Browsing articles tagged with "South Post Fort Myer Archives - Historic Fort Myer VIRGINIA"
Jul
27

South Post’s New Chapel

While still considered "Arlington Cantonment" a new chapel was built in 1941 on the acreage that was originally Arlington Farms.  Ground breaking occurred in May 1941 and shortly thereafter it's spire rose in the sky with the US Capitol building in the distance. Chapel on South Post It would be on July 27, 1941 that Chief of Staff of the Army, General George Catlett Marshall would dedicate this new house of worship on what eventually would become South Post, Fort Myer. This chapel design was the prototype of a chapel that would be built on many US Army Posts across the United States of America.  Over 500 chapels in total would be erected, many of them still to this day providing a place of worship for the Soldiers, their families and friends. The building on Arlington Cantonment  would mark the beginning of the rapid build up of and eventual renaming of the area to South Post during World War II and for many years had its own Post Commander and population into the thousands.   The South Post Chapel, like the Post Chapel of Fort Myer, would have its own Sunday School, youth groups and chapel services.   In the 1950's the Military District of Washington Staff Chaplain was located in one of the many buildings within the South Post acreage.  Did you attend services at the South Post Chapel?   Please leave a comment and tell us about it.    Any photographs of the chapel?   We'd love to see those too! The chapel would become inactive in 1969 reflecting the reduction in population and elimination of family housing. (1958 Fort Myer Snapshot)  Reviews in the early 1970s showed that the chapel was deteriorated beyond repair.  With plans to replace it once South Post was turned back to Arlington National Cemetery, this historic building was razed.  The new chapel was to stand where the Columbarium in Arlington National Cemetery currently is, but for reasons unknown, it was never built. With over 200 historical photographs, "Images of America - Fort Myer" provides a visual history of this unique US Army Post with origins during the US Civil War when it was known as Fort Whipple.   One of the original Defenses of Washington, Fort Myer still provides for the defense of the US Capital and is a showcase for the Military District of Washington and the US Army.
Jun
23

Fort Myer circa 1958 – Some statistics

Headquarters - Fort MyerIn 1958,  Fort Myer consisted of North Post and South Post - the combined acreage was still less than 500 acres.  However, there was a population of over 10,000 ... with two chapels, two movie theaters, nine mess halls which served on average 198,000 meals a month. In addition to the US Army Band - "Pershing's Own", the US 3d Infantry Regiment - "The Old Guard"  and Headquarters Company of the US Army, the US Air Force had many units stationed within the fort's perimeter.   Fort Myer was also the headquarters for the Cold War's Defenses of Washington, nearly 20 Nike Missile sites that surrounded the nation's Capital. In the book "Images of America - Fort Myer" - there are over 200 historical photographs which provide an insight to this unique US Army Post's history, contributions and the events which occurred within its acres.   With origins during the US Civil War when it was known as Fort Whipple,  Fort Myer stands as a showcase of a model US Army installation steeped in history and contributions to the United States of America - noteworthy among them  is the birthplace of military aviation, the establishment of the National Weather Service.
May
4

Arlington Cantonment Gets A Chapel

It was 1941,  the month of May and with the anticipation of the United States increasing the participation in the war raging in Europe, preparations around the Capital City of Washington DC continued.   Across the Potomac river, the Arlington Farms acreage had provided a place for the Agricultural Department to raise experimental crops - now was converted into Arlington Cantonment with more troops arriving and activity increasing. Ground breaking for Arlington Cantonment Chapel 04 MAY 1941On the 4th of May, wielding a shovel,  COL Oswald Saunders broke ground for what would become the first chapel within these acres.  Construction would only take a couple of months and the chapel would be dedicated later in July 1941.   As the population grew and more permanent buildings were constructed, Arlington Cantonment would eventually be renamed South Post Fort Myer.  The two areas combined would still be less than 500 acres, though their contributions would be tremendous. The book "Images of America - Fort Myer" with over 200 historical photographs provides an insight to some of the major contributions, events and people who have helped to shape and mold this historic US Army Post and the contributions made over the years.
Mar
22

Women’s Army Corps on South Post

Women's Army Corps (WAC) WW II recruiting poster

WHAT WAS ONCE ARLINGTON CANTONMENT

Begun as the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) in MAY 1942, it became a branch of the US Army in 1943 then known as the Women's Army Corps (WAC).  During WW II some 150,000 women served in the Army and Fort Myer had its share.   Colonel Oveta Culp Hobby was the first director from 1942 to 1945. At Fort Myer, South Post, they were about 1,900 in number and housed in barracks at what was that time South Post of Fort Myer. They were the first women to serve in the Army other than nurses.  "Images of America - Fort Myer" includes several historical photographs which provide a glimpse of the past service of these women who lived on South Post.  The WAC would continue on as a branch of the US Army until 1978, when those who were serving, were included into the Army based on their military occupational specialty (MOS) Their history is rich and legacy long.  More accounting of their contributions, including a top-secret mission during World War II is found in the book by MAJ Elna Grahn In the Company of Wacs.  They shared South Post Fort Myer with the civilian women who worked in Washington, DC and other Soldiers from what was Headquarters Company of the US Army. South Post was the location of many events while it existed that are milestones in the US Army's history.  These are chronicled in the book Images of America - Fort Myer.

OVER 200 HISTORICAL IMAGES, MAPS and ILLUSTRATIONS

The book was released on 13 JUN 2011 and chronicles the first one hundred years of this Civil War era US Army Post when it was first called Fort Whipple in honor of General Amiel Weeks Whipple.   He commanded the Defenses of Washington using Arlington House as his headquarters.  An autographed copy of the book "Images of America - Fort Myer"  can be had on the page BUY THE BOOK.  Alternative choices of purchase are also offered.
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