History of Bulge and IGMR

A brief History of the Battle of the Bulge

On Dec.16,1944 all Hell broke loose in the Ardennes. Enemy artillery and mortars ripped into the division's 25 mile line. Fanatic Wehrmacht elements threw themselves at the 28th immediately after barrages. Germans attempted to throw back the Allies in a tremendous counter-thrust. In the path of the German fury was the 28th Inf. Div.

Five crack enemy divisions - Panzer, Infantry, Volksgrenadier - hurled across the Our River the first day of the assault. Second Bn.,109th; 1st and 3rd Bns.,110th; 1st Bn.,112th, rocked most severely under the first blows, lashed back to ward off attacks, caused many enemy casualties. But Germans struck again and again. Enemy reserves from the east threw their weight behind the steamrolling push. Germans pounded American lines continuously. Enemy tanks rolled up in support of German infantry.

The day wore on. Division lines snapped under excessive pressure. Units were isolated, surrounded. Co. K, 110th, was encircled, lost contact with battalion. Men fought and died in their places. Co. I, 110th, pinned down at Weiler, hacked its way out of encirclement at night, joined its battalion in Clervaux.

Clervaux had been the division rest area for a month. Now it was a roaring battlefield as resting men scrambled to form hasty defenses.

Nine enemy divisions were identified in the striking force that kept hammering 28th troopers. Keystone men were outnumbered, overrun, cut off. But they refused to panic. The 28th fought, delayed, and fought.

The 112th plugged the line for two days before pulling north to join the 106th Inf. Div. as a combat team. Route of the regiment from the time it lost contact with the 28th was a path from Luxembourg to Belgium: Weiswampach, Huldange, Beiler, Rogery, Veilsam, Mormont.

For three days the 109th held fast, then set up positions on a hill northeast of Diekirch. Next day, it moved to screen the left flank of the 9th Armored Div. to which it later was attached. Christmas Eve brought not good cheer to Germans, but another attack. The regiment shifted its lines to the high ground between Ettelbruck and Mostroff. Two days later, it rejoined the 28th at Naufchateau.

The 229th F.A. part of the 112th combat team, during the Ardennes breakthrough often had to leave their big guns, pick up rifles, and work alongside the infantrymen in close-in fighting. When the batteries were forced to withdraw, it was noted the crews would pull them a little farther. They did not want the Germans to know that they were displacing the howitzers, They moved at night by the truck drivers following a white handkerchief and the roar of the enemy tanks drowning out the sound of the trucks.

Meantime, the 110th was weathering staggering blows. Wiltz was the division CP location since mid-November. The town was a vital transportation hub. It was also one of the first objectives of the German breakthrough.

The 110th, near Wiltz, suffered severe attacks all along its front. But the battered regiment was not alone in its defense. Division troops pitched in; MPs, postal and finance clerks, QM and Division Hq. personnel, band men formed a provisional defense battalion to block the German blow.

The 28th held Ardennes From Dec. 16 to Christmas Day. It was everybody's fight. Outstanding acts of bravery became routine. Morley Cassidy, war correspondent in a nation-wide broadcast to America, said: "The 28th Division has performed one of the greatest fetes in the history of the American Army. Against nine divisions it has held so firmly that the German timetable has been thrown off completely."

According to the German plan, Bastogne was to have been gained on the second day, not reached until the third, and not by-passed until the sixth day.

The German breakthrough had struck at the 28th in all its violence. The division had reeled under its impact, suffered the crush but warded off disastrous defeat. Keystone men pulled back to an area where they could recover from the shock, where they could prepare to avenge and slash back at the enemy.

Early 1945 was spent near Charleville where the 28th - less the 112th Combat Team - defended the Meuse River from Givet to Verdun. Troops manned outposts at road junctions and bridges in key cities: Sedan, Verdun, Rocroi, Charleville, Stenay, and Buzancy.

The 112th Combat Team returned to the division Jan. 13 after almost four weeks of continuous contact with the enemy in the Ardennes area "somewhere in Belgium." Four days later, the division moved southeast to Sixth Army Group's sector.

The same Keystone Division that the German radio had declared "wiped out" now was ready again. In September, 1944, a Division slogan contest netted the following motto-. "28th Roll On." Hard hit in the Hurtgen Forest, harder hit In the Ardennes breakthrough, Keystone men still personified their division slogan. The 28th was to smash through the enemy once more, was to continue to live up to its slogan and Roll On!

Success of the division is the result of every man in every unit, organic or attached.

The 107th F.A.,108th F.A.,109th F.A., and the 229th F.A. all contributed to the terror of the Germans. The 103rd Combat Engineers, kept the division rolling . Engineers built bridges and roads, handled mines, destroyed pillboxes and fought as infantry. Their missions: all accomplished.

Forward or rear, the 103rd Medics - medical aid men on the line, technicians at aid stations - conquered in another kind of battle. Keystone men never suffered from lack of proper medical attention.

The 28th Recon Troop, cannon companies, anti-tankers, Headquarters Special Troops, clerical personnel, 28th Signal Go., 28th QM Co., 28th MP Platoon, 728th Ord. Co., the band - they are all Keystone men, every man a soldier.

The 630th TD Bn. fought continuously with front line Joes. The 447th AAA Bn., one of the first attack units to hit France, D plus 1, the 707th Tank Bn., contributed many pages to the 28th division story.


If you have more information on the History of Fort Indiantown Gap or counter-dictions to this document please e-Mail SGM Warren Parks (ret) at ParksWarren@msn.com


Soldiers who train and maneuver through the woods of Fort Indiantown Gap tread on historic around. Indian artifacts found in this area have been dated back as far as 3500 B.C.


As the settlers moved into the area of northern Lebanon County, during the early 1600’s and until the mid-1750’s, the white settlers considered the Lenie-Lenape Indians to be friendly.

There were four Lenie-Lenape Indian villages in the vicinity of the present fort, one of which was established at the south entrance. Harper’s Tavern, located about two miles south of Fort Indiantown Gap, was built about 1740 by Adam Harper. It was sometimes surrounded by wigwams of friendly Indians who traded there.

But, by the 1750’s, the Indians were being pushed farther and farther back from their traditional hunting grounds, and the French encouraged the Indians to start making attacks on the frontier settlement.

Because of these attacks, a chain of fortifications was established along Blue Mountains. The need for these forts is readily apparent when it is considered that, between 1755 and 1763, the Indians killed 123 people in Lebanon County.

Just a few miles south of the present location of Fort Indiantown Gap, in 1755, the house of Adam Reed, Esquire, was turned into a fort. Reed used this fort to protect the people of the countryside from sudden Indian attacks. One might say that Adam Reed was the first “Commander” of Fort Indiantown Gap.


The 7 ½ foot bronze, 650 pounds, statue of the woman Cuewe-Pehelle, installed at Lebanon Valley College by two longtime members of the Lebanon Valley College family, Dr. Clark and Edna Carmean. The statue is named for the original form of the word Quittaphilla -- the name of the creek that flows through Annville. Quittaphilla was the Algonquin Indians’ word for “a stream that flows from the ground among the pines”.

Source: Lebanon Daily News, 18 August 1997

1700's The known history of this area goes back thousands of years. Indian artifacts found in the area have been dated to as far back as 3500 BC

When the first settlers came to this area, several Indian villages were established around the Gap in Blue Mountain, hence the name Indiantown Gap. The fertile land of the Lebanon Valley, and the abundance of wildlife had the same attraction for the settlers as it did for the early Indians. With the fair treatment the Indians received under William Penn, the settlers and Indians co-existed peacefully at first.

However conflicts between Indian tribes and territorial disputes between European nations eventually lead to the French and Indian War. With the defeat of the British under General Braddock, the hostile Indians began attacking the settlers.

The Blue Mountain formed a natural barrier between the settled area in the rolling hills to the south and the wild mountainous region to the North. The Indians used Indiantown Gap, as well as Manada Gap to the West and Swatara Gap to the east as attack routes. The settlers built fortified barns and houses for refuge. Eventually The government in Philadelphia authorized a chain of blockhouses to be built to stem the attack and garrisoned them with soldiers. Forts were placed by each of the Gaps, the one by Indiantown Gap was known as Browns Fort. The forts were garrisoned by about ten men and were close enough that soldiers on patrol could reach the next fort by the end of the day.

One of the leaders of this time was Conrad Wieser. He had spent many years learning Indian ways and acting as a translator and policy maker during negotiations with the Indian leaders. When the Indian wars broke out in the mid 1700's Weiser organized a militia to defend the area. The State Game Lands adjacent to the north border of the post are named in his honor. The name of Fort Indiantown Gap is the legacy of at least four Indian communities that flourished in the area during the early 1700's. One village was located near what is now the north entrance to Fort Indiantown Gap, and a larger one was at the south entrance.

Dr. George P. Donehoo Indian Villages and Place Names In Pennsylvania.

The Telegraph Press, (Harrisburg,PA ) P. 113

Manada or Monady Gap


P. 9 Gen. Timothy Green bought the land that Manada Furnace would later be built on. He built a House that was later used as the iron master's house. In March 1785 the county of Dauphin was established. Green sold the land to Henry Bates Grubb in 1803. Grubb's son Clement B. Grubb and his brother Edward B. Grubb Built the furnace. The Grubb family held interests in the Cornwall, Mt. Hope, Mt. Vernon and Cadoros Furnace. Conrad Weiser, Paul A. W. Wallace University Of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1945.

P1-2 Weiser arrived in New York aboard the Lyon on June 13, 1710 at the age of 13 with his father and seven brothers and sisters. He was born November 2, 1696 in Astatin the county of Heerenberg in Wurtenburg. His family was part of a huge wave of German immigrants called Palatines, that were escaping violence, disease, high taxes and poor farming in Germany. They were encouraged in part by an offer from Queen Ann to provide refuge and resettlement in America. This wave of tens of thousands of German immigrants was the basis of today's "Pennsylvania Dutch." During the trip to New York, about two hundred of the refugees died due to disease and poor rations.

P10-15 The German immigrants were settled in New York and Indentured to the Governor until they had repaid the government for the cost of their support and transportation to America. The plan was to have the settlers produce pine tar for the British Navy and for export to other countries, but inexperience and corruption lead to the failure of the venture. Conrad Weiser's father, John, was a leader of the settlers and when the governor released the Palatines from their obligation, John Weiser was a principle negotiator with the Indians for new, more fertile lands in which to settle.

P. 17 In 1712, Conrad's father agreed with a chief of the Mohawk Nation that Conrad would go with the Indians to learn the Indian language. John wanted his son to be able to act as an interpreter to facilitate the Palatines move into the area of New York called Schoharie, which the Germans felt was promised to them by the Queen. Rev. W. Andrews, a missionary, also went to live with the Indians. Because Conrad was only sixteen at the time, it was felt that he could more easily master the difficult to learn Mohawk tongue.

P. 30 Continuing disputes with the governor of New York lead to the break up of the town of Weiserdorf near Schoharie river.

P. 31 While Weiser's father was in England, trying unsuccessfully to get George I to settle the Palatine dispute, the Palatines moved to the north and soon accepted the invitation of the governor of Pennsylvania to resettle there. Conrad describes the move like this: The Palatines "... united and cut a Way from schochary to the SuesqueHana River brought Their goods over and made over Canoes and descended the stream to the Mouth of Suartaro (Swatara) Creek and drove Their Cattle overland that was in the spring of the Year 1723. From there they came to tulpehockin and in this is the beginning of the tulpehockin Settlements... others followed ... took lands without permission of the authorities... and against the will of the Indians for the land had not yet been bought from Them, there was no one among the People to control them, everyone did as he liked and Their strong Self-will has stood in their was to this hour. The Swatara was also known as Schettery. Weiser, his wife Ann Eve, and their four children followed the earlier Germans down to Pennsylvania in 1729.

P49 Weiser was instrumental in negotiating a deal between James Logan, the provincial secretary and Hetaquntagecty, a member of the council of the six nations. The English government wanted to get the Six Nations to use their powerful influence to prevent the Delaware from allying with the French. European expansion was creating tension between the settlers and Indians. Part of the problems were caused in the Lebanon Valley because settlers didn't wait for the colonial government to buy the land from the Indians. The settlers would make their own deals with local chief, some of whom didn't have authority to sell the land. In other cases, the land was shared by several tribes and a settler would pay one chief, only to have another claim jurisdiction over the land.

P 49 A release was signed on September 7, 1732 for the lands "lying between those hills called Lechaig Hills & those called Keckactanemin Hills... and those branches of Delaware River on the Eastern Side of the said land and the Branches or streams running into the said land." This document, signed by Sassoonan, Pesquetamen, Lapapaton and others, covered virtually the entire Lebanon Valley area.

P. 128 In the years following this release, the Indians continued to have grievances. The felt they had not been adequately compensated and that settlers were moving into lands north of Blue Mountain (Called Kittocchitinny by the Indians) without the consent of the Indians. The Indians again called on Weiser to interpret and act as liaison with the government in Philadelphia.

P. 131 This meeting was to have important ramifications for the Indiantown Gap area in later years. During the meeting, the Colonial government took sides with the Six Nations against the Delaware's. The Six Nations decreed that the Delaware's had no right to occupy the land they had sold in the infamous "Walking Purchase." Indians in 1800's After the Indians were pushed west, the Indiantown Gap area spent the next century in peace. To the north, several coal mines were developed, a railroad track was built and a thriving town existed. Waters from Cold Springs were bottled and sold throughout the east. Today only a ghost town remains. This is the foundation of the Cold Springs Hotel. One of the owners of this hotel was a man by the name of Isaac Brandt. Brandt lived in this house on Indiantown Creek. Brandt and four other men were hung for the murder of a man they had taken out a large insurance policy on. According to testimony they pushed the man off this plank bridge and held him underwater until he died.

James L. Holton The Reading Railroad: History of a Coal Age Empire Volume 1: The Nineteenth Century. Garrigues House, Publishers (Laury's Station, PA 1989)

P. 286 The Dauphin & Susquehanna Coal Co. was organized on 4/5/1826. The railroad was built from the mines at Cold Spring to Dauphin in 1854. In 1854 the track was extended east to Auburn. The railroad went into receivership in 1858 and was reorganized as the Schuylkill and Susquehanna Railroad Co. The Stock was controlled by the Allentown Railroad Co. The track was leased by the P. & R. in November 1860 and then bought out by the P.&R. in 1861. In June 1872, it was merged with the P.&R.

P. 287 During the height of the passenger business during the 1920's only three trains each way ran on the branch and only one went the entire length.

Manada Furnace-Preliminary Report Fort Indiantown Gap Youth Conservation Corps 18 Aug. 1979.

Furnace was built in 1836 In 1856, Manada furnace was the only charcoal furnace in the county. Water power from Manada Creek turned a wheel which operated the bellow that pumped air into the furnace. The water wheel was probably on the northeast corner of the furnace. A bridge from a hill lead to the top of the furnace. Men dumped wheelbarrow loads of charcoal, limestone and iron ore into the top. The ore came from the Grubb's Chestnut Hills Ore Hills or the Cornwall furnace via the Union Canal to Lebanon. From there it was brought by horse to the furnace. The furnace did some casting of products and sold pig iron. The metal was sent to the Swatara railroad station for transport. From 1837-1848 the furnace produced over 22,000 tons of iron.

P. 14-15 The community surrounding the furnace consisted of a general store, the iron master's house a smoke house, boarding house, and twenty two log cabins. The church is still in existence as the United Christian Episcopal Manada Furnace Church

P.15 At the peak of operations, the furnace employed 75 men. Two hundred acres were used for farming for the families of furnace workers.

P. 22 In September of 1861 the furnace workers formed the 46th Regiment, D Company to fight in the Civil War. The company was disbanded on July 16,1865. The furnace was closed in 1875.


