From the Annals of the U.S. Army – In 1942, Camp Hood near Killeen was activated as a temporary camp in preparation for active operations in World War II. The temporary camp, was named for Confederate general John Bell Hood. The Army initially acquired about 180,000 acres, and it was estimated that the camp would cost $22.8 million for the land, facilities, and development of utilities. The date of completion was set for 15 August 1942. Almost 300 families were displaced by the acquisition. The communities of Clear Creek, Elijah and Antelope were demolished during construction. The base was designed with large open spaces for the training of mobile anti-tank units to be deployed in Europe and elsewhere.
Fort Hood is now one of the largest military installations in the world in terms of size and the number of Army and civilian personnel stationed at the site. Fort Hood had a total population of 53,416 as of the 2010 U.S. Census making it the most populous U.S> military installation in the world. Fort Hood covers 214,000 acres making it one of the largest military bases in the world by area.
From the Annals of the Revolution – In 1835, Texians and a Mexican Army contingent met at the battle of Lipantitlán on the east bank of the Nueces River three miles above San Patricio in San Patricio County, directly across from Fort Lipantitlán. A Texas force of around seventy men under Adjutant Ira J. Westover engaged a Mexican force of about ninety men under Capt. Nicolás Rodríguez. Reports were that the battle lasted thirty-two minutes, leaving twenty-eight Mexicans dead, including Lt. Marcellino García, second in command. The Texans suffered only one casualty, when a rifle ball cut off three of the fingers on William Bracken’s right hand. Red always questions these lop-sided reports of results, but then again the victors write history.
From the Annals of the “Great” War – In 1917, the 90th Division of the U.S. Army was activated at Camp Travis in San Antonio. The division was initially formed from Texas and Oklahoma. Known as the “Tough Ombres,” “Texas’ Own,” or the Alamo Division, it adopted the monogram insignia T-O in France during World War I. The division was posted in France in 1918 and saw action in Lorraine and in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne operations. The 90th suffered 7549 casualties with a total of 1091 killed in action and 6458 wounded. After the Armistice the Ninetieth did occupation duty in Germany and came home in 1919 for demobilization. Red’s grandfather served as Lieutenant in the 90th in WWI.
Photo of 2nd Battalion, 358th Infantry, 90th Division.