According to Major W. R. Wheeler in A Road to Victory, Camp Patrick Henry (CPH) was formally activated on December 2, 1942 as a staging area for troops heading overseas and returning home. Between this time and January 31, 1946, an estimated 1,412,107 people passed through the camp. CPH was divided into regimental areas, many with their own mess halls. There was also a post office, hospital, chapel, and theaters. But what did it actually look like?
We have come across many photos of buildings within the camp. Here are five that give good insight into the types of buildings one could find there. Their locations in CPH are noted on the map above using corresponding numbers.
1. Area 5 Mess Hall
This is an example of what the mess halls found at CPH. Like most of the other buildings, they were built to be very temporary structures – Wheeler calls them “tarpaper-covered hutments”.
2. Area 5 Barracks
This row of barracks in the snow was located near the mess hall above.
3. Headquaters, Casual Branch Operations Division (CBOD)
This neat shot of the CBOD Headquarters building also includes a broader view of life outside.
4. Post Office
The post office was centrally located near the CBOD Headquarters, the chapel, and Camp Headquarters.
5. Warehouse #18, weapons storage
Not much to look at from the outside, warehouse #18 is an example of the many generic buildings used to house materials such as weapons and clothing. It was located on Avenue G, just a few roads below where the map ends.