But the history of Indiantown Gap dates back almost 300 years to the era of the Susquehannock Indians, descendants of the Leni-Lenape Tribe. These natives were considered by early frontiersmen to be somewhat reconciled. However. records maintained by various groups of that time period such as the Jesuits indicate that as far back as 1647 these Indians had an army consisting of 1300 warriors skilled both in the use at firearms and in some of the European techniques of warfare. Camouflage. fire and smoke signals were also incorporated among their war-waging tactics. When Captain John Smith, a resident of Virginia saw these people, he was amazed at their size. To document his description of these Indians as "Giant-like people. " Captain Smith made sketches of one of the chieftains whose leg measured 27 inches in circumference. However. their size. their army, and their skill in warfare were of little advantage to them when the time came to battle the Iroquois, a tribe which came close to annihilating the Susquehannocks in a war that continued for almost 50 years.

In the early 1700’s the Blue Mountains, part of the Appalachian chain. served as a boundary for the early settlers. According to some of the original land warrants, there were at least four Indian communities in the area of Indiantown Gap at various times. It is from these Indian villages which are located throughout the surrounding areas that Indiantown Gap derives its name. One village was located at the north entrance of the present reservation; another was established at the south entrance. Of the two. the second was comparatively large in size and its inhabitants were considered to be extremely intelligent -- witness some of their artifacts.

During the French and Indian War (1754-1763), the Indians abandoned the area and formed an alliance with The French. To expedite their depredation against the frontier settlements, the Indians utilized the pass which existed between Manada Gap and the Blue Mountains as an entrance to the interior portion. Once they arrived at their destination, murder, burning of buildings, theft of animals, and destruction of crops were not uncommon. Since the question of protection from the Indians fell on the deaf ears of the Philadelphia council, the settlers had no other alternative than to provide their own protection from the Indians by constructing blockhouses and well fortified farms which were used as forts.

Swatara Fort, built in 1775 of logs, now marked BV a bronze tablet. guarded the mass through Swatara Gap. Fort Sugar stood about one mile east of Lickdale. Fort Weidman, the Hess Blockhouse and Fort Brown were in the vicinity of Fort Indiantown Gap.

Since the Indians always struck where they were least expected, the provincial authorities not only had soldiers in the forts and blockhouses, but constantly kept patrols or ranger parties all through the Fort Indiantown Gap area. These rangers greatly reduced the ravages of the Indians and were forerunners of the famed Indian Scouts of later days.

After the French and Indian War, the people returned to their homes in the Fort Indiantown Gap area.

In 1760, the Union canal was proposed, but because of the Revolutionary War, the canal was not started until 1794 and completed in 1827. A dam was placed across the Swatara Gap to feed the canal, but in 1862 the dam broke and was never repaired.

Looking back at some of the early history of the area surrounding Indiantown Gap, it is easy to see why residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have always considered military prestige and readiness to be valuable legacies of their heritage. In 1885, this rationalization prompted the Commonwealth to maintain a training site at Mount Gretna for its National Guard units.




Fort Indiantown Gap's traditional mission as a training site dates back to 1929 when the Pennsylvania State Legislature recognized the need to expand training facilities for the Pennsylvania National Guard. The State Military Reservation Commission was convened to determine whether or not Mt. Gretna was a good place for the Reservation or if new lands should be purchased and set aside as a state Military Reservation.


On December 4, 1930 the commission, chaired by Maj. Gen. William G. Price found that it was not feasible to make further extensive developments in Mt. Gretna due to its proximity to the Civilian population. The State Military Reservation Commission recommended the purchase of the present site of Fort Indiantown Gap because it was suitable for artillery practice, had plenty of water, was large enough to accommodate an entire division and land could be purchased cheaply.


The Pennsylvania State Military Reservation at Mt. Gretna, PA

Around 1880, land in the Mt. Gretna are was leased for training purposes of the National Guard of Pennsylvania. In 1901 some land was purchased by the state and later more tracts were purchased until 25 separate and private tracts had been purchased. Before 1906, there were only about 15 buildings consisting of the range house, three mess halls, a kitchen, and administration building, four storehouses, carpenter shop, target house, stable and an observation platform. By 1930, there were over 307 buildings consisting of 29 dwellings, 45 bath houses, 12 administration buildings, one canteen, one range house, 68 latrines, 85 enlisted men’s mess halls and kitchens, nine officers mess halls and kitchens, one observation platform, one carpenters shop, one blacksmith shop, six storehouses, 27 animal shelters, one grain elevator, one ice house, three target houses, one ordnance storehouse just west of the lake, 4 pump houses, one telegraph office. By 1935 the final amount of buildings was over 340.

There were over 7 ½ miles of macadam roads on the reservation. Drinking water was supplied from artesian wells scattered over the area and pumped into reservoirs, with storage of over 475,000 gallons. Water lines were run to every building needing water, using over 75,8000 feet of water pipe (about 14 miles). Weimer Electric Co. of Lebanon supplied electricity to the reservation until 1924 when Met Edison took over after purchasing Wiemer Electric. Bell Telephone had a 150 drop line switchboard and P.B.X.

The Cornwall and Lebanon Railroad, a branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad, had sidings which were the property and care of the Reservation, about 10,900 feet of rail.

By 1930, a complete sewer system and disposal plant were built using 10 miles of pipe from 6” to 24” pipe diameter.

One of the best athletic fields in the state was built using a natural bowl or ravine just east of the now Timbers. A cinder track twenty feet wide was the center with three sloping walls to seat 5,000 spectators and 1200 athletes for participation in the events.

They had their own lumber mill which cut and produced most of the lumber needed each year, about 41,000 board feet. Also gave wood for cook stoves etc.

Lake Duffy (named for Lt. Colonel Duffy, the first member of the National Guard Engineers to die in the service during World War I) supplied about 22 tons of ice, which were stored there and used by the Guard throughout the next year.

Starting in 1920 with two horses and four mules, breeding started with the presentation of RECOUNT, an imported French station by Colonel H.W. Shoemaker, making it possible to furnish 294 State owned horses to troops in the Guard. Over 700 sets of harness were stored here. Each had to be washed, greased, and dressed.

There were ranges for the 155 mm Howitzer, 37 mm mortars and 50 positions of rifle, 100 200, 300 yards and four 1000 yard positions. Two pistol ranges.

There was a large supply of parts for trucks, wagons etc. Overhaul of these trucks was done here for the whole state. When in 1930 pneumatic tires were installed instead of the old solid tires of the 1917 Liberty trucks, all work was done here in Gretna.

In 1906, the first joint maneuvers of the National Guard and Regular Army were held here. General Fred Grant was in charge and a very good mixing of Regular and National Guard was achieved.

A variety of guns were used at Gretna for training. During the Civil War all guns were muzzle loading except later in the war, a few cartridge guns such a Burnside Sharps were developed that used cartridges. After the war, a lot of muzzle loading 1862-63-64-65 guns were converted to cartridge guns by cutting the breach and adding a so called trap door to put a cartridge in and taking out the empty. It wasn’t until 1892 that a rifle with a magazine was developed. That was the 30-40 Krog. The Regular Army got the newer ones first and handed down the old one to the Guard, so when the Regular Army was fighting in Cuba, they had the Krog but the Reserves (Guard) still carried the old 45-70 trapdoors. There were times when in a fight the Guard personnel were asked to stop firing the old smoky 45-70 so the Regulars could see the Cubans, the 30-40 being smokeless powder.

In 1903, the Springfield was adapted for use. It was used until World War II when the Gerand was adapted. There was some use of the Springfield in World War II as sniper rifles. I have found spent bullets from all these guns, plus .38 and .45 pistol bullets at Gretna.

In 1933, land was purchased in Indiantown Gap, and in 1934 they started moving back to the Gap but continued using the Gretna area for maneuvers until 1941


Carbine, Pistol, Saber, with Pistol Belt and Lariat.

McCleland Saddle, Saddle Blanket, Saddle Bags, Curry Comb and Brush.

Two Spare Horseshoes and Horseshoe Nails

Ammo, Rations, Cup, and Pocket Pin.

Coat and Sleeping Blanket.

Narration and List of Issue Equipment written in 1994 by:

James Hunley of Mt. Gretna, a nephew of BGen and Mrs. Rodman Miller



In 1929, however, when members of the State Legislature realized that an increasing trend toward militarism was developing throughout the world. It was decided that a State Military Reservation Commission would be convened for the purpose of determining whether or not it was feasible for Pennsylvania to improve Mount Gretna or purchase additional lands for a new reservation.

The Commission, established under the -Administrative Code of 1929. was chaired by Major General William G. Price. Other members included Brigadier General Edward C. Shannon, Brigadier General Edward Martin, Brigadier General Frank D. Beary, Brigadier General W. S. McClean, Jr., Brigadier General Robert M. Brookfield, Colonel David J. Davis, Mr. John Longacre, and Mr. Harry B. McDowell.

At a meeting held on December 4, 1930, "It was moved by General Martin, seconded by General McClean, that it was the sense of the Commission that it would be inadvisable to make further extensive developments at Mount Gretna, due to the proximity of the civil population and the danger to the life of the population when troop maneuvers were being held. Further, that it would be advisable for the State of Pennsylvania to purchase enough land at another point where the whole camp could be located, including a complete Division."

From an article published in the May, 1931 issue of THE PENNSYLVANIA GUARDSMAN, it was pointed out that the following were considered to be defects of Mount Gretna as the permanent reservation for Pennsylvania:

1. It was originally laid out with little planning for the future.

2. It will be necessary to greatly expand the Reservation in order to take care of all the troops of the National Guard. The land adjoining the Reservation at Mount Gretna, which is required for expansion, is valuable for agriculture purposes and almost prohibitive in price.

3. By reason of the density of population, it is dangerous to conduct combat firing by the Infantry, and Artillery firing is prohibited.

4. Roads on the Reservation are inadequate, improperly laid out and poorly constructed.

5. Much of the land owned at Mount Gretna is without value for maneuver purposes by reason of the density of the underbrush. The clearing of this land is very expensive and most difficult no keep in condition.

6 In order to teach Close Order Drill, it is necessary to have proper drill grounds. This has never had any attention at Mount Gretna and will be expensive to carry out as much of the ground is rough and stony.

7. Practically all of the buildings at Mount Gretna are temporary structures.

The same article tells us that the Commission decided that the following reasons were justification for acquiring Indiantown Gap as the new location:

1. Combat firing and Artillery practice.

2. Land can be purchased to good advantage and at small cost.

3. The camp can be laid out advantageously for training purposes.

4. Roads can be constructed in order that the camp may be economically and properly served.

5. All the units of the Division could be assembled at one time.

6. There is ample water for the supply of all troops and animals and for bathing purposes.

7. The firing of all arms can be conducted without interruption or fear of injury to civilians.

8. The location is far removed from populated districts.

9. Buildings can be so constructed that the major portion of the supplies and material not in use could be safely stored, and the overhead during the greater part of the year. when the Reservation would not be in use, can be reduced to a minimum.

10. Railroad facilities can be made available.

In 1931. Governor Gifford Pinchot approved the Commission's decision and on April 10, authority was allocated for the acquisition of land in the vicinity of Indiantown Gap. In 1932, the first land for Indiantown Gap Military Reservation was purchased. Located 23 miles east of Harrisburg, 46 miles west of Reading, and l4 miles north of Lebanon, additional land was gradually purchased from local farmers until the total was in excess of 18,000 acres of land in Union Township, Lebanon County and Hanover Township in Dauphin County.

The Installation was used for the first time when the Pennsylvania National Guard's 55th Infantry Brigade held its annual maneuvers at the Reservation in the summer of 1932. The following Year, the 53rd Field Artillery took its training here, and in 1934, the 28th Infantry Division and the 52nd Cavalry Brigade were assembled at The Gap.


4/10/31 Hist 1

In 1931, Governor Pinchot approved the Commission's decision, and, on April 10, authority was allocated for the acquisition of land in the vicinity of Indiantown Gap.


Land was purchased for the Gap beginning in 1932, additional land was gradually purchased until the Gap reached its current size of nearly 18,000 acres.

1932 Hist 1

The installation was used for the first time when the Pennsylvania National Guard (55th Infantry Brigade) held its annual maneuvers at the Reservation in the summer of 1932. 1934


3rd Svc Cmd PAO

The first buildings on the new Reservation were Mess Halls erected in 1934. The Civilian Conservation Corps worked to convert the area into a training camp. During this process, workers found that many of the barns in the area of the artillery range had been built on the foundations of the old fortified barns built during the French and Indian War. Some of the old timbers were still blackened from powder burns. Two cemeteries had to be moved. The bodies were moved to the graveyards at Moonshine Church and Walmer's Church. Stones from some of the old houses that had to be torn down were used to build a large house for the use of the commander of the 28th Infantry Division during annual maneuvers. Marquette Lake, named for Sergeant Charles Marquette, a Lebanon County Native who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, is fed by Indiantown Run and has bass and trout. The 15 acre lake was built in 1939 by Pennsylvania National Guard engineers, the Work Project Administration (WPA) and the Pennsylvania Work Administration.

6/17/39 DAMH

State-owned training camp, 3 miles from Lickdale Landing Field (emergency only) per GO 680.1 (6-17-39)M (Ret). 10/24/40 DAMH National Guard Campsite per AGO letter 24 Oct 40, AG 680.1 (9-11-40)

9/30/40 Hist 1

On September 30, 1940, the State of Pennsylvania leased the Reservation to the Federal Government for $1 a year. NOTE: actual lease gives $1 for entire term of lease

9/30/40 Pennsylvania at War 1941-1945 Pennsylvania State Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, 1946.

P. 20 The War Department took over Indiantown Gap Military Reservation on 30 Sep. 1940. Workers arrived to begin construction ten days later. Originally there were 33 buildings.

10/9/40 Hist 1

On October 9, 1940, construction began... Contracts were let to Ferguson and Edmondson Company, W.E. Trumble and Sons-­both of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Huffman-Wolfe Company of Columbus, Ohio. Gannett, Eastman and Fleming of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, performed the architectural work. During the entire building program Lieutenant Colonel William L. Kay was the Constructing Quartermaster. Thirteen thousand workmen erected 1145 mobilization buildings, 187 theater of operations buildings and 79 permanent buildings. Memorial lake, now a state park, was constructed for amphibious assault training. The post also had a 400 bed hospital housed in 78 buildings covering 45 acres. An army of construction workers descended on the installation When they started there were 33 buildings on the reservation. These were mostly for equipment storage and stables. When the more than 12,000 workers were finished, they had constructed approximately 110 miles of roads, 43 miles of sewer lines, 155 miles of water lines, 1,552 buildings. Of these, 1,145 were designated as "temporary" and were intended to last five to ten years. Fifty years later, these buildings are still designated with a 'T' for temporary.

10/24/40 DAMH

redesignated Indiantown Gap Military Reservation (National Guard Camp Site) per AG 680.1 (9-11-40)M (Ret) M-C dated 10­24-40. (See also General Orders No. 2, War Department, 1941, amended by GO #5, WD June 11, 1941.)


The first buildings on the new Reservation were Mess Halls which were erected in 1934. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) worked to convert the area into a training camp. During this process, workers found that many of the barns in the area of the artillery range had been built on foundations of the old fortified barns built during the French and Indian War. Some of the old timbers were still blackened from powder burns. Two cemeteries had to be moved. The bodies were moved to the graveyards at Moonshine church and Walmer's church. stones from some of the old houses that had to be torn down were used to build a large house for the use of the commander of the 28th Infantry Division during annual maneuvers.

In the Fall of 1939, the peace of the world was once again broken as the relentless German Army spread unimpeded across Europe. As time passed, it was apparent that the United States would assume a role as one of the characters in the European tragedy. In order to prepare for that role, key installations throughout the nation were made ready. Indiantown Gap was one of those.

-On September 30. 1940, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania leased the Reservation to the Federal Government for $1.00. The lease expired on the last day of June 1989 and was promptly renewed. The current lease between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of General Services and the United States of America was made on 12 May 1989 and runs until 11 May 2049 It covers 17,797.22 acres (excluding 1388.93 state-controlled acres) in both Dauphin and Lebanon counties. The cost is $1.00 for the term of the lease.

