Camp Wheeler-Macon, Georgia
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Sprinterman
N 32° 48.695 W 083° 32.498
17S E 262035 N 3633260
Quick Description: Located Joe Tamplin Industrial Blvd at Riggins Mill Rd, Macon, Georgia
Location: Georgia, United States
Date Posted: 10/16/2009 8:06:02 PM
Waymark Code: WM7F0W
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GA Cacher
Views: 6

Long Description:
Camp Wheeler had a long a important history. It was a on and off military camp for the US Army in both WW I and WW II.

In addition to its training facility for troops it served as a POW camp in WW II and was the hub of a series of satellite camps through out central Georgia. The camp and its WW II POW status is listed in the below article.

WW II:

In 1940, prudence dictated that America increase its military training. Accordingly, on October 12, 1940, Congressman Carl Vinson’s office announced that Camp Wheeler would be rebuilt and was scheduled to be ready for operation by March 15, 1941. The camp’s first commander was Colonel A. R. Emery for whom Emery Highway was later named. Although nearly one-third smaller in area (14,394) than the World War I facility, the construction was to be far more substantial. Where wooden floors and tents had been the order of the day during the first world war, steel reinforced concrete foundations topped with wooden buildings were the new standards. The total cost of construction was reported to be $13,550,485.

The camp had a housing capacity for about 24,603 enlisted men and 1,290 officers. Additionally, it was to ’s Army Corps. Many of the men working on the huge Great Depression-era archaeological projects at nearby Ocmulgee National Monument were reassigned to Camp Wheeler.

Construction eventually included facilities to house approximately two thousand Prisoners of War. There were also twenty-four branch camps for the POWs in Georgia, with eight of those located in the central Georgia area under the auspices of Camp Wheeler. At one time, the number of prisoners stationed at the Wheeler Camp and its branch camps was about 4,700. At the height of the operation, there were regular Wheeler branch camps at Monticello, Ashburn, Waynesboro, Daniels Field, and Dublin. Seasonal work camps were established at Griffin, Sandersville, Fitzgerald, and Hawkinsville. Some prisoners worked as mechanics, typewriter experts, and tailors, but most worked as laborers in the sawmill or farm areas. They accrued wages at a rate of about eighty cents per day.

Camp Wheeler was built as an infantry replacement center, requiring that troops be trained in virtually all types of small arms used by the military at the time. The troops thus trained could be sent anywhere they were needed by Camp Wheeler’s importance to America’s war effort can, perhaps, best be proved by the fact that in 1942 German spies confessed that Camp

Wheeler was one facility they had concentrated on before their capture. On December 15, 1945, the last graduation parade was held with Pvt. Edward A. Winarski of Baltimore, MD, being the last graduate. The camp was officially closed January 19, 1946.

(visit link)

The whole area is now an industrial park but there are lots of open areas that look like they might have once been training grounds.

Text of the nearby Gerogia Historical Marker

Camp Wheeler was an army training camp during 1917-19 and 1940-46. It was named for Joseph Wheeler (1836-1906), Confederate Lt. Gen. who was born in Augusta, Ga.

The tent camp was established in 1917 after efforts of local businessmen brought Gen. Leonard Wood to Macon to inspect proposed sites. The 21,480 acre site chosen included Holly Bluff, the home of Harry Stillwell Edwards and formerly the plantation of Col. Andrew Jackson Lane, C.S.A., father of Mrs. Edwards.

Major General F.J. Kernan became the first camp commander in August, 1917, and troop strength reached a high point of 28,960 in July, 1918. A cavalry remount depot was at nearby Mogul, and a range was at Phillips Station. The camp closed in April, 1919. The leased site was returned to its owners, and part later became Herbert Smart Airport.

In 1940 Camp Wheeler was re-opened on 14,394 acres of the original site and was used as a training camp until December 1943. Colonel A.R. Emery was the first camp commander. Troop capacity was 25, 890. A 1,000 bed hospital and a prisoner-of-war camp were included in the new camp. Solders trained during 1941-43 totaled 218,000.

After the war the camp was again dismantled and the leased land returned to its owners.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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DougandSandra visited Camp Wheeler-Macon, Georgia 2/17/2013 DougandSandra visited it
Sprinterman visited Camp Wheeler-Macon, Georgia 10/3/2009 Sprinterman visited it

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