Camp Blanding opened in 1939 as a state-owned, Florida National Guard training facility. When World War II broke out, however, Camp Blanding was enlarged and converted to a federal reserve.
Hundreds of thousands of troops trained at Camp Blanding during WWII. Infantry, Cavalry, Tank Destroyer, Field Artillery, Engineer, Medical, and other specialist troops trained here. Nine full Infantry Divisions trained here, as well, including the 1st ID – more famously referred to as The Big Red One.
Camp Blanding served as an Infantry Replacement Center for most of 1944 and 1945. A large percentage of the soldiers who replenished combat infantry ranks during WWII trained here. The Camp was also home to a 2800-bed hospital and a German POW Compound. Near the end of WWII, it also served as a Separation Center.
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