However, more than just a transfer of state land to the federal government occurred with the federalization of Indiantown Gap. A transition also occurred. The one-time barren area of farm land in an atmosphere of tranquillity was transposed into a city of energetic activity.


On October 9, 1940, construction began with the intention of transforming the Gap into one of the most modern installations in the country. Contracts were let to Ferguson and Demondson Company and W. E. Trumble and Sons, both of Pittsburgh, PA and to Huffman-Wolfe Company of Columbus, Ohio. Gannett, Eastman and Flemming of Harrisburg, PA, performed the architectural work. During the entire building program, Lieutenant Colonel William L. Kay was the contracting Quartermaster.

At its peak, 13,280 workmen were called in to transform the masses of raw material into necessities required to house and train troops in the essentials of modern warfare. They could construct one company street per day. Upon completion, there were 1,145 mobilization-type buildings, 187 theater of operations-type buildings, and 79 permanent-type buildings. Among the principal structures were Headquarters Buildings, three fire stations, two guest houses, a bus station, nine chapels, two service clubs, four theaters with a total seating capacity of approximately 3,500 persons, and a sports arena that could house approximately 4,000.

The station hospital was initially set up on January 27, 1941, in the infirmary building and remained there until March 1, when it was moved to the hospital area (Area 14). The hospital covered 45 acres and comprised 78 buildings. When it first opened, the hospital had 400 beds. There were 39 wards, operating rooms, and a clinic building in the hospital with full surgical, medical, dental and nursing staffs. The first medical detachment consisted of 49 officers, 274 enlisted men and 90 nurses.

Before the "army" of construction workers descended on the installation. there were 33 buildings. They were mostly for equipment storage and stables. When the workers were finished, they had constructed approximately 110 miles of roads, 43 miles sewer lines, 155 miles of water lines and 1,552 buildings. Of these buildings, 1,145 were designated as "temporary" and were intended to last five to ten years. Fifty-five years later, these buildings are still designated with a "T" for temporary.

One of the outstanding facilities provided was a field artillery range which covered a distance of seven and one half miles. The range, which was officially opened on March l9, 1941, when the 109th Infantry went on line, is situated between the Blue and Second Mountains.


11/9/41 3rd Svc Cmd PAO

On Nov. 9, the Post's first chapel was dedicated with the principal addresses by Major General Pratt and J. Buell Snyder of Pennsylvania's 24th Congressional District, Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee.


Realizing the potential importance of amphibious warfare, Army Engineers constructed a large lake on the Reservation at a cost of $288,997. Named Memorial Lake as a tribute to the servicemen and women from Pennsylvania who participated in World Wars I and II, it covers 809 acres of ground and provided perfect facilities for drilling men in the amphibious phases of battle. Today, the lake is used as a recreational facility with fishing and sail boating permitted.


January 1942 Shelter For His Excellency, Le Roy Greene, Telegraph Press, Harrisburg, 1951.

At the beginning of the war, Edward Martin was both adjutant General of Pennsylvania and the commander of the 28th Infantry Division. He lead the division in training at the Gap and later during training in Louisiana. During this time he lived in the fieldstone house near the main entrance of the post. Martin reached the Army's mandatory retirement age of 62 in January, 1942 and stepped down as division commander. He remained on duty with the Army in other capacities until he was selected as a gubernatorial candidate. He was released from federal service to run for office and won easily. Martin's predecessors in the governor's office had been complaining about the executive mansion in Harrisburg for years. Property had been acquired for a new mansion but political considerations and the war had prevented its construction. Martin and his wife avoided the Harrisburg mansion by moving into the House at Indiantown Gap that he had occupied as Adjutant General. They virtually ignored the official residence except for official functions. Martin justified his use of the Indiantown Gap house by the fact that it had been built as a military residence for the Pennsylvania National Guard and that since the governor was commander in chief of the national guard, it was his prerogative to live in it. Using two state owned residences caused some political trouble for Martin, but since he paid $40 a month in rent, which was comparable to other on-post housing rented to military officers, and since he paid for the additional household staff out of his own pocket, the controversy was dispelled. The house was built from stones and timbers from two old houses the firing range. The total cost to the Department of Military Affairs for the house was $36,658.29.



Once the camp was ready for occupancy, the history of the installation then became closely associated with that of the 28th Division whose new standard bearers were inducted from the National Guard into federal service on February 15, 1941. The advance detachments of the 28th Division began arriving at Indiantown Gap on February 17, and various organizations of the Division continued to move in for the next several weeks. During the weeks the 28th Division's personnel were reporting, the Camp was visited by members of the Brazilian Military Mission.

On March 1, the 104th Cavalry (Horse Mechanized), which was attached to the 28th Division, arrived. Indiantown Gap was officially dedicated on March 3. 1941, with a 13 gun salute in honor of Brigadier General Edward Martin, the Commanding General of the 28th Division. With opening ceremonies history, and the Division near its TO&E strength, the troops stationed at the installation settled down to the serious job of preparing for the huge task ahead.

The artillery range was officially opened on March 19, 1941, when the 109th Field Artillery went on line. The range is between the Blue and Second Mountains.

As of April 1, 1941, 1,138 buildings were ready but roads still left something to be desired as an article in the Pittsburgh Roto Press describes: "A sea of mud is the way some persons describe the camp, but it is being conquered by tons of shale." A photo accompanying the article shows men ankle deep in the mud. A glimpse of Army life during this time is provided by the Roto Press article. It gives some interesting statistics about the early days of the post. "If your grocery order gives you a headache, look at this weekly list: 25,000 pounds of beef, 12,000 pounds of pork, 13,000 pounds of fish, 5,000 pounds of beef liver, 300 crates of oranges, 300 crates of grapefruits, 35o bushels of apples, 300 bunches of bananas, 70,000 loaves of bread, 10,000 pounds of butter, 10,000 half-pints of milk, 60,000 pounds of potatoes, 12,000 pounds of cabbage, l,500 dozen eggs." According to the article, the post consumed 500 tons of coal per day during the winter and the cost of outfitting a soldier was $90.00. Reveille sounded at 0615 on weekdays and 0715 on weekends.

The first formal inspection of the new cantonment occurred on March 30. It was made by Lieutenant General Hugh A. Drum, commander of the First Army, and a 17 gun salute was fired in his honor. Major General Henry C. Pratt, commander of the Second Army Corps, accompanied Lt. Gen. Drum on the tour.

In early April the camp was given its first "beauty treatment" when 24,746 gallons of cream and gray paint were obtained to paint the then bare buildings.

On April 5, Governor James visited the camp. He was given a 19 gun salute and then witnessed a full dress review of the 110th Infantry under the command of Colonel Albert King.

The first soldier to die in the Post Hospital succumbed April 10, 1941. He was Sergeant Eugene Kelly, 26, of Scranton, PA, who died of a blood clot in his lung.

Theater service, with the showing of the latest full length films, shorts and newsreels was inaugurated during April. Also in April ten Post Exchanges (PX) opened. These were supplemented later so that there was a PX in each of the 17 areas comprising the camp.

The Post was designated Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, RR 2, Jonestown, PA, by General Order 2, War Department, 14 April 1941.

On April 26, 1941, Gene Autry, the singing cowboy star, gained the distinction of being the first movie personality to entertain on the Post when he gave a show for the Gap soldiers.

In May, 1941, construction work on the largest Army laundry facility in the nation was completed. The $500,000 complex, with a daily bundle capacity of 4,000, was formally opened on June 2. Unfortunately, on March 18, 1944, the most disastrous fire in the Reservation's history occurred and the modern laundry plant was destroyed.

The training activities and the personal activities of the men of the Camp were carried throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by weekly broadcasts over radio stations WACO and WIP, both of Philadelphia; WJAS, Pittsburgh; WBRE, Wilkes-Barre; WGBI, Scranton; and WLEU, Erie. These programs utilized soldier talent to carry the message of the military back to the home front.

The Service Club, a key point for entertainment on the Post, opened officially on May 27, with Mrs. Sylvia Shattuck of Washington as the Senior Hostess. Two days later, the Guest House, where relatives of Servicemen were accommodated for short visits, was ready for occupancy. Three days after that, the Post Bakery was ready to turn out its first products.

The address was changed by General Order 5, War Department. 11 June 1941 to Annville, Indiantown Gap Branch.

MUIR FIELD. On July 12, 1941, the overall training value of Indiantown Gap was improved when the first airplane, piloted by Major Edgar M. Scattergood, Air Officer of the 28th Division, landed on the newly dedicated Muir Field. A modern landing field, Muir Field was constructed with a runway 3,400 feet long and 100 feet wide. It was named in honor of Major General Charles H. Muir, the "Uncle Charley" of World War I days.

By mid- summer, the 28th Division's troops approached battle sharpness and the Division and the 104th Cavalry went to the A.P. Hill Military Reservation in Virginia for maneuvers. Once that test was passed successfully, the units returned to Indiantown Gap Military Reservation to make final preparations for a longer and more intensive test in the Carolina maneuver area.

On November 9, 1941, the Post’s first chapel was dedicated with the principal addresses by Major General Pratt and J. Buell Snyder of Pennsylvania's 24th Congressional District, chairman of the Military Affairs Committee.

1/3/42 DAMH .. Upon departure of 28th Infantry Division from IGMR, the reservation was redesignated a staging area for NY POE and as such becomes an exempted station under command of Commanding General, New York Port of Embarkation per 370.5 (1-3-42) MSC-C-M dated January 3, 1942 as an interim arrangement pending activation of Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. Between January and December 1942, 63,391 troops were processed at the staging area prior to transportation overseas. (OCMH Info Brief 28 Jul 69)

1/10/42 3rd Svc Cmd PAO

With the change, [NYPE] the 1325th Service Unit ceased to operate under that name. Instead, it became known as the Station Complement with Col. James A. Stevens as its Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. Alfred A. Williams, Executive Officer and Major Maurice Shulman, FA, as S-1 (Billeting Officer and later Administrative Officer). Major Shulman was charged with the planning and over-all supervision of the reception of divisions and separate units and preparation for overseas movement.

1/10/42 3rd Svc Cmd PAO

The nature of Indiantown Gap as a military reservation was altered on Jan. 10, 1942, when the Commanding General of the New York Port of Embarkation assumed control and jurisdiction over the Reservation.

7/21/42 3rd Svc Cmd PAO

Indiantown Gap enlarged the scope of its activities on July 21 when the Transportation Corps Unit Training Center was activated. The Training Center was established for the purpose of activating and training the personnel used in Port Battalions.


The disposition of Indiantown Gap as a military installation was changed on January 10, 1942, when Major General Homer Groninger, commanding General of the New York Port of Embarkation, assumed control and jurisdiction over the Reservation. With that takeover, the 1325th Service Unit halted operation under that name. Instead, it became known as the Station Compliment with Colonel James A. Stevens as its commanding officer. Major Maurice Shulman, Billeting officer and later Administrative officer, was charged with the planning and overall supervision of the reception of divisions and separate units and preparation for overseas movement.

This was an interim arrangement pending the activation of Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. Between January and December of 1942, approximately 63,391 troops were processed at the staging area prior to transportation overseas.

At the beginning of the war, Edward Martin was both Adjutant General of Pennsylvania and the Commander of the 28th Infantry Division. He lead the Division in training at the Gap and later during training in Louisiana. During this time he lived in the fieldstone house near main entrance of the Post. Martin reached the Army's mandatory retirement age of 62 in January, 1942 and stepped down as Division Commander. He remained on duty with the Army in other capacities until he was selected as a gubernatorial candidate. He was released from federal service to run for office and won easily. Martin's predecessors in the Governor's office had been complaining about the executive mansion in Harrisburg for years. Property had been acquired for a new mansion but political considerations and the war had prevented its construction. Martin and his wife avoided the Harrisburg mansion by moving into the house at Indiantown Gap that he had occupied as Adjutant General. They virtually ignored the official residence except for official functions. Martin justified his use of the Indiantown Gap house by the fact that it had been built as a military residence for the Pennsylvania National Guard and that since the Governor was Commander in Chief of the National Guard, it was his prerogative to live in it. Using two state owned residences caused some political trouble for Martin, but since he paid S40 per month in rent (which was comparable to other on-Post housing rented to military officers) and since he paid for the additional household staff out of his own pocket, the controversy was dispelled.

The house was built from stones and timbers from two old houses torn down to build the firing range. The total cost to the Department of Military Affairs for the house was $36,658.29.

Upon departure of the 28th Infantry Division from Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, the reservation was redesignated a staging area for the New York Port of Embarkation. As such it came under the command of the Commanding General, New York Port of Embarkation under an interim arrangement pending activation of Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. Between January and December of 1942, 63,391 troops were processed at the staging area prior to transportation overseas.

Indiantown Gap Military Reservation enlarged the scope of its activities on July 21, 1942, when the Transportation Corps Unit Training Center was activated. The Training Center was established for the purpose of activating and training the personnel used in Port Battalions. One of the primary training aids was the presence of two dry-land ships, the SS Manada and the SS Susquehanna.

Major Joseph S. Frelinghuysen of Far Hills, New Jersey was a First Lieutenant with First Army, First Division, when ordered in early July from Fort Benning, Georgia to Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, Annville, PA "the staging area for Army units leaving for Europe." In his book “Passages to Freedom", Major Frelinghuysen describes the camp and departures as follows: "The camp was a veritable city. Row upon row of white wooden barracks in rectangular patterns stretched to the rim of the mountains on the horizon. Unpaved roads and parade grounds separated buildings. Everywhere, the brown, clinging dust blew in the glare of a roasting July sun. Indiantown was gloomy place; I felt in the doomsday mood, the grim specter hanging over the tens of thousands of men waiting for the sentence of banishment that would come with orders to the port of embarkation. The warnings came in sequence; first, all leaves were canceled. Then wives and families had to go home, and men living off the Post moved into barracks. In the last week of July, Emily (his wife) had come to Indiantown to stay at the old Hershey Hotel so we could steal a few of the remaining hours together. On my last night with Emily, she wore an evening dress with a full green and rose colored skirt, and I put on my best garrison uniform .... we had California champagne, lobster, and flaming crepes with ice cream. We danced to same old tunes; Cole Porter's 'Night and Day' and Irving Berlin's tunes from 'Top Hat'. Then they played a new one slowly, and an young girl sang the lyrics to 'The White Cliffs of Dover'). England had been at war for three years", he notes in explaining the song that speaks of "love and laughter" and "peace ever after". "We finished the dance in an embrace. She took my hand and we walked out through the lobby onto the terrace for a last look at the gardens in the pale light of a quarter moon. On 31 July 1942, the 5th Division and the rest of the 1st Division, 17,000 strong, went by rail to the New York Port of Embarkation, where we 'boarded the new battle-gray Cunard-White Star liner, Queen Mary."


Extract from "Life in Fredericksburg During the 1930's and 1940's

By Charles L. Strouphar, Sr. as published in 'The Lebanon County Weekenders Stories", Published by Cover Story, Kapp Advertising Service, Inc -- January 10-11, 1998

The war put the Indiantown Gap on the map. As the different units were assembled and trained, they would leave by convoy for East coast ports to ship out. Route 22 went thru town, and we would sit on the curb and watch the

trucks go by At the same tine, army half-tracks with radio signal finders would station themselves at various locations throughout the area. As it turned out, they finally caught a spy who lived along Route 22 east of the county line, who would radio to German U-boats every tine a convoy would pass through. The 3rd armored division was stationed at the Gap a longer period than any other unit. As was the case with each unit, some of men had their wives with them and rented rooms in town. My father was a Deputy Game Protector at the time. Many of the men from the 3rd armored staying in town were hunters, and soon became friends. They visited at the house with their wives and many an evening was spent telling stories and sampling some of the homemade wine my Dad made. I remember a Floyd Guidry from Mississippi a Sam Feldman from Chicago, and Roland (Preach) Miller and Virginia from Parkersburg, W. Va. I contacted them some time ago, they were surprised I remembered them. Some of the men who stayed in town were killed in action. The 77th or Statue of Liberty Division was hard hit, and most if those if not all who had rented rooms in town were killed.


