Carl R Darnall Army Medical CenterHISTORY OF THE GREAT PLACE
Sixty years ago minimum wage was 30 cents per hour, a gallon of gas cost 19 cents and there were only 48 stars on the American Flag.
It was also sixty years ago that 108,000 acres of central Texas land was transformed from rural farming land into Camp Hood, home of the Tank destroyer Tactical and Firing Center.
World War II was blazing and tank destroyers, mobile anti-tank guns on armored half-tracks, were developed to go against the Germans who were over running Europe.
These destroyers needed space and the central Texas location could provide that needed space.
The roughly 300 families that resided in the chosen area were relocated and replaced with nearly 38,000 troops. The number of soldiers multiplied until it peaked at almost 95,000 in less than one year’s time.
A shift in Camp Hood’s mission brought about by the end of the war caused the number of soldiers to drop.
Eight years after its official opening, Camp Hood became a permanent installation and was renamed Fort Hood.
Fort Hood is now the largest active duty armored post in the U.S. Armed Services. It is home to two full divisions, 1st Cavalry Division and 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized).
It also supports 12 additional units. There are about 41,000 soldiers who work on Fort Hood.
The soldiers of Fort Hood are infantrymen, cavalrymen, and tankers. They are engineers, mechanics and health care professionals. They are the life of Fort Hood. Their training gives Fort Hood its purpose just as Camp Hood soldiers did 60 years ago. They are part of what has made Fort Hood “The Great Place” for six decades.