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Camp Butner Summary
 
Camp Butner History – On Duty for the Nation, 1942-1947. On February 12, 1942, the War Department issued an order for the acquisition of land near Durham, North Carolina, to be used as a training and cantonment facility during World War II. Eventually, the Army acquired 40,384.39 acres. As it turned out, Camp Butner was only used for training exercises during a short span of 18 months, from early 1942 to June of 1943. The units who trained at Camp Butner included the 78th, or “Lightning” division, the 89th, and 4th Infantry as well as some artillery and engineering units. The installation was also used as a redeployment center, and was home to one of the Army’s largest general and convalescent hospitals. The site included facilities for ammunition storage as well. Finally, Camp Butner also housed prisoners of war starting in September 1943. A contemporary publication shows a very active camp life, including the vibrant social life soldiers managed to enjoy to some extent, even as they trained for tough missions overseas. The training included live fire exercises on about 15 ammunition ranges. One range encompassed 23,000 acres. Other ranges included a grenade range, a 1,000-inch range used for training with pistols, a gas chamber, and a flame-thrower training pad. Artillery rounds were fired toward an area known as the “mock German village.”
In 1947, the War Department decided to close the installation. The hospital, along with 10,000 acres of land, was transferred to the State of North Carolina for use as a mental hospital, becoming the John Umstead Hospital. The state also acquired 1,600 acres for other uses, primarily agricultural development. A further 4,750 acres became the North Carolina National Guard Training Center.
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35th Division
89th Division
78th Division
4th Infantry Division


Major General Henry Wolfe Butner
Camp Butner was named for Major General Henry Wolfe Butner: Born in Pinnacle, Surry County, NC, April 6, 1875 - Died in Walter Reed General Hospital March 13,1937. His Obituary from the NY Times is as follows:
New York Times, March 14, 1937

GENERAL H.W. BUTNER, WAR VETERAN, DEAD
Former Commander of Army's Panama Department--West Point Graduate in 1898
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DECORATED BY FRANCE
Received Croix de Guerre -- U.S. Gave Him Distinguished Service Medal and Silver Star
WASHINGTON, March 13-- Major Gen. Henry W. Butner, U.S.A., who recently was transferred from the command of the Panama Canal Department to the Army Group in the War Department, died in Walter Reed General hospital today at the age of 61.

During the World War General Butner served with the Sixteenth Field Artillery on the Vesle front, at St. Mihiel and in the Meuse-Argonne. On Oct 1, 1918, he was placed in command of the First Field Artillery Brigade, and after the Armistice was ordered to the Coblenz Bridgehead, remaining in Germany until May 26, 1919, when he returned to the United States.

For his World War services he received the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star citation for distinguished conduct during operations at Mouzen and the advance on Sedan, and the French Croix de Guerre, with palm.

Born in Pinnacle, N.C. on April 6, 1875, he was graduated from the Military Academy in 1898 and commissioned in the artillery. He was promoted through the various grades to major general, on Feb 1, 1936.

As a young officer he served at various posts in the United States and the Philippines, from 1901 to 1902 commanding the 122d Company of Coast Artillery at Fort Columbus, N.Y. When the United States entered the World War he was stationed in Hawaii but soon was ordered to the Sixteenth Field Artillery, which was then in the United States.

For several years after the war he commanded various artillery regiments in this country and the Philippines. In 1920-22 he was assistant commandant of the Field Artillery School at Fort Sill, Okla., and in 1934-36 commandant of that school. In 1930-32 he commanded the Eleventh Field Artillery Brigade at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and until 1934 the Third Field Artillery Brigade at Fort Lewis, Wash. Later, at Fort Sill, he commanded the Fourth Field Artillery Brigade and in July, 1936, was assigned to command the Panama Canal Department.

He was a graduate of the Staff College, the School of Fire, the Army War College and the Coast Artillery School.
Other Information About MG Henry W. Butner
He was Commander of Fort Bragg from 1928-1929.
The USS General H. W. Butner (AP 113), a troop transport ship that served in WWII, and the Korean conflict with the US Navy was named for General Butner.


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