On November 15, 1942, the US Government purchased 64.298 acres of land in Lickdale, PA for a railhead. The Lebanon and Tremont Branch of the Reading Railroad Company ran from the main line of the railroad in Lebanon through Jonestown to this railhead, terminating at Suedberg, Schuylkill County.

The Port commander retained control and jurisdiction until December 1, 1942 when that authority was turned back to the commanding General of the Third Service command. However, official correspondence and authority for that change did not reach Indiantown Gap Headquarters until late in December.

During that year and in the first few months of 1943, Indiantown Gap handled soge-qf the great IGMRhting units which have made their mark in the final of military history. Included among these (in addition to the 28th Division) were the gallant 37th (Buckeye Division which carried the brunt of America's early land operations in the Southwest Pacific, the 98th Division, the famed lst Division, parts of the 5th Division, the 3rd and 5th Armored Divisions and the intrepid 77th (Statue of Liberty) Division, whose dogged determination played a key role in enabling General Douglas Mac Arthur to gain a new foothold on Leyte.

With the removal of Indiantown Gap from the authority of the Port commander, the 1325th Service Unit was reactivated.

The first major fire on the installation occurred on February 27, 1943 at the Noncommissioned officers' club (Building 9-63).

On April 6, 1943, the Army Emergency Relief opened its office to Provide speedy and efficient help for needy soldiers.

The photographic sub-laboratory was established per Commanding General, 3rd service command on July 20, 1943.

Indiantown Gap's first detachment of the Women's Army Corps (WAC) was activated August 15, 1943.

On March 18, 1944, the most disastrous fire in the Reservation's history occurred when the modern laundry plant was destroyed.

Under Secretary of War Robert Patterson visited the Post on April 1 and inspected the 95th Division, then in training here.

On May 5, 1944, the Transportation Corps Training Center was redesignated the Army Service Forces Training Center.

Attendees at the 36th Annual Governor's Conference, in session at Hershey, PA, visited the Reservation on May 28 and watched a review by troops of the 95th Division. Colonel King was awarded the Reilly Medal at this ceremony in recognition of his 40 years of continuous service with the National Guard.

A prisoner of war camp was active from June, 1944 until the spring of 1946. Over 1,200 German and Italian prisoners were interned here.

On June 20, 1944, the Third Service Command Staging and Assignment Center was organized on the Post.

The Division Area of the Post was reestablished in an active status and reclassified from a Class II to a Class I installation under the command of the Commanding General, 3rd Service Command, effective as of October 18, 1944, under the provisions of Circular #306, WD, 1944. This is in accordance with AR 170-10 and WD Circular #425, dated 31 Oct 44.

The Army Service Forces Personnel Replacement Depot Section was transferred to Indiantown Gap Military Reservation from Camp Reynolds, PA on December 11, 1944. Brigadier General Jesse A. Ladd, who had been the Commanding General at Camp Reynolds, was named to the same position here. Colonel Taliaferro was selected Deputy Post Commander, with Colonel Russell C. Snyder as Commanding Officer of the Replacement Depot and Colonel F. E. Ambrose as the Commanding officer of the ASFTC.

On January 25, 1945, Indiantown Gap's first camp newspaper, "The Tomahawk", published its initial issue. The name was selected after a camp-wide contest in which 318 names were submitted. The winning name was submitted by four enlisted men and an officer.

The officers and men of the camp subscribed $652,523.92 for the sixth War Loan Drive.


On May 8, 1945, V-E Day proclamations were issued by Major General Philip Hayes of the Third Service Command and Brigadier General Malcolm F. Lindsey of the Reservation. General Lindsey addressed all Post officers at a gathering at the Sports Arena.

On May 11, it was announced that the Army Forces Replacement Depot would be transferred from Indiantown Gap to Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Simultaneous with this announcement, it was revealed that Indiantown Gap would become a War Department Personnel Center, with a Reception Center, a Reception Station and a Separation Center.

On May 12, 1945, Major General Philip Hayes of Third Service Command, and Brigadier General Malcolm F. Lindsey and Governor Edward Martin reviewed the camp's assembled troops in a special ceremony as the Medal of Honor was presented to Mrs. Cora Roeder of Summit Station, Pennsylvania.

The nation's highest military award was won by her son, Captain Robert Roeder for outstanding heroism in Italy.

The Military Personnel section started its screening of Post soldiers eligible -for discharge under the War Department's newly inaugurated "point system".

May 13 was observed as a Day of Prayer at the Camp in accordance with the desire of President Harry S. Truman. Special services were held in all chapels.


12/4/45 3rd Svc Cmd PAO

The Hospital covers forty-five (45) acres and comprises 78 buildings. When first opened the Hospital had 400 beds. This later was increased to the planned capacity of 1200 beds. There are thirty-nine ( 39) wards, operating rooms and a clinic building in the Hospital with full surgical, medical, dental and nursing staffs. The first Medical Detachment consisted of 49 Officers, 274 Enlisted Men and 90 Nurses.

Like the other lakes on post, Memorial Lake was originally built for training soldiers in amphibious assault techniques. Constructed in 1945, the 85 acre lake has since become a state park. Also fed by Indiantown Run, the lake contains bass, northern pike, hybrid tiger muskellunge, perch, bluegills and catfish.

1945 "Fort Indiantown Gap SoundOff" December 1992

With all the furor going on about finding American POW's in foreign countries, it is surprising when four POW's show up, German POW's that were held in this country during World War Two. Hermann Peters, Erich Gilster, Andreas Neuhauser and Ernst Rinder visited post on September 16, 1992. The group of former German POW's showed up at USAG Headquarters looking for someone who could show them the area's they had been kept in as prisoners in 1945. The four men and their wives, along with two American friends whom had arranged for them to visit toured the Gap, visited familiar sites and shared stories of their imprisonment during W.W.II. "We didn't think we'd ever come back," said Ernst Rinder, who was able to interpret for his friends who spoke varying degrees of English. Rinder who moved to America after the war and now lives in Lancaster has had the opportunity to visit the Gap in the past but said that he had only been here a few times. "It is more active now than then," he said. The former POW's were very excited when they visited the place that they had been kept during W.W.II, a grouping of barracks with a field in the middle in area 10. They had many memories of the time spent there. The field that was between the barracks was their sports field and they recall many games played there. The field is now fenced and occupied by Army vehicles. While walking around the area they had been housed in they shared many stories about the time they had spent there. Hermann Peters remembers the black soldiers taunting them from the other side of the fence. "They would call 'Hail Hitler' at us from the other side of the fence and raise their arms in the German salute," he said. Peters remembers being sent out to farms to help the farmers. "We would get up at 5:30 in the morning and would be counted and marched to work on nearby farms." Although they were allowed visitors from American relatives, association with the locals was discouraged. They also were not allowed to receive any outside news. "We had no access to papers, news", said Rinder,” a few ham radio operators would pass on victorious American news, but we mostly learned what was happening by what the new prisoners could tell us about what had happened since we were captured and where the front line was when they were captured." The Germans had a wide variety of stories to tell about their time as POW's, most of which were good. Erich Gilster who was a 23-year-old parachutist in the German Air Force recalls that it wasn't until he arrived in America that he was fed well and allowed to take a shower. "I was glad when I was captured," said Ernst Rinder, “I had been wounded three times already." The hardest part of being captured for Gilster was that his family didn't know what had happened to him. But the guards eventually let them write to their families and prisoners were encouraged to contact American relatives, said Gilster. One POW shared a story about how the prisoners relieved boredom before they were sent to the Gap and the work camps here. "The guards brought bread in paper bags in a big basket. When we had eaten our bread we would, huff huff huff, and boom! the bag would pop!" said Erick Gilster who was captured in 1944, with a laugh. They remembered working in the chow halls that were in three big buildings, one of which was bldg 5-115. Their memories of the Gap vary from church services in the post chapel to hauling coal in the winter for the furnaces. The Gap was not the only place that they visited while they were in America. They spent most of their time at the former site in Stewartstown where they were sent to work, as Stewartstown was a branch of the base camp at the Gap. Stewartstown was a summer tent city between June and October in 1944 and 1945. The winters were spent in area 10. The Germans were not only happy to see their old quarters here on the Gap, but also got the treat of examining a Harley Davidson motorcycle belonging to LTC Michael Nicholson, the acting Post Commander. They had just visited the Harley Davidson factory in York the day before said their friend and host, Margaret Shaub. Ft. Indiantown Gap, known then as the Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, was one of the largest camps in Pennsylvania with an average POW population 1,260, according to statistics of the National Archives and Records Service in Washington, DC

4/30/46 DAMH

The Station Hospital is discontinued effective 30 April 1946- per GO #50; HQ. Third Service Command, Baltimore 2, Md., dated 19 April 1946.

4/30/46 DAMH

Effective as of 30 April 1946, the WD has placed IGMR in an inactive status - per ASF Cir. #132, dated 29 May 1946.

6/12/46 DAMH

Effective 12 June 1946, IGMR is reclassified as a class I installation under the jurisdiction of the CG, Second Army, iaw WD Cir. #138, 1946 - per WD Cir. #169, dated

11 June 1946.

Foregoing is rescinded. Effective 25 Sept. 1946, IGMR is reclassified as a class I installation under the jurisdiction of the CG, Second Army, iaw WD Cir. #138, 1946 - per WD Cir. #292, dated 25 Sept. 1946.

12/1/46 Hist 1

Training Center inactivation was announced on December 1, 1946.

6/30/48 DAMH

2102d ASU, IGMR reorganized under T/D No. 202-1102 (30 Sep 47), HQ. Second Army, Fort George G. Meade, Md. Same reorganized under T/D No. 202-1102, Second Army, Fort George G. Meade, Md., dated 29 Feb 48. 2102d ASU Station Complement (Caretaker) reorganized under T/D No. 202-1102, HQ. Second Army, Fort George G. Meade, dated 30 June 1948.



On May 31, 1945, it was announced that the Separation Center would begin operation on June 10. In June the Post was designated as a separation center for soldiers from Pennsylvania, Ohio and lower Michigan. From June 10, 1945 to March 23, 1946 over 449,569 troops spent their last days as a soldier at the Indiantown Gap Military Reservation.

The formal activation of the Separation Center and the Reception Station took place on July 1. Colonel George P. Seneff was named Commanding Officer of the Separation Center and Major Willis K. Whichard was Commanding Officer of the Reception Station.

The Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League defeated the Indiantown Gap team 8 to 0 in a game on July 9 at Muir Field.

Brigadier General Malcolm F. Lindsey presented the Medal of Honor to Mrs. Leona Bell Turner of Nescopek, Pennsylvania on July 11, 1945. The medal was won by her son, Sergeant Day G. Turner.

The Training Center was designated as an Assembly Station for Adjutant General troops on July 19.

The news of the unconditional surrender of Japan on August 14, 1945, was received with rejoicing by camp soldiers. V-J Day proclamations were issued by Major General Philip Hayes of the Third Service Command and Brigadier General Malcolm F. Lindsey of the Reservation. General Lindsey addressed all Post Officers at a gathering at the Sports Arena. "The Tomahawk" issued a special edition to mark the occasion.

A sweeping reorganization of the Separation Center was announced on September 13, 1945, and the center was divided into three units: two of which were to handle enlisted personnel and the third for exclusive handling of officers. In mid-September, the discharge rate of the Separation Center passed the 1,000-a-day mark for the first time.

Three members of a Congressional committee visited the Post on September 28 and 29 to view the operations of the Separation Center. The Congressmen were Rep. Robert L. F. Sykes (D, FL); Rep. J. Leroy Johnson (R, CA) and Rep. Chet Hollifield (D, FL).

Transfer of the Indiantown Gap Reception Center to Fort Meade, MD, was announced on October 11, 1945.

The Separation Center attained an average of 3,000 releases a day for the final week of October, when 22,526 separatees were processed.

Staff Sergeant Norvill Griest of Philadelphia had the distinction of being the 200,000th soldier discharged at Indiantown Gap when he was processed for separation on November 20, 1945.

The inactivation of the Training Center was announced on December 1,-1945. The announcement brought to a close the vital role that the Training Center had played in the conduct of the war from July, 1941 until the present.

The Station Hospital was discontinued effective April 30, 1946, per General Order #50, HQ, Third Service Command, dated April 19, 1946.

Effective April 30, 1946, the War Department had placed Indiantown Gap Military Reservation in an inactive status per ASF Circular #132 dated

May 29, 1946. Effective June 12, 1946, IGMR is reclassified as a Class I installation under the jurisdiction of the Commanding General, Second Army in accordance with WD Circular #138, 1946 and WD Circular #292, dated September 25; 1946.

On June 11, 1946, the foregoing was rescinded. Effective September 25, 1946, IGMR is reclassified as a Class I installation under the jurisdiction of the

CG, Second Army in accordance with WD Cir. #138, 1946 and WD Cir #292, dated Sept 25, 1946.

Inactivation of the Training Center was announced December 1, 1946.


On June 30, 1948, the 2102nd Army Service Unit was reorganized under Table of Distribution 202-1102 (30 Sep 47), HQ, Second Army, Fort George G. Meade, MD. It was reorganized under T/D 202-1102, Second Army, Fort Indiantown Gap. George G. Meade, MD, dated 29 Feb 48. 2102nd Station Complement (Caretaker) reorganized under T/D 202-1102, HQ Second Army, Ft. George G. Meade, MD, dated 30 Jun 48.


Whatever Happened To Those Forty And Eights? By Lt. Col. (Ret) Manuel A. Conley, USA (This article was published in the January, 1983 edition of The Retired Officer Magazine. It is reprinted here by the author's permission.)

They arrived in American aboard an ocean freighter on Feb. 3, 1949. During two wars they had served France as dual-purpose railway haulers of the military cargoes stenciled on their sides: "Hommes 40-Chevaux 8." But now the stubby little boxcars held neither men nor horses. Instead, each was crammed with precious gifts for the United States of America. All had been recently decorated with plaques bearing the coats of arms of the 40 provinces of France. Across their sides, upon the tri-colored bands, was printed the name of the enterprise for which they stood-on one side "Train de la Reconnaissance Francais" and on the other "Gratitude Train."

The Train was an expression of thanks from the citizens of France to the people of America for aid rendered during and after World War II. This aid had reached soul-stirring intensity in 1947 when some $40 million in relief supplies were collected in the American Friendship Train for shipment to war-stricken France and Italy. The project, initiated by newspaper columnist Drew Pearson, resulted in the distribution of more than 700 carloads of food, fuel and clothing to Europe's homeless and destitute. Not an official government program, but rather a grass roots, people-to-people effort, the American Friendship Train carried personal contributions from individuals in every part of America. It was the American Friendship Train that inspired a rail worker and war veteran named Andre Picard to suggest that France reciprocate. His original idea was to present the United States with a decorated Forty and Eight boxcar loaded with gifts representative of his country--wines from Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and the Loire Valley; white lace headdresses from the Brittany-Normandy hills; perfumes and hats from Paris; and clay Immures from Province. A local veterans organization adopted the proposal, and a committee was established to solicit gifts. The response from the citizenry was immediate and overwhelming. Despite the economic hardships brought by years of war, hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands, came forward with gifts of gratefulness.

As press and radio spread the story, the project gained national momentum. The government announced its official approval; the French Academy issued a ringing endorsement' and hundreds of professional, social and fraternal organizations asked to participate. Clearly a single boxcar would not be enough. Superseding the local committee, the National Headquarters of the French War Veterans Association took control and decided to fill 49 cars with gifts. One would go to each of the 48 states, and the 49th would be shared by the District of Columbia and the territory of Hawaii. During the summer of 1948, volunteers manned collection stations in cities, villages and countryside's, while all across the nation, trainmen scoured rail yards, sidings and depots for Forty and Eights.

