was Henry Kissinger who was Secretary of State in the Nixon Administration.
There is another person with a connection to Camp Croft who has been highlighted
with a recent book and television series. The book is “Band of Brothers”
published by Simon & Schuster and written by Stephen Ambrose. The tv
series has the same title and was directed by David Frankel andTom Hanks
for HBO. The book and tv series follow the story of Company E (Easy Company)
of the 2nd Battalion of the 506 th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st
The prominent figure in both the book and the tv series is Richard (Dick)
Winters. Click on the following link to read more about Dick Winters, his
connection to Camp Croft and his army career. Winters took his basic training
at Camp Croft and also returned a second time to help train new recruits.
There is an interesting web site that was used as a reference source
for some of the above information. It is: (http://www.schistory.net/campcroft/index.html).
It has a large amount of material relating to all phases of Camp
Croft and the men who trained there.
(The Hub City Writers Project in Spartanburg has an excellent book
about the effect Camp Wadsworth in World War I and Camp Croft in
World War II had on the Spartanburg area. It is titled “When the Soldiers
Came to Town”. It is prepared and edited by edited by Susan Turpin, Carolyn
Creal, Ron Crawley and James Crocker. There is also a great deal of information
on Camp Croft in the Vernon Foster Book, “Spartanburg-Facts, Reminisences,
Folklore”, described elsewhere on this web site.)
Post Cards of Camp Croft
There were many commercial post cards published about Camp
Croft for use by the soldiers being trained there. These post cards give
a photographic record of the base. A sample of some of these cards can
be seen by clicking on the link below.
This web site has been started as a
public service to share the story of Glendale. The web master and
person to contact about putting information on the web site is Mary
McKinney Teaster. Contact her at:
by telephone at (843) 873-8117. See more information
about Mary and her Glendale connection at Mary