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CAMP LEE VIRGINIA VETERINARY TRAINING SCHOOL WW1
4TH COMPANY VETERINARY TRAINING SCHOOL 1918
Veterinary Training School at Camp Lee, Virginia. The above picture is of the 4th Company Veterinary Training School 9-19-1918. Note: This is a new area for me and I am not sure how many companys were trained at Camp Lee or what happen to a company after it was trained. Did they go into a Veterinary Hospital units or what? It will be interesting to investigate this new area.
5TH VETERINARY REPLACEMENT UNIT 1918
Veterinary Replacement Unit No 5, November 1918, Camp Lee, Virginia. Veterinary Replacement unit No 5 was the outcome of a special request from General Pershing but the personnel was assembled so slowly that the armistice was signed before the unit was prepared. It was ordered to Hoboken and part of the unit performed excellent service on board animal transports after which they were returned to Camp Lee for demobilization.
Camp Lee is a large National Army Camp the troops were quartered in wooden buildings, or barracks. It is well laid out, the barracks being built in regimental groups along both sides of a wide cement main avenue. The grounds, however, are absolutely devoid of vegetation, and as the soil is of a sandy nature, the slightest breeze raises a miniature sandstorm. All around the camp are broad parade and drill fields, and at one point a complete trench system has been built, which extends several miles back into the woods. The camp also has a large library and a fine theater. It has excellent car service to the city of Petersburg and a small amusement park nearby
I would like to thank Bruce W. Smith, Historian, his wife Cecelia M. Smith, Secretary and also the Descendants of 80th Division Veterans, for providing the below information. The following are extracts from the copy of the original manuscript on the “History of the 80th Division in the A.E.F.”
A Veterinary Training School also opened at Camp Lee in early May (1918) with one thousand six hundred white and Negro enlisted men from every section of the U.S. as students. Lt. Col. Edward A. Sturgess from the 155th Depot Brigade 80th Div. was appointed commandant. The students were housed in 400 tents pending completion of 52 buildings.(Page 131 of the History)From your above listings a great many men were trained here. The 80th Div. started their embarkation to France in late May 1918. The Training school remained at Camp Lee after the 80th departed. The History indicates the 37th Nat'l guard Div. came to Camp Lee after the 80th left.
In late February plans had been approved for the development of Camp Lee to the extent of at least $1,000,000, with a community center, hotel, a larger hostess house and a motion picture theater among the projected improvements. Painting of the barracks was also contemplated in the program, which was in charge of a board headed by General Heiner. Second only to Camp Lewis in capacity and already equipped to accommodate 46,500 men, the cantonment was to be made capable of housing at least 50,000. It was assumed that Camp Lee would be maintained as a replacement center following the 80th Division’s departure, for it was known that the War Department planned to abolish depot brigades and to use certain seaboard cantonments for training replacements. The 4th Engineer Officer’s Training Camp opened at Camp Lee on May 6 1918. There were 1,100 candidates enrolled from every state in the Union
THE VETERINARY TRAINING SCHOOL AT CAMP LEE
Adapted from: Merillat, Louis A. & Delwin M. Campbell. VETERINAR MILITARY HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES
The Veterinary Corps organized four training schools for its personnel during WW1. One for enlisted men at the Medical Officer’s Training Camp (M.O.T.C) at Fort Riley, Kansas. One for Officers at Camp Greenleaf, Ga. Where enlisted men were also trained. One for food inspectors at Chicago, and one for organizing, equipment and the training of veterinary units going overseas at Camp Lee, Virginia.
The Veterinary Training School at Camp Lee, Virginia, was organized in April, 1918 to organize, equip and train overseas units. It comprised of 52 building and included a large, model, base animal hospital. When in full operation, it was intended as a training school of all veterinary officers and all veterinary enlisted personnel destined for overseas service. Its faculty comprised line officers for military training and veterinary officers for professional instruction. The total number at the school, including instructors, students, and units prepared for oversea duties, was planned to average about 2,000, but the number speedily increased to about 200 officers and 5,000 enlisted men.
From the beginning of the Camp Lee school it was called upon to exceed its estimated capacity. At the time the Armistice was signed, there was a schedule prepared for the shipment of oversea units to include June 39, 1919.
A total of 393 officers and 7,968 enlisted men passed through the school. There were organized, equipped, trained and sent to France 15 veterinary hospitals (Nos. 7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20 and 21), each consisting of seven veterinary officers and 300 enlisted men; one base veterinary hospital of 4 officers and 144 enlisted men; six corps mobile veterinary hospitals of two officers and 35 enlisted men each; three army mobile veterinary hospitals of four officers and 144 enlisted each and four veterinary replacement units of 13 officers and 200 enlisted men each.
There were organized, equipped and trained ready for oversea service when the signing of the Armistice caused all shipments to stop, three veterinary hospitals, one base veterinary hospital, one corps mobile veterinary hospital, with personnel similar to units above mentioned, and one veterinary replacement unit, consisting of 40 officers and 200 enlisted men. There were also in process of organization at this time, but not completed, five veterinary hospitals, five corps mobile veterinary hospitals and two veterinary replacement units. Starting with absolutely nothing, not even a building, this record in not to be despised. There was time only, under this extreme emergency, to consider units, organizations and results, not individuals.
It is important to mention here, as is shown elsewhere, that while this aggregate of veterinary organization was being trained for oversea service, the General Staff of the expeditionary forces was making no corresponding effort to utilize them nor framing competent plans for their utilization. The staff of the A.E.F. was insisting upon making the veterinary service a kind of makeshift subsidiary interwoven with the remount branch of the Quartermaster Department, comparable to the horsemanship of the Spanish American War and Philippine Insurrection, the animals tragedies of which appeared to be unknown to the commanders.
Horseshoers School: In addition to the three schools organized and conducted by the Veterinary Corps and the veterinary section at Fort Riley there was a Horseshoers School at Camp Pike, organized and conducted by the Remount Department, but to which six veterinary officers, under the command of Captain A.O. Barber, a former quartermaster veterinarian, were constantly on duty and provided a considerable part of the instruction. It had under constant training, approximately 100 horseshoers. In addition to this, each auxiliary remount depot maintained a horseshoeing school in which a veterinary officer was an instructor.
END OF REPORT
LT. WALTER CLINTON BURKHART V.C. CAMP LEE
This is the paperwork of 2nd Lt. Walter Clinton Burkhart of the Veterinary Corps he was stationed at Camp Lee Veterinary Training School
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U.S. ARMY VETERINARY CORPS HISTORICAL PRESERVATION GROUP
Motto: “Illic est Vires in Numerus” There is Strength in Numbers
“Working Hard to Preserve Our Country’s History wherever it is being lost”
U.S. Army Veterinary Corps Historical Preservation Group is a group of individuals that are concerned about the preservation of the History of the Veterinary Corps, Remount Service and Cavalry or wherever our country’s history is being lost in conjunction with our beloved “Horse and Mule”. There is no cost to join and membership is for life. We believe by uniting together in numbers we will be a more powerful force to be heard. Our membership list is private and only used to contact our members. Email us and become a member.
FACEBOOK: U.S. Army Veterinary Corps Historical Preservation Group
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