The selection of these superannuated boxcars as merci carriers was a thoughtfully appropriate choice. Not only did their use allow an exchange of train for train, but the Forty and Eights themselves possessed symbolic significance. During World War I, millions of khaki-clad Yanks, carried by steel Pullman sleepers to Atlantic ports, landed in France to find awaiting them these rickety wooden cars. Built between 1872 and 1885, the 12-ton, 29-foot, four wheeled rail carriages were first used as general-purpose freight haulers, then later converted to troop and animal transports for wartime service. With their protruding button type buffers and chain-link couplings, the antiquated conveyances appeared at once exotic and outlandish to their combat-bound passengers.

The Americans were alternately enchanted and disgusted, intrigued and infuriated by the little dual-purpose cars. Sometimes they were just plain confused. In The Doughboy-The Story of the AEF, Laurence Stallings tells of one sergeant who reported to his leader: "I got all my 40 artillerymen in the boxcar, lieutenant. But if you try to put eight of our horses in, somebody's going to be trampled to death." In the 1920s, some veterans, with memories of fateful rail journeys across France, formed a fraternal group which took its name from the cars. Established as a subsidiary of the American Legion, La Societe des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux included thousands of Voyageurs Militarire organized at the national, state and local levels. Following World War II, its membership was bolstered by a whole new generation of veterans who remembered with mixed emotion the rough-riding old cars.

But the lading of amity carried by the Gratitude Train was not intended for one exclusive group. These ornamented Forty and Eights were consigned to all the people of America, just as they had been dispatched to all the people of France.

Although many in that war-ravaged country had little but sentiment to offer, more than six million families helped to fill the cars. Most of the 52,000 carefully packaged and crated gifts were worth little in money, Yet, some were priceless. They included childish drawings on rough, yellowed paper; puzzles mounted on cardboard frames; ashtrays made of broken mirrors; worn-down wooden shoes; hand-crocheted doilies; battered toys; the original bust of Benjamin Franklin by the great French Sculptor, Jean Antoine Houdon; a jeweled Legion d'Honneur once presented to Napoleon; the bugle which signaled the Armistice signing at Compiegne in 1918; 50 rare paintings; a Louis XV carriage; and the first motorcycle ever built.

And there was more. The Society of Parisian Couturiers contributed an exquisite set of 49 little mannequins dressed in fashions from 1706 to 1906. The president of France donated an equal number of delicate Sevres vases. One of the Marquis de Lafayette's descendants presented his ancestor's walking stick. A disabled veteran offered a wooden gavel he had carved from a tree in Belleau Wood. There were new bicycles and old bicycles and just bicycle wheels. A church in La Courtene surrendered its bell; the city of Lyon provided dozens of silk wedding dresses; and an anonymous donor chipped in a set of black lingerie intended "for a beautiful blonde."

According to newspaper accounts, as the Forty and Eights were being painted, one poor woman rushed past the workmen and announce, "I have nothing else to send. I will send them my fingerprints." So saying, she pressed her fingers into the fresh paint. As one American was later moved to remark, "They gave so much from their little, while we gave so little from our abundance."

By the end of 1948 the boxcars were filled to capacity. The train, carrying more than 250 tons of gratitude, was assembled at Paris and pulled to the port of La Havre for transshipment to America. Even as the Forty and Eights were being loaded aboard the merchant ship Megellan, more presents poured in. More than 9,000 gifts had to be left behind on the docks.

When the Megellan reached its destination, The New York Times reported "a din surpassing that afforded the maiden arrival of an ocean passenger queen." Greeted by a flotilla of small boats, the gaily beflagged freighter, emblazoned amidships with the huge inscription "Merci, America," steamed proudly into New York Harbor while overhead waves of Air Force planes roared by in aerial salute. As the port resounded with ringing bells and wailing sirens, escorting fireboats turned their powerful nozzles skyward and sent towering columns of spray into the wintry sunlight. For a few glorious moments, the once-humble ore carrier was the envy of her country's merchant marine. The ship docked at Weehawken, N.J., and the following day unloaded through the voluntary services of local stevedoring companies. Normal customs procedures were waived: President Truman had signed into law a special resolution permitting the train and its cargo to enter the United States duty free. Since their wheels were about eight inches wider than American rails, the Forty and Eights were hoisted onto flatcars for their overland journey. Trainmen the sorted them into three sections for shipment to the South, West and New England. In the meantime, the New York car was placed aboard a lighter and transported to Manhattan where it was trundled up Broadway amid swirling ticker tape as 200,000 people roared a tumultuous "you're welcome" to the people of France. For the next several weeks, similar scenes in varying degrees of magnitude, were repeated throughout the nation.

As far as practicable the Forty and Eights, hauled without charge by the Association of American railroads, were routed to retrace the movements of the Friendship train; and one by one, they were delivered to the various state capitals. In city after city, dignitaries assembled, parades were held and thousands gathered to witness the colorful ceremonies. All across the nation, Americans went all-out to welcome France's Merci train.

Each state established committees to catalog and distribute its share of the cargo. In most cases the gifts were initially exhibited in capitals or major cities and then sent on state-wide tours. Afterwards, the were distributed in a variety of ways. A few, addressed to specific individuals or institutions, were delivered in accordance with the sender's wishes. In some states, the contents were sold at auction and the proceeds given to charities; elsewhere, selected items were turned over to veterans hospitals, orphan homes, schools and churches. Articles suitable for permanent display were generally placed in state and private museums, libraries and other public institutions. Some of the gifts posed particular problems. For example, many of the cars contained young oak and beech trees intended to serve as "living reminders of the enduring friendship between the French and the Americans." But Department of Agriculture experts, recalling disastrous experiences with Dutch elm disease and Japanese beetles, eyed the little trees with suspicion. Citing federal quarantine laws, they ordered the seedlings placed in state observation plots for at least two years before they would certify them for permanent planting.

At least two states came up with novel methods for bestowing the wedding ensembles sent by the City of Lyon. In Oregon, senior high school girls vied for their state's dress by entering an essay competition on the value of the Friendship and Gratitude trains, while in Connecticut, a state wide measuring -in contest was held for 175 June brides-to-be. The lucky New England Cinderella not only received the wedding outfit, but also prizes from sponsoring Hartford merchants, which included a free honeymoon trip to Lyon so she could personally thank the donors. In certain instances special presentations were made. Among the articles in the Vermont car was a statuette of a catamount, which by coincidence was the mascot of the University of Vermont athletic teams. It was given to that school at its annual sports banquet with the provision that each year on Bastille Day, a cablegram of greeting be sent to the president of the Amateur Athletic Association of France from the university's team captains.

In the New York car, a reproduction of the famous Joan of Arc bell, specially cast for the Gratitude Train by the City of D'Annecy, was found marked for Cardinal Spellman to place as he saw fit. At a solemn ceremony attended by hundreds, the 500-pound bell, engraved with the inscription "I am the ambassadress that sings gratitude and friendship," was turned over to New York's St. Patrick's cathedral. It was hung at the right side of the church, just inside the main entrance alongside the American flag which had flown above the battleship New York at Pearl Harbor.

The territory of Hawaii had no problems with the distribution of gifts. Its boxcar, which was supposed to be shared with the District of Columbia, first stopped at the nation's capital enroute to the future island state. There, before moving on, the Forty and Eight was emptied of everything. Hawaii (which had sent two carloads of sugar in the friendship train) got a boxcar full of packing straw.

As for the Forty and Eights themselves, little difficulty was encountered in finding suitable homes. Most were entrusted to veterans organizations; some were placed in museums; some incorporated into memorials; others given to fairgrounds and city parks.

One state, however, did run into unexpected complications. The Missouri Forty and Eight was scheduled to be exhibited at the state’s Capitol Museum, but it was just 15 inches too long to fit inside. Lacking alternatives, state authorities parked the car where they thought it would be most secure: inside the walls of the Jefferson County State Penitentiary. There the immured boxcar sat for almost a year, until bailed out through the joint efforts of the Missouri Pacific Railroad and the Forty and Eight Society. Moved to the fairgrounds at Sedalia, its dignity was restored with a fresh coat of paint and a permanent site for display. Over the years it has remained there, a major historical attraction to Missouri fairgoers.

Nebraska's car wasn't so lucky. Shunted from place to place, it went first to the State Historical society, then to the Nebraska Forty and Eight organization, and finally to the fairgrounds. In 1951, an attempt was made to return it to the Historical Society, but they didn't want it. So for $45 it was sold to an Omaha junkyard, its wheels and metal parts pounded into scrap and its body converted into a storage shed. Its humiliation finally ended in 1961, when the yard was relocated and the car demolished. The gifts from the train, scattered to a thousand places, are almost impossible to trace. Some, like the Joan of Arc bell given to St. Patricks have simply disappeared. The bell was removed a few years ago when the cathedral was renovated, and now church officials have no idea what became of the "ambassadress that sings of gratitude and friendship." Nor does anyone know the whereabouts of the catamount statuette presented at the 1949 sports banquet. The ritual of sending an annual Bastille Day greeting, if it ever was observed, has long since been discontinued. And most of the young trees, like those shipped in the Nebraska car, failed to survive the rigors of the North American climate. It is known that scores of museums and libraries around the country still exhibit, or at least store, items sent in the train. But for the most part, time has blurred the connection between these articles and the undertaking which brought them.

Today there are no fewer than 39 cars from the Gratitude Train on public display. They, and many of the gifts they carried, still serve to remind us of that splendid gesture sent by the people of France almost half a century ago.

After WWII, the Adjutant General, Lieutenant General (then Brigadier General) Frank A. Weber was appointed the administrator of the Post so the training of Guard and "Organized Reserves" could be carried out more efficiently. In 1948, General Weber handled the quartering of more troops than there were in the entire Second Army in an experiment to get maximum use of the Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, which had been idle year round except for two weeks of summer training. General Weber repeatedly boasted that he could put an additional 10,000 under canvas. No other state in the country had such an ambitious peacetime camp schedule as that conducted by General Weber from mid-June to early September, 1949. This was the result of the success of the previous year’s venture. The Gap became known as a "furnished house" for more than 30,000 National Guardsmen and Organized Reserve soldiers from Pennsylvania and neighboring states. As Lieutenant General Leonard T. Gerow, then commander of Second Army summed it up, "This is something we all talked about for years as an ideal training set-up ..... then Bridgie Weber does it without batting an eye.


Realizing that the Korean Emergency was going to require the training of thousands of men, General Weber instigated a personal campaign to have the Indiantown Gap Military Reservation reactivated for this purpose. He realized that the Government and the Commonwealth would mutually benefit if the spacious Reservation were used for training. Here existed an ideal encampment that would "fill the bill" and give hundreds of Pennsylvanians gainful employment. The Department of the Army recognized the extensive benefits of activating "The Gap” and concurred with General Weber in this regard by official orders for activation of the Reservation on 23 January 1951 under the federal government’s jurisdiction.

The Reservation was to be ready for occupancy by February 1, 1951 and on March 1, 1951, the US Army Hospital, IGMR, was authorized to operate at 100 beds, per letter from the Office of the Surgeon General.

On March 4, 1951, Department of the Army General Order Number Six, established the Fifth Division (Training) at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation with its initial complement. Returning to its role of a training center, manned by the 5th Infantry Division, it ultimately trained some 32,000 soldiers for duty in Korea.

General Weber, as Reservation Advisor, in cooperation with the US Army Corps of Engineers, managed to instigate an immense "face-lifting" program in June, 1951. The facilities of the large post were in a state of serious neglect due to the fact that no major maintenance projects had been undertaken since World War Two. The face-lifting program called for the painting and renovation of all buildings. A total of $53,788,624.20 in Federal funds was expended or obligated during this period on the rehabilitation of Indiantown Gap Military Reservation. Roofing costs were over half a million dollars. All of these “temporary” buildings were painted -- white with green trim, General Weber’s favorite colors! During the period of June 25, 1951 through August 31, 1952, civilian payroll was $4,497,418.63. Communications cost $128,827.61. 5th Infantry Division (Training) gave IGMR a military population of over 17,000 troops. During mobilization for the Korean Conflict, regular training for the National Guard was carried out simultaneously.

1/23/51 DAMH

Effective 23 January 1951, Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, Annville, Pa., was returned to active status to be ready for occupancy 1 Feb 51, per radio, DA, 42437 (Jan 51),

26 Jan 51. (See also GO 3, Department of the Army, 6 Feb 51 and GO 66, HQ Second Army, 5 Mar 51.)

3/1/51 DAMH

US Army Hospital, IGMR, had 100 beds authorized for operation on 1 Mar 51, per letter Office Surgeon General, File MEDDD-DO 632.2, 2 April 51.

3/4/51 "Indiantown Gap Military Reservation,"

pp 7-9 The Pennsylvania Guardsman, Vol. 54 No. 4, Winter, 1954

On March 4, 1951, Department of the Army General Order Number Six set up the Fifth Division (Training) at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation with its initial complement.

General Weber, as Reservation Advisor, in cooperation with the US Army Corps of Engineers, managed to instigate an immense "face-lifting" program in June, 1951. The facilities of the large post were in a state of serious neglect due to the fact that no major maintenance projects were effected since World War Two. The face-lifting program called for the painting and renovation of all buildings.

A total of $53,788,624.20 in Federal funds was expended or obligated from this period to the present time on the rehabilitation of Indiantown Gap Military Reservation. Roofing costs were over half a million dollars. During the period of 25 June 1951- 31 August 1952, civilian payroll was $4,497,418.63

Communications cost $128,827.61

5th INF DIV (TRAINING) gave IGMR a military population of over 17,000 troops. During mobilization for the Korean conflict, regular training for the National Guard was carried out simultaneously.

The Tomahawk, Indiantown Gap, July 10, 1953 P. 1

The training mission of the 5th "Red Diamond" Division ran from March 1, 1951- September 1, 1953. The last 5th Div. unit to train at the post was the 46th Field Artillery which completed training August 3, 1953.

3/15/51 DAMH

2102d ASU, US Army Hospital, IGMR, organized in accordance with T/D 62-2102-1 effective 15 Mar 51 per GO 71, Headquarters Second Army, 7 Mar 51

8/8/51 DAMH

US Army Hospital, IGMR, authorized 1200 beds for operation 8 Aug 51 per letter Office Surgeon General, File MEDDD-DO 632.2, 10 Aug 51.

11/1/51 DAMH

US Army Hospital authorized 250 beds for operation as of 1 Nov 51 per letter MEDDD-DO, Office, Surgeon General, 15 Nov 51.

6/26/52 DAMH

300 beds authorized for operation as of 26 Jun 52 per letter Office, Surgeon General, MEDDD-DO 632.2 3 July 52.

2/5/53 DAMH

250 beds authorized for operation as of 5 Feb 53 per letter Office, Surgeon General, MEDDD-HO, 632.2, 6 Feb 53.

9/1/53 DAMH

Reservation placed in inactive status effective 1 September 1953, per GO 44, DA, dated 22 May 53.

2/5/53 DAMH

250 beds authorized for operation as of 5 Feb 53 per letter Office, Surgeon General, MEDDD-HO, 632.2, 6 Feb 53.

9/1/53 DAMH

Reservation placed in inactive status effective 1 September 1953, per GO 44, DA, dated 22 May 53.


The training mission of the 5th "Red Diamond" Division ran from March 1, 1951 through September 1, 1953. The last 5th Division unit to train at the Post was the 46th Field Artillery which completed training on August 3, 1953.

