Exploring History of Camp Mackall
BY SARA LINDAU
Special to The Pilot
Camp Mackall has been part of Moore County's history for more than 70 years.
Those years will be explored in two one-hour presentations at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, at the Southern Pines Civic Club, located at 105 S. Ashe St. at the corner of East Pennsylvania Avenue in Southern Pines.
Admission is free.
"We had originally only planned on one presentation," says a spokesman, "but we've had so many reservations that we decided on two. Those who have already made reservations for the previous time, at 2, must contact the reservations number to change their reservations to either 1 or 3:30."
Presenting a look back in time at Camp Mackall and its impact on the community today will be Norris Hodgkins, along with Joseph W. Caseman Jr., U.S. Army civilian, Camp Mackall, who runs part of the Special Forces program there; William Sobat, U.S. Army; and Tom MacCallum, author of the recently published book "Camp Mackall: Its Origin and Times in the Sandhills."
The importance of Camp Mackall lies in its three indisputable facts:
1. In the history of the United States Army, it is the only major military installation that was ever named for an enlisted private.
2. In the history of the United States Army, it is the only military installation was created exclusively for the Airborne.
3. Since 1968, Camp Mackall is where every soldier who earned the right to wear the Green Beret underwent his Special Forces training.
Moore County was a perfect location for yesterday's U.S. Army Airborne training camp. Today it is a perfect location for U.S. Army Special Forces training.
In the 1940s, the camp was a marvel of wartime construction. It was original built as a temporary facility during World War II. The 62,000 acres of wilderness was converted into 65 miles of paved roads, a 1,200-bed hospital, five movie theaters, six beer gardens, three runways, 1,750 buildings, three libraries and 12 chapels. Today, Camp Mackall has taken on a new role with permanent buildings and a new mission.
Most notable are the Robin Sage final qualification exercises held regularly in Moore and surrounding counties from which Green Beret soldiers are selected.
The photo program will cover the history of Camp Mackall through the war years, including the German prisoners of war who were held there and helped farm the land of the area, through its use today as a qualification camp for the Green Beret -soldiers.
The program is sponsored by the Moore County Historical Association and the Southern Pines Civic Club. The Civic Club played an important role during the war years serving as a USO for the military -stationed at Camp Mackall.
For more information, call (91) 692-2051 or visit www.moorehistory.com/events.
Reservations are required, since seating is limited. To reserve seats, call (910) 692-2051 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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