IGMR returned to an inactive status effective September 1, 1953. At that time, the Headquarters of the Pennsylvania Military District became a tenant agency. The headquarters was moved from Schuylkill Arsenal in Philadelphia, with the primary mission of administering the Army Reserve and ROTC programs throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


September 57 Hist 1

In September, 1957, when military districts were abolished, the XXI US Army Corps was reactivated at Indiantown Gap with the mission of supervising and administering the Army Reserve Program in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Shuey Lake was built in 1958 for amphibious training. It is a six-acre warm water pond with bass and crappies in it. The lake is named for Master Sergeant Perry R. Shuey, a native of the Indiantown Gap area who was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in World War One.

7/1/68 Hist 1

XXI Corps inactivated and its mission was transferred to First United States Army at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. At that time the United States Army Garrison assumed responsibility of the post.


To September of 1957, when Military Districts were abolished, the XXI US Army Corps was reactivated at Indiantown Gap with the mission of supervising and administering the Army Reserve Program in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and the District of Columbia. The Corps was inactivated on July 1, 1968, when its mission was transferred to First US Army at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. At that time the US Army Garrison became the Active Army's chief representative on the Post.

From 1962 to 1972, Indiantown Gap was the host installation for the Nation's largest Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Advanced Summer Camp. During that period, 42,158 cadets completed six weeks of intense training, and 4,931 were commissioned as Second Lieutenants. However, in 1973 with the nationwide decrease in ROTC enrollment, the Advanced Camp was transferred to active army installations.

In 1972, the Pennsylvania Air National Guard moved several units into Areas 1 and 2. (ADD DETAILS)


The Vietnam Village was constructed by military and civilian labor at a cost of "a few hundred dollars". Colonel Bernie Johnson, Garrison Commander, came up with the idea to "provide the most realistic training that can be given." The village was built in 1968 and doubled in size in 1969.

The village is entered through a gate in a fence that encircles the compound. Inside is a typical Vietnamese home, on poles above the ground. Under a mat inside the hut, is an escape door which leads down through a pile of hay that the Vietnamese use to feed animals in a pen extending under the house. A little further on there is a well. Filled with water, it appears to be normal. However, below the water line there is an entrance to a tunnel system. This tunnel system extends to a house built on the ground and makes its entrance to a section between the regular wall and a false wall placed inside. Additional tunnels take off to other parts of the village. Another tunnel leads outside the fence, one tunnel has an entrance and exit in the base of an idol in the building that serves as a temple. Altogether, there are about 1,500 feet of tunnel in the area.

One construction consists of a mud hut, built similarly to adobe buildings in the desert area. A tower in the center is for observation and for sniper and machine gun emplacements. An addition was the community house. Similar to a dormitory, it would house visitors. The village even has palm trees (actually models made of poles, burlap, wire, grass and sheet metal scraps). Leaving the village, trainees and visitors walk along a trail where objects are on exhibit showing how the Viet Cong kill and maim. Each object is exhibited to show how it operates; how these simple installations can kill or injure a soldier who is not alert. The entrance to the trail begins with a breakaway bridge. A soldier trying to cross a stream the easy way would drop through because his weight would break the span, throwing him onto razor-sharp punji sticks. As the trail continues, it passes by other exhibits, each roped off to avoid injury. Explanations at each show how the device operates and how the enemy uses it.


Indiantown Gap was officially dedicated on March 3, 1941, with a 13 gun salute in honor of General Edward Martin, who by then was the Adjutant General of Pennsylvania as well as the 28th Division commander. Many military and political officials wanted to name the Gap in General Martin’s honor, but he declined. General Martin liked the name “Indiantown Gap” so he insisted that it be named Indiantown Gap Military Reservation (or IGMR) because of the former Indian villages that had occupied the area.

In the early 1970’s, unbeknownst to those National Guardsmen stationed at the IGMR, some well meaning veterans organizations had the name changed by the State Legislature to “Edward Martin Military Reservation”. Road signs were changed, but those Guardsmen at the Gap continued to call it Indiantown Gap Military Reservation - or IGMR - because they were well aware of General Martin’s personal wishes. The controversy (if it could be called that) was resolved when, on May 1, 1975, the Secretary of the Army announced an official name change. Henceforth, “IGMR” was to be known as “Fort Indiantown Gap” -- and so that official name continues today.

During 1972, unbeknown to the officials at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, the State Legislature changed the name of the reservation to Edward Martin Military Reservation, in honor of General Martin. Despite the fact that General Martin personally selected the name of Indiantown Gap in 1930 because he wanted to preserve the connection of that land with Indiantown Gap in the bordering Blue Mountain, and also because of the Indian villages that once were there. Others at that time wanted to honor General Martin by naming the reservation for him, but he rejected the name change. Still, well meaning veteran organizations encouraged the State Legislature to enact the name change, strangely, without the knowledge of any of the officials at the Gap. Because those at the Gap were personally aware of General Martin’s desire, the name, although officially changed, never "caught on" because no one at the Gap was willing to use it. Then, May 1, 1975, the controversy, if it could be called that, was resolved when the Army changed the names of all posts to include the word "Fort", and the name of Indiantown Gap was retained as Fort Indiantown Gap.


11/17/75 Indiantown Gap Military Reservation was named Edward Martin Military Reservation by a state law signed by Governor Schaeffer. This name change was not recognized by the federal government. The Name was changed to "Fort Indiantown Gap" on May 1, 1975. The announcement of the Name change was made on April 28, 1975 by the Secretary of the Army who said that the change was being made to add prestige to the post and the soldiers who trained at it. According to an article in the Nov. 19, 1975 Harrisburg Patriot, the State passed a law that recognized "Fort Indiantown Gap" as the official name


When Vietnam fell to the Communists, many Vietnamese fled from that country to save their lives. The Department of State set up refugee camps at different military installations in California, Arkansas, Florida and Pennsylvania. Thus, Fort Indiantown Gap overnight became a resettlement camp. From May 28, 1975, to December 15, 1975, a total of 22,228 (my memory is 32,000) Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees were housed at IGMR until being processed for resettlement in this countries. Because of the proximity, numerous Asian families were sponsored by churches and individuals in Lebanon, Lancaster and Dauphin Counties. (White tape surrounded the areas in which the Vietnamese were housed. They were told that they were not allowed outside that boundary and they scrupulously observed that rule.)


5/28/75 conversation with MAJ Bird 22 Apr 76:

From 28 May 1975 to 15 December 1975, 22,228 Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees were resettled through IGMR in addition to training activities. The "Task Force New Arrival" mission was handled by 1, 900 members of the active Army and 450 civilians in addition to the US Army Garrison


We'll leave this beautiful camp with too much sadness and sorrowness that have never faced before. We shall dispose behind us all souvenirs, such as unbreakable and impossible to clear up from our best memories forever. They'll bear in our good mind up to the last breath of our lives even though the warm welcome and much helpful from our new friends in this lovely country. Of course, the majority of American's people were refugee since the previous days, not different from our case that we are the latest refugee came from Cambodia. Only the refugee knows better how difficulties, miserable, and suffering and sorrow in life that the refugee have faced. That's why we found no proper words enough to express our true heart to the American who is kind enough and try their best to help too much. We are grateful to you and pray a lot for LORD JESUS CHRIST help you to succeed everything in life. We still have a strongly expect to see you again. Good bye. AMERICA NOT TOO BIG.

Thiem Tech Kong and friends

Found written on the outside wall of barracks 5-18

on 11 December 1975

by 1LT Gary D. Carlson

In April of 1980, Fidel Castro decided than anyone who wanted to leave Cuba would be allowed to do so. Cubans living in the United States organized the "Freedom Flotilla" and Castro used this opportunity to rid himself of undesirables. Although President Jimmy Carter agreed to let 3,500 refugees enter the country, the final count was about 125,000. Carter decided to let them all stay. This huge number of refugees overwhelmed the processing centers set up in Florida, and Fort Indiantown Gap was once again pressed into service as a resettlement camp.

FORSCOM notified First Army on May 11 that it was considering IGMR as a processing center. Brigadier General Grail L. Brookshire (who, later after this assignment, died of cancer) was named as Task Force Commander. Robert Adamcik was appointed coordinator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). {or could he have been from State Dept?} The PaANG was assigned the task of processing the arrivals at the HIA, and Army chartered school busses would meet each aircraft to take the refugees to Fort Indiantown Gap. A Spanish speaking sergeant was assigned to each bus to welcome the Cuban passengers and to help direct them to the proper processing area once they arrived at the Fort. The 193rd Group was advised that the initial shipment of Cuban refugees would be only a small contingent, once each day for the first five days, to give everyone an opportunity to make sure the arrival and processing procedures were as efficient as possible. The first flight of 325 people arrived in Harrisburg on May 18, immediately followed by many other jet transports off loading the Cubans. The slow beginning was not to be because the system became immediately saturated. By May 24, the Air guard and Army personnel had handled 10,209! In fact, between May 18 and May 31, a total of 19,003 refugees were processed at IGMR. Families, juveniles and unaccompanied females were separated from single males. Many of these refugees were thankful to be in the United States, the land of the free. However, there was the “bad element” intertwined with the peaceful refugees, many of whom had been convicts in the Cuban jails that Castro released and shipped them out just to get rid of them from Cuba. These hardcore convicts and tough guys caused damage to the buildings, created so much turmoil, and became so difficult to handle that the Immigration and Naturalization Service was forced to construct a detention area in Area Six that was surrounded by a chain link fence and concertina wire.

Due to the fact that IGMR is leased by the Federal Government, and the Commonwealth retains jurisdiction for civilians, the Cubans placed a large burden upon the law enforcement agencies of the State, as well as the court system. Another problem that occurred was due to the fact that there was not enough facilities to confine the criminals. The United States government did not expect so many criminals and was unprepared for them. When refugees committed crimes in the refugee population, they might be detained, but then lack of space would force their release into the general population. During the initial processing period, 389 refugees were transferred to Federal Correctional Institutions for crimes committed either in the US or based upon criminal records in Cuba.

A large part of the criminal problem was attributable to mentally disturbed refugees in the population. These patients were treated by the Department of Health and Human Services, but were not removed from the general population. The crowding and stressful conditions only aggravated the problem.

Unfortunately, during the beginning of the operation, because of the overload caused by the tremendous influx of refugees, resettlement got off to a poor start due to procedural problems between the Department of State and the voluntary agencies that were assisting in the resettlement.

As resettlement occurred, the percentage of problem refugees grew proportionately. During the month of July, the number of incidents grew. The unaccompanied males were beginning to escape and several refugees were apprehended off Post. The local civilian population was becoming increasingly angry about the problem. A threat was made against the Cubans unless steps were taken to control them better. BG Brookshire asked for more military police units to assist. During this period of growing tensions, the State Department took over operations from FEMA., and Harry T. Johnson was named Director of the refugee center on July 15, 1980.

In August, out placement dropped and violence increased. Several Cubans broke into a local tavern. The next day, as Federal Protective Service officers were conducting a search for weapons, a confrontation broke out and one of the officers was accused of mistreating a pregnant woman. This lead to a major riot. 500 refugees broke into a dispensary, supply room and three dining halls. During the riot, one refugee received a massive head wound and later died as a result of his injuries.

Members of the 519th Military Police Battalion and an Infantry company from the 82nd Airborne Division, both of whom were on hand to provide support for annual training, and the 2nd Brigade of the 28th Infantry Division that was on Post for annual training helped quell the riot. Because of the riot, a battalion from the 82nd Airborne Division was assigned to provide a Direct Reaction Force.

The refugee center at IGMR attracted international attention with reporters from Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico, The Netherlands and Sweden joining reporters from throughout the United States. One unexpected problem that occurred was due to the fact that many of the refugees had not used flush toilets before. At first they would not flush them and then later tried to wash their clothes in them. This practice resulted in a large amount of clothing and other personal items entering the sewer system. This practice was eliminated through education and by providing the refugees with wash tubs and hoses. However, the Cubans used 200 gallons of water per day per person, which was of concern since Pennsylvania was experiencing a drought at the time.

When the refugee camp was finally closed, damages to the buildings and equipment were estimated at $2 million. Total costs were $24.9 million.



Ribbon Cutting To Mark Opening of Headquarters, Pottsville Republican, August 15, 1975. Cost: $475,000 Construction began in 1974 Readiness Group was located in area 14.

RG became operational in July, 1973. Commanded by Col. Thomas E. Walters.

On August 15, 1975, the dedication of the Readiness Group facility was held. The $475,000 construction was completed which allowed the Readiness Group to move from Area 14.

5/24/77 Tribal Complex (From PAO files) Dedicated May 24, 1977 Cost: $1,717,000 Construction began in October, 1975.

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on August 7, 1976 for the construction of the Army Aviation Support Facility at IGMR

***** (Expand) also, ground breaking was probably earlier than 1976).

5/17/75 Aviation Facility To be Dedicated

Lebanon Daily News May 10, 1975 P. 28. Groundbreaking ceremonies held on 7 AUG 1976 Construction completed May 1975 Dedicated 17 May 1975 Operational in June 1977 Cost = $3.5 million Dedicated to Capt. Donald B. Toth, a former National Guard Aviator who was the first Pennsylvanian soldier to be killed in Vietnam. 44,000 square foot hanger 24,500 square feet of shop space 72 acre complex. 33 acre landing area The facility consolidated aviation activities formerly located at Allentown, Lancaster and Capitol City Airports. It was the largest of its kind in the nation at the time of its construction. The facility supports over 300 crewmembers and approximately 90 helicopters assigned to the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. In addition, twelve units with over 1,000 personnel receive support from the facility. Most of these units are assigned to the 28th Infantry Division's Aviation Battalion. 1991 77,000 sorties 13,000 flight hours as of 23 Aug 92 124 Pilots and ground crew 89 aircraft UH-1H Iroquis OH-6 Cayuse OH-58 Kiowa CH-47 Chinook C-12 Huron

The Tribal Complex (the housing area for the Active Component troops here at the Post) was dedicated on May 24, 1975. The cost was $l,717,000.

On September 14, 1976, 675 acres were deeded to the Department of Veterans Affairs for use as a national cemetery.

The Eastern Army Aviation Training site (EAATS) was opened on August 1, 1981 to train aircrews in fixed wing aircraft and cargo and utility helicopters. The facility would be under control of the National Guard Bureau.



MISSION: To train aircrews in fixed wing aircraft and cargo and utility helicopters, as directed by the National Guard Bureau.

The EAATS trains Army Reserve Component aviators from units throughout the United States on both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft. In addition, over 1,500 aviators each year train on Cobra and UH-1 (Huey) helicopter simulators.

The EAATS complex, located next to the Aviation Support Facility, consists of four buildings housing the flight simulators, classrooms, a medical examination facility, headquarters building and a 60-room aircrew dormitory with a dining facility. Staffing: 145 full-time personnel Flight training simulators ;UH-1 Iroquois; AH-Cobra; UH-60 Blackhawk (planned); CH-47D Chinook (planned); Planned facilities ; 2nd aircrew dorm; Expanded training & support facilities


On October 1, 1963, Fort Indiantown Gap became a sub-installation of Fort George G. Meade, MD. This was done as part of a cost-cutting plan mandated by the Department of the Army. The move transferred many administrative functions to Ft. Meade.

The Regional Training Site-Maintenance was dedicated on October 19, 1985. It was built by Post engineers to train Army Reserve and Army National Guardsmen to repair tracked vehicles, wheeled vehicles, generators, etc. The first unit to train here was the 969th Heavy Equipment Maintenance Company who was represented by about 25 soldiers.


PENNSYLVANIA NATIONAL GUARD MILITARY MUSEUM, FORT INDIANTOWN GAP. Concept developed about 1984 by Maj. General Frank Smoker, then Commander, Pennsylvania Air National Guard, the plan developed with others, proposed to and approved by the Adjutant General Major General Richard M. Scott. A museum committee provides overall support, with technical guidance being provided by the Curator, Charles _________, of the Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg.

In the autumn of 1986, this barracks, located at the intersection of Service Road and Wiley Road, became the home of the first Pennsylvania National Guard Museum. Operating hours, one Saturday each month ---------.

Special tours may be arranged through Lt. Col. Joseph Holt, chief, Administrative Services, DMVA, telephone 861-8850.

It was fitting that the location selected was chosen to be former Barracks Building , number T-8-57, a typical barracks building that saw use during World War II, and during the Korean and Vietnam wars, when it was home for a platoon of about 80 soldiers.

The “T” represented that this was an Army “Temporary” barracks when it was built in 1941. Temporary structures designated with a “T” were envisioned to last for five years. This barracks, and others at Fort Indiantown Gap, have more than met that goal, considering the fact that this building, and other “T’ buildings are now over 55 years old.

The museum building is currently undergoing a “sprucing up” with painters working outside getting the barracks in shape in time for the 28th Division reunion in September.

A portion of the museum is set up “the way it was” in the early 1940’s when the barracks was first used. Originally, there were nine to 12 beds across each side and on both floors, depending upon whether they were single beds or double bunk beds. On the end were cadre rooms where the sergeants would stay. The narrow beds were either made up with lines and blankets (one of each, OD -olive drab - green) issued to the soldiers, or for some inspections, the blankets, sheets ,etc. were folded into a neat pile on to of the bare bed.

There was room beneath the bed for two footlockers, and either a wall rack or footlockers were provided by the Army. However, the Army did not provide any amenities -- the floors, walls and ceilings are bare wood, and there were no window blinds or curtains on the 12 pane windows.


Upgrading Community Club Capacity. 1988 Fort Indiantown Gap SoundOff

Vista Room Bob Hartman originated idea in 1988 "I always figure you save 50% by doing it yourself." "We went over the $20,000 mark, Marti had to absorb some of that in her budget this year." The main reason that the project went over budget was because e the club was billed by the engineers for some things that they had thought would be paid for by engineering. "In non-appropriated funds they have what they call CAP projects, which are capital purchase, minor construction. This was really a minor construction.” "She needed a room for the 50-100 guest parties. In the ball room there's too much commotion from the rest of the club." "The guys that really gave us a good help are the three reservists from the 1079th that were here. They really got the ball rolling. They tore down the old walls and they put up the studs for the new one. That was a big help. I couldn't have done that by myself. They were here for two weeks annual training but the funny thing about that is they weren't carp enters. One was a truck driver, one was an electrician and one was a sheet metal worker. They did a super job." "Probably the hardest thing was working on the ceiling, because I didn't have anybody to help me too much." "Marty has two high school kids that helped quite a bit." "I have to put in a hallway to the ladies' room, and Marty wants to put mirrors on the posts and I have a little bit of outside work to do." Had a professional come in and re-do carpeting. "I volunteered. I told Marty I would help. (With the understanding that there would be some other help). It really turned out nicer then I thought it would. Marty gave me free lunches while I was working on it."


Operation Golden Thrust 88, or OGT88, was the largest peacetime mobilization exercise since WWII. Approximately 4,000 Army Reserve and National Guard troops from 16 units converged on the Gap to participate in the major exercise to test the mobilization process. This First US Army exercise involved a 12-state region of mid-Atlantic and New England states. IGMR is one of 12 mobilization stations in the region. The total exercise involved about 24,000 troops from 115 reserve component units. According to Major Joel Sloss, a IGMR mobilization planner, OGT88 gives mobilization planners a chance to see if mobilization plans are valid. “We do this exercise as we have said we would in our mobilization plan. The beneficial part, when it's over, is that we will be able to recognize some of the shortfalls and make modifications to the plan to make it smoother in the future”, Sloss said. OGT88 was designed to test the accuracy and readiness of mobilization plans, policies and procedures as well as the administrative and logistical supporting systems of Reserve and National Guard units. The exercise required units to undergo several administrative procedures to ensure that personnel and equipment are prepared in the event of mobilization. The primary mission of IGMR personnel during a mobilization, Sloss said, is to "determine if individual soldiers, units and equipment are ready to deploy to a theater of operations”. Units will complete their two-weeks annual training at IGMR and no units or equipment will deploy overseas. If a soldier or unit does not meet minimum standards for deployment, then the Gap's various directorates will try to provide equipment, training and personnel services to bring them up to acceptable standards.

In December of 1989, the 303rd Field Hospital from St. Louis, Missouri became the first unit in the nation to use the Army's new portable field hospital equipment in a cold weather environment. The equipment is located at Fort Indiantown Gap’s Regional Medical Training Site which was dedicated on November 6, 1989.


In the Fall of 1990, Fort Indiantown Gap began mobilizing Reserve Component units which had been called up for Operation Desert Shield. During that operation and subsequent operation Desert Storm, approximately 2,500 soldiers from 15 Army National Guard and Army Reserve units were deployed from IGMR. The Garrison conducted personnel and finance processing and provided logistical and administrative support for the units, while the Readiness Group-IGMR conducted intensive training in military skills. During the demobilization phase, the installation processed 27 Reserve Component units for return to their home stations.


The proposal to realign or close IGMR sneaked up on the population again in 1991. Every several years since 1976, the Regular Army had tried to either close or, at least, realign the Post.

The Garrison staff first learned of this most recent proposal to close Fort Indiantown Gap when a Harrisburg radio station called the Public Affairs office at 11:30 am on May 31, 1991 asking for an official reaction to an Associated Press story announcing the news. The Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC), a group of civilians appointed by the President and Congress to study installations of all branches of the military and make recommendations to President Bush, had just added 36 installations to a list submitted by the Department of Defense. The Gap was one of the additions and this news was to have been announced at a press conference that day. However, the Associated Press ran the story several hours prior to the scheduled news conference.


Fort Indiantown Gap, Ft. McCoy, WI, Ft. A. P. Hill, VA, Ft. Buchanan, PR and Camp Picket, VA, were all added to the list to study the feasibility of transferring the posts to the Army's reserve components. In the case of Indiantown Gap, that would mean the Pennsylvania National Guard, which originally established Indiantown Gap as a training area in the 1930's. "I have said all along that we won't rubber-stamp the Defense Secretary's proposals." BRAC chairman Jim Courter said in a press release announcing the additions. "And I have cautioned everyone not to assume that their installation is safe just because it is not included in the Pentagon's report."

The commission's list was announced shortly after a US Representative from New Jersey, Jim Saxton, testified to the commission that Ft. Indiantown Gap and Ft. A. P. Hill are "Old fashioned, World War II-era bases that have limited military value." Saxton's district includes Ft. Dix, which the Pentagon slated for closure.


The announcement that the Gap would be considered for realignment set off a flurry of activity locally. With the demobilization of Desert Storm troops and equipment still underway, local officials prepared to make their case that the US Army Garrison should remain in charge of the Gap.

On June 17, Major General Sajer, the Adjutant General of Pennsylvania; U.S. Senator Harris Wofford, who had been appointed to fill the remainder of the term of the late Senator John Heinz; Representatives George Gekas and Robert Walker; State Senator David Brightbill; former Air Guard Commander, General Frank Smoker; and Lebanon County Commissioner William Carpenter all presented testimony to the Commission in support of maintaining the Garrison at the Gap.

Key points during the testimony included the fact that the Army studied the possibility of turning the Post over to the National Guard several times in the past, most recently in 1986. Each time it was conclusively proved that such a move would not result in cost savings. General Smoker also pointed out that many functions currently performed by the Garrison would still have to be performed by the Guard, so the costs to the government would remain constant. Congressman Walker told the panel that the average cost to train a soldier at Fort Indiantown Gap was only about $186 per year. He also pointed out that Pennsylvania had already been hard-hit by the draw downs with five military installations in the state already targeted for closure.

The Adjutant General, Major General Gerald T. Sajer, briefed the Commission on the wide variety of training conducted here, the facilities available on Post, and the capabilities and limitations for training and mobilization. He also stressed that Fort Indiantown Gap was a “no frills” Post, with adequate training facilities but no extra amenities.

Much of General Smoker's testimony concerned the location of the Post. Smoker pointed out how much training time Reserve Component soldiers would lose if they had to travel farther from their home stations for weekend and annual training. He stressed the tremendous military value of the Post. He also indicated that since Harrisburg is a rail and highway hub, and since the Gap is close to all of the major northeastern seaports, it is in an ideal location for shipping troops and materiel during mobilization.

U.S. Senator Arlen Specter conducted a tour of the Post on June 25. Specter was hosted by General Sajer and the Post Commander, Colonel David Bell. "The main purpose of my visit was to take a first-hand look at the installation," Specter said. After a brief tour of the facilities [and PHOTO OPPORTUNITY], he met with Guard and Garrison officials.

Specter sent a memorandum to the BRAC summarizing the findings of his tour. "I know Congress must make cuts in the defense budget," the senator said, "But I don't want to see us weaken our national defense posture with unwise cuts. The Gap has proven itself time and again." [Ed note: this part gives too much credit to Specter, who, except for his photo opportunity at the Gap, did nothing of any substantive importance.]

The testimony of those mentioned apparently was persuasive because the Commission voted to delete Fort Indiantown Gap from its list of bases to be realigned when it made its final recommendation on June 30.

"Ours is an unenviable task," said the Commission Chairman. "Not everyone will agree with our decisions, but I'll guarantee one thing; we'll be fair”. As federal employees and area politicians breathed a sigh of relief, some were thinking about the next time. "We can't rest on our laurels," Smoker was quoted as saying as he flew back to Lebanon, "It'll probably come up again."


9 May 1994

Subject: Economic Impact Analysis and Base Review

Prepared for the Total Army Basic Study

To: Members of the TABS Group

Mr. Blackledge

Major Shumate

Lt Col McNabb (OCAR)

1. On behalf of the Military Affairs Committee of the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce, we are pleased to provide a synopsis of our Chamber’s efforts regarding our analysis and study of the very significant military and economic value of Fort Indiantown Gap. We believe this data will prove very useful in the conduct of your evaluation in the Total Army Basic Study as it may affect Fort Indiantown Gap. Our study was made mainly between November 1992 and February 1993 so as to be prepared for the eventuality that we would testify before the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission if Fort Indiantown Gap were placed on the 1993 BRAC list.

2. As part of this report to you, we thought it might be helpful to provide a brief background of the Fort Indiantown Gap situation. In early 1991, the Military Affairs Committee had serious concerns that Fort Indiantown Gap might be included on the base closure list for 1991.

a. We were relieved when Secretary Cheney did not include the Fort on the list. However, about two months later, on 31 May 1991, we were surprised by the sudden announcement by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission that Fort Indiantown Gap was to be included, after all, on the list of potential bases for review for either closure or transfer to one of the Army’s reserve components. Through Congressman Robert Walker’s efforts, a task force was quickly established and several of us went to Washington and testified before the BRAC Commission.

b. It was touch and go for a while, but ultimately the Commission decided not to include the Gap on the 1991 closure list. This successful result was partially due to our strong testimony and also because of an ongoing Reserve Components study, so that the Commission decided to omit the Gap from further consideration during the 1991 session.

c. Although we were successful, we had only had about ten days to prepare our testimony. Therefore, as a lesson learned, we started early, in November 1992, to prepare the necessary data to testify if it became necessary during June 1993. Fortunately, as it turned out, Fort Indiantown Gap was not included on the 1993 list. Nevertheless, we were ready and in the course of our study, we developed a considerable amount of material, a portion of which we are now providing to you.

3. Document 1, dated 19 February 1993, is our final product which recommended status quo. It emphasizes the distinct military value of the Gap. It explains our rationale for recommending status quo. It also emphasizes how the Fort’s activities tie in with, meet, and indeed, exceed the final selection criteria established by the Department of Defense. Attachment #1 to this document contains a complete summary of Fort Indiantown Gap’s capabilities to support training. This summary also includes insight into future plans for the Gap.

4. We realize that it is not a viable option to emphasize the economic impact of base closures or realignments because every base subjected to closing has the same traumatic difficulty to one degree or another. However, we developed Document 2 (a series of spreadsheets, dated 23 February 1993) so as to be able to provide information to the public, and especially members of the Chamber of Commerce, about the tremendous economic value of Fort Indiantown Gap on our community.

5. Document 3, dated 23 February 1993, is entitled “Likely Scenario if Fort Indiantown Gap were Realigned under either PAARNG or RCC”. It contains our analysis of the severe economic impact and the detrimental effect on readiness that could occur if realignment would come to pass. This impact would be considerable if the Army were to withdraw its assets and realign the Fort under the National Guard. Due to this severe impact, you can easily understand why we strongly recommended status quo, i.e., maintain U. S. Army Garrison at the Gap with no change its present mission.

6. Document 4, dated 9 May 1994, has been prepared to demonstrate the impact upon the unemployment rate for the geographical area of Fort Indiantown Gap versus the Department of Labor’s standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) which we understand has been established by FORSCOM as the basis for determining the economic impact.

a. This MSA includes Lebanon, Dauphin and Cumberland Counties. However, examination of the map of central Pennsylvania quickly demonstrates why Cumberland County does not fit within the geographical area of the Gap.

b. Apart from the considerable geographical distance of Cumberland County from Lebanon County, the demographics of Fort Indiantown Gap’s workforce indicate that the workforce is made up mainly of personnel residing in Lebanon County (about 50%), Schuylkill County (about 31%) and Dauphin County (about 12%). The balance of 7% come from a scattering of 14 other counties, of which only a very few personnel (.01%) reside in Cumberland County.

c. The spreadsheet points out how the MSA statistics skew and distort the economic impact upon the geographical area (identified in this document as GSA) of Fort Indiantown Gap. Indeed, when the unemployment rates of the MSA are compared with GSA, the MSA rate is only 5.0 percent versus the GSA rate of 6.5 percent. Moreover, assuming a loss of 660 personnel as a result of realignment (see Document 2), using only the MSA totals, the unemployment impact indicates only a 0.2 percent increase to 5.2 percent. On the other hand, the actual impact on Fort Indiantown Gap’s GSA is far more severe because the revised unemployment rate jumps dramatically from 6.5 to 6.7 which is 1.5 percent higher than the MSA rate.

d. In view of this large discrepancy using the Department of Labor’s MSA, it is strongly recommended that all economic and environmental statistics (including employment and unemployment rates, salaries, per capita income, other financial data, etc.) be based upon the geographical area of Lebanon, Schuylkill and Dauphin Counties. We realize that nearly all labor statistics are geared to the Department of Labor’s MSA, however, use of the standard MSA will greatly skew and distort the results of the study. Incidentally, this same situation arose during FORSCOM’s environment impact study in 1976-1978, and after we pointed out this discrepancy, FORSCOM eventually changes its statistics and revised the study to confine statistical data to Lebanon, Dauphin and Schuylkill Counties. We mention this to point out that there is precedence for this change.

e. Also included in Document 4 is a copy of the Department of Labor’s statistics for the Pennsylvania Civilian Labor Force Data by County of Residence, dated 10 March 1994.

7. Document 5, dated 27 January 1993, is included mainly to provide the strategy, objective and rationale we developed in the course of “saving Fort Indiantown Gap”. Based upon our study of previous situations, with which we had personal knowledge, wherein the Army has been trying to get the National Guard to take over the operation of the Fort Indiantown Gap, we determined -- as did the Army’s studies -- that no cost savings would actually accrue. Also included is the DOD Final Selection Criteria and the BRAC schedule for informational purposes. These criteria remained the same for 1991 and 1993, so they will probably remain the same for the 1995 Base Realignment and Closure Commission.

8. Document 6, dated 4 January 1993, provides the initial strategy we developed. It contains the objective, background and details about the BRAC Commission. The main purpose of this document was to provide the results of our research to the Military Affairs Committee and others who were interested in assisting our committee in its efforts to “save the Gap”.

9. Document 7 consists of several recent newspaper articles that may prove of interest. The first concerns an announcement about a few small Army Reserve units at the Fort that will be affected by the 1993 BRAC list. The second, third and fourth articles reflect the local newspaper’s editorial concern and interest in informing the public about the business and economic value of the Fort to the local community. Interestingly enough, the fifth article, Catch 22, indicates that the Clinton administration may delay base closings because of the high costs involved.

10. To summarize the pertinent points of our findings and analysis concerning the military value of Fort Indiantown Gap and the economic impact upon the community:

a. Fort Indiantown Gap is a “no frills” post, operating with outstanding cost effectiveness, thus producing a bargain to the tax payers on the return for the investment of federal training dollars. As a result of its exceptional efficiency, in 1992, the Fort trained over 177,000 quality soldiers for a remarkable total of 788,467 training days at a spectacularly low annual cost of only $153.60 per soldier.

b. The Fort’s strategic location, resulting in less travel to the training facility, means significant savings of tax dollars. Thus, the Fort’s central location to the largest concentration of Reserve Component troops in northeastern United States, closer than any other existing reserve training facility, contributes largely to these cost savings.

c. The Fort’s modern, unique and significant training facilities contribute to its cost effectiveness, resulting in the accomplishment of high level readiness training. Some of the most unique functions include an artillery range and a tank firing range; a large, modern ammunition storage point; the largest Reserve Component helicopter training facility in the United States, including two highly sophisticated helicopter simulators (with an additional two more soon to be installed); and an Air Guard tactical air-to-ground range which incorporates a special Military Operations Area (MOA) with 30 millimeter ammunition, rockets and bombing capability (this range is one of only 15 in the United States). (See Attachment #1, A Summary of Fort Indiantown Gap Capabilities to Support Training, Document 1 for complete details.)

d. We are also aware of the fact that, as the armed forces are being downsized, and as the numerous base closures occur, increased reliance will be placed on the reserve components. Therefore, the need for efficient and cost effective reserve training facilities (of which there are precious few even now) will be even more in demand than ever before. Thus, Fort Indiantown Gap’s unique and outstanding training facility will increase in importance because of its capability to provide the necessary high quality training of the reserve forces at very reasonable costs.

e. Another example of the Fort’s cost effectiveness is based upon the historical fact that the Fort’s maintenance and repair costs are very low: approximately only 40 cents per square foot compared to $2 and more per square foot at other installations. Although many of the buildings are old wooden structures, a typical World War II barracks can be completely renovated for $100,000; whereas, demolition and new construction (replacement) would exceed $400,000 per building. An interesting fact: as of 28 January 1993, the original cost and improvements for the post was $29,814,095. Today’s replacement costs would be approximately $344 million.

f. In previous studies in 1976-78, 1981, 1983 and 1985, the Army concluded in each case that the most economical situation was to maintain the status quo at Fort Indiantown Gap. These studies confirmed there would be little or no savings in federal funding if realignment were to take place.

g. In addition to the economic and training aspects, the Fort’s mobilization mission must not be overlooked. In the event of mobilization, 125 units (29,641 soldiers) are projected to be mobilized at Fort Indiantown Gap, with the projection programmed to increase to 156 units (33,542 soldiers) by fiscal year 1995. Historically, the Fort has successfully served as a mobilization station during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War (refugee center for refugees from Southeast Asia), in 1980 (refugee center for Cuban refugees) and Dessert Shield and Dessert Storm.

h. Another important consideration is the quality of the workforce. Examination of the personnel who work at Fort Indiantown Gap indicates a strong work ethic and tremendous stability of the workforce.

i. As of 23 February 1993, considering all of the U. S. Army and Army Reserve units, and the Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guard units, and many other miscellaneous tenant units stationed at the Gap, there were 2,005 full-time personnel employed at Fort Indiantown Gap, with an annual payroll of approximately $67,395,301. In addition, the weekend training and annual training of the Reserve and Guard personnel who were assigned to these units at Fort Indiantown Gap amounted to a payroll of nearly $14 million. These personnel costs, coupled with the operations and maintenance costs of all of these Guard and Reserve units, results in an annual grand total of over $114 million in federal funds being available to the local economy.

j. We strongly recommend that the geographical area of Lebanon, Schuylkill and Dauphin Counties be used for all economic and environment statistics to provide a more accurate assessment of the economic situation for Fort Indiantown Gap. Conversely, we recommend that the MSA not be used for this study because the inclusion of Cumberland County clearly distorts and skews the actual economic statistics.

k. Summary: threefold consequences of realignment:

(a) Economy. Realignment could result in the potential loss of 666 positions of one kind or another, representing a payroll of over $20.3 million. Unemployment through the loss of over 600 jobs, and the subsequent loss of federal personnel salary funds and operations and maintenance funds to the local economy, would result in a very serious economic impact to the local economy.

(b) Training. Without the presence of the U. S. Army Garrison, which would cause the elimination of all functions supporting the present level of high quality training, the overall readiness will deteriorate. Manpower spaces and supporting federal funds for operations and maintenance are vitally necessary to maintain the current high level of training provided to Reserve Component units at Fort Indiantown Gap.

(c) Mobilization. Loss of all functions without the U.S. Army Garrison at the Gap would also be detrimental to the mobilization mission. Such a situation would seriously detract from Fort Indiantown Gap being able to fully respond to mobilization requirements. This would seriously impinge upon the national defense mission.

11. Recognizing the tremendous military value of Fort Indiantown Gap, as well as the significant economic impact upon our district and surrounding counties, we stand ready to continue our quest to “save the Gap” should it become necessary to do so in 1995 when, according to Public Law 101-510 (10 USC 2687), the next Base Realignment and Closure Commission will meet.

12. We of the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce feel strongly that Fort Indiantown Gap provides essential and valuable military training operations. In fact, our study proves that it is not cost effective to implement realignment, and status quo actually saves the taxpayers money by its continued operation as a training base for the Reserve Components. This value is especially applicable to the Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guard.

13. Hopefully, these documents will be of value to you as you pursue your Total Army Base Study. Should you desire any further information, we will be very pleased to respond. Mr. Vegoe’s mailing address, telephone number and FAX number are listed on the cover page of this letter. General Smoker’s home address is 100 East Herman Avenue, Lebanon, Pennsylvania and his telephone number is (717) 272-3845. He can also be reached through the Chamber’s office.


Major General, USAF (Retired) President

Military Affairs Committee Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce

On October 1, 1993, IGMR was realigned as a sub-installation of Ft. Drum, NY.


A ground breaking ceremony for a new 50,000 square foot cold and dry storage facility was held in Area 14 at 10 a.m. on November 5, 1991. It was hosted by Garrison Commander Colonel David G. Bell. The $3.6 million project will replace the existing World War II era facility and will provide cold storage for perishable items used in the Post’s dining halls, which serve about 130,000 soldiers each year. This facility would later provide subsistence support to 219 National Guard, Reserve and ROTC units throughout the state.

Assisting Bell with the ground breaking was Lieutenant Colonel Richard Basye, Deputy District Engineer for the Baltimore District of the Army Corps of Engineers. Also on hand were Major General (Retired) Frank H. Smoker, Jr., former commander of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard; Joseph McDonald, Jr., Chairman of the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce Military Liaison Committee; David L. Griffin, Director of Logistics, Fort Meade, MD; and Colonel James R. Buggy, Deputy Adjutant General-Army, Pennsylvania National Guard.

Bell said, "This marks the start of a construction project that I think is needed as badly as anything else on this installation," as he prepared to turn the ceremonial first shovel full of dirt for the project. Bell said that the current facility is simply inadequate for today's needs. "It takes a huge effort every year to keep the old cold storage plant operating".

On November 9, 1991, there was standing room only at the ceremony for the presentation of Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medals by the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. Over 1,000 recipients, family and friends gathered in theater 3-109 to attend the ceremony which was presided over by Paul J. Moyer, Pennsylvania State Chairman, PHSA.

The Congressional Commemorative medal honors veterans of the attack on Pearl Harbor on the fiftieth anniversary of that attack. Certain civilian employees wounded or killed in the attack are also eligible. Colonel David G. Bell, Garrison Commander, gave the welcoming remarks and the presentation address was by Commander Rica A. Laraway, Commander, Navy Damage Control Training Center, Philadelphia.


Bell contrasted America of the 1940's with America today. Bell wondered "if we could bring our fallen comrades back today , what would they think of our movies, our television shows, our gadgets, or even our lifestyles ? They would probably think we've gotten lazy and soft - but they would be wrong." Bell then noted that exactly one year ago, here at Fort Indiantown Gap, we were preparing and training some of our children or grand children or nieces or nephews to go to war. Bell suspected they felt much the same as servicemen and women of 1941 "they were not happy to be there, they were certainly not excited about leaving their families, but they were willing to go because they were called. They left to do their duty, just as they did following Pearl Harbor." In comparing public support for Desert Storm with that given in W.W.II, Bell stated he was glad that some things have not changed; when the chips are down, we still stand as one, and demonstrate a unity of spirit reminiscent of the 1940's.

Laraway related the experience of her cousin who was at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, and badly burned from an explosion on the USS Arizona. Said Laraway: "For him that event is not 50 years old, that day is a recent as his last nightmare. For him, World War II began and ended on December 7th. For him, that Day of Infamy is not a speech, not a subheading in a history book, it is a personal and private memory of hell. Like all participants of all wars, he faces the day-to-day need to both remember and forget." Laraway went on to caution that Pearl Harbor is a symbol of the harm that can befall a nation when that nation is not prepared, and does not understand that what was happening in the world also affects us. She warned that we must participate in the events which shape our world, and never turn away from honorable involvement.*****

After the speeches, the medal recipients' names were called. For over an hour, a brisk roll call of over 460 names echoed units [???] which, for the most part, have since been forgotten. Although all veterans received applause, it seemed a more emotional recognition was given those identified with one ship - the USS Arizona. Medals were awarded in three categories; those whose lives were taken on December 7th; those who have passed away since then; and those who survived. The deceased were remembered by the sounding of "Taps" and rifle volleys from an honor guard.

The Pearl Harbor Survivors Association was started on December 7, 1958, by 11 men who met in Los Angeles to remember and honor friends who died in the December 7, 1941 attack, and to locate friends and unite them into an association with a common bond - “We were there!” The organization now consists of eight National Districts with each state having a State Chairman. States are further subdivided into Chapters with Pennsylvania having five.

An aside about the Pearl Harbor attack: 2,403 US personnel were killed; 1,104 on the Arizona alone, 16 Congressional Medals of Honor were awarded. All but three of the damaged US ships were returned to service. Only two of the 67 ships in the Japanese attack force survived the war. Three ships present at the Pearl Harbor attack were present in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945, for the Japanese surrender. There were nine major Pearl Harbor Attack investigations. The first Japanese wave attacked at 0755; the second at 0845. By 0945, the attack was completed.

“Amazing" and "unbelievable” were words used to describe the crash of a U-8 aircraft from the Eastern Army National Guard Aviation Training Site (EAATS) on June 2, 1992 and at the actions of those who took part in the rescue of the plane’s pilots.

What stunned most people was the lack of fatalities. The two pilots were rescued by four National Guardsmen who were working near the scene. Another Guardsman whom the plane landed on escaped the wreckage with only second-degree burns. The most critically injured person was the pilot, Major Wayne Sparinga. He was taken to the hospital by helicopter where he was first listed in critical condition and later upgraded to serious condition. Sparinga suffered burns, facial lacerations and broken bones. Also taken to the hospital that night was Sparinga”s copilot, Chief Warrant Officer William Harrison, who was released from the hospital the next day, sore but not seriously injured.


In August, 1992, it was announced that the Pennsylvania Army National Guard was spearheading an effort to upgrade the Gap’s tank gunnery range so tank crews will be able to fully qualify here when the Guard’s 28th Division would become a mechanized force. Currently, tanks can maneuver to Range 27, park and fire. "Only the gunner and the tank commander can be familiarized,” said Lieutenant Colonel Arnold Goodson, the Garrison's Director of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security in a recent meeting. Colonel John T, Von Trott, Director of Plans, Operations and Training for the Army National Guard, pointed out that the range has a couple of moving targets which don't work very well and that no tank had fired on the range since 1988. Von Trott said that without the planned improvements, Guard tankers could go to Ft. Pickett, VA, but safety regulations there prohibit firing and maneuvering at the same time. The nearest post where firing and maneuvering can be conducted simultaneously is Ft. Drum, NY.

"What we're looking for," Von Trott said, "is a range that meets minimum qualification standards, but fully meets them." In order to meet those standards, the range will need about thirty targets, four of which will be moving targets, while the rest would be pop-up targets. The tankers will fire at targets ranging from 200 meters for machine guns and up to 1,900 meters for the main gun. The targets would be radio controlled and powered by a combination of hard wiring and generators. The targets will have a "thermal blanket” so that crews could acquire the targets through thermal sights, Von Trott added.

Instead of one firing line that can accommodate up to four tanks , the improved range will have five firing points located along a two and a half mile trail that will be used by one tank at a time. Much of the upgrade will be done using Reserve component engineering assets. He also said that some timber will have to be cut and that the state which retains timber rights, will issue a cutting permit to a contractor. Von Trott also said that several concrete pads are being installed at the range to support the Army's advanced tank simulator called the Mobile Conduct of Fire Trainer. "They're so good that crews can virtually get the same training minus live firing as they can get in the actual tank. The pads provide level, firm surfaces with electrical connections for the simulators. The bottom line is that once we’re finished upgrading Range 27, we'll be able to qualify tank crews right here at the Gap. What that means to us is that we can do a lot of that firing during the year on training weekends, so that when we go to annual training during the summer, we can either conduct advanced gunnery, remedial gunnery, or do maneuver training. The way it is right now, we go to annual training and we have to spend most of our AT every year tied down with tank gunnery just to qualify”.

On September 8, 1992, the IGMR Bowling Center reopened for business after a year and a half of remodeling. The bowling alley was closed because of much needed repairs to the roof. While it was closed, additional repairs and renovations were also completed, according to John Kuhn, the new manager.


In the October 1992 edition of Fort Indiantown Gap Soundoff, it was announced that the All Army Sports teams who train here will have improved living quarters. Company A, 365th Engineers (USAR), has spent most of this year refinishing Building 5-7. Re- construction began in January and it is estimated that they will be completely finished by December 19, 1992. The barracks underwent major renovations such as new walls, new latrines, new carpet and flooring and new electrical and plumbing work. The unit gutted the insides of the building and started from scratch. The building will be a co-ed barracks with the men on one floor and the women on the other. Each floor has about 13 single person rooms on each floor. There are also two coach's rooms connected by a latrine. Each floor will have a laundry room and a day room with a water fountain in addition to the living quarters.

On September, 1993, a new entrance sign was unveiled in a ceremony attended by representatives of Ft. Drum, NY, the Department of Military Affairs, on-post tenants, Lebanon and Harrisburg Chambers of Commerce and installation employees. IGMR Commander, Lieutenant Colonel David L. Cook, hinted at changes to come "as we dedicate the new sign and usher in a new era at Fort Indiantown Gap."

Cook noted that the sign's simple phrase "U.S. Army" carries a much deeper meaning. IGMR has the distinction of being one of the few posts in the Army where, Cook declared, "the Total Army concept - that being Active, National Guard and Reserve Forces - is alive and well on a day-to-day basis".


Blanda, John, PAD, IGMR

Daily War Bulletin 9 Aug 45

IGMR Soundoff, SGT Ian Murdoch

General Order 2; War Department, 1941 (Amended by GO #5, WD 41)

Indian Villages and Place Names by Dr. George Donohoo

Lebanon Daily News 10 Jul 75

New York Times (The) 9 Nov 79

Officer (The) July 1942, copy of a letter about IGMR

Pennsylvania At War, 1941-1945, PA State Historical & Museum Commission

Pennsylvania Guardsman (The) May 31 (year?) issue

Pennsylvania Guardsman (The) Winter 1954 issue

Pittsburgh Press (The), Roto, 30 Mar 41

Pottsville Republican (The) 15 Aug 75

Reading Eagle (The) 13 Jul 69

Shelter for His Excellency by Leroy Greene

3rd Service Command PAO

Tomahawk (The) 10 Jul 53