Post details: Camp Crowder

07/02/06

Permalink 12:49:56 am, Categories: Urban Exploration, 356 words   English (US)

Camp Crowder

I recently had the pleasure of spending a few days at the, dare I say, legendary National Guard installation known fondly as Camp Crowder. It is located less than two miles from the major metropolis of Neosho Missouri, near Joplin. As you may be able to tell from my tone, I wasn't too enthused about my time there, but I did have a chance one evening to drive around the back areas of the camp, where I ran across an old abandoned section. What the different buildings once were, I can't say. Military installations are always a mix of new, old, and REALLY old and somewhat forgotten buildings. Sometimes, you even end up living in the forgotten buildings!!! Camp Crowder saw its heyday around the time of WWII, when it was home to the US Army Signal Corps, and was exponentially larger than the small Reserve training area it is today. Along with Camp Clark to the north, it was one of the places that Japaneese Americans were sent and esentially imprisioned by an unreasonably frightened nation after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Isn't history fun, kids?!

The main building I found appeared to be some kind of garage or vehicle maintenance shop, judging by the large "garage" type doors. Further down the old abandoned road there were some more buildings, including one that housed four or five large metal tanks. Were these fuel tanks at one time, or perhaps something more sinister.....like toxic mutant waste?!

Although it's still in use, one of the coolest parts of Camp Crowder's hidden areas is a large training site used to teach military police how to run a prisoner of war camp. It's basically a mock field prison, complete with guard towers and razor wire. I was only visiting, but was stripped and de-loused nonetheless. So bittersweet.

So many cool hidden sites to see.....that's why all of you should run out and join the National Guard. And, if by any chance, any one of you is actually taking me seriously at this point, let me know. I totally get money if I get someone else to enlist!

Comments:

Comment from: JOHN L COSTA [Visitor]

I TOOK MY BASIC TRAINING FEB '46
TO MAY '45.
Permalink 01/27/07 @ 02:12
Comment from: tiAn [Visitor]
Further back into the woods are the remnants of the original JPL division of NACA (pre-NASA).

There are a bunch of concrete pads used for testing the output of prototype rocket engines and a huge underground fuel laboratory complex that was already picked over for scrap copper and stainless when I was last there 10+ years ago. There are also ladders going down into some of these chambers that were cut off about 60 feet down that a halogen flashlight couldn't illuminate the bottom of.

I'd love to go back before these are disappeared forever, just don't get to that part of the world very often anymore.

I am disappointed I didn't think to take a camera, I was there for other purposes at the time.

Permalink 04/09/07 @ 13:55
Comment from: Robinson [Visitor]
Hi I dont know if you will read this or not since you wrote it so long ago. Thanks for posting the pictures, my fiance is there right now he is an mp in the national gaurd and he ahd mentioned the prisoner of war thing. It was really interesting to read what you had to think of the place. My guy has the same love for the place as you do.
Permalink 06/11/07 @ 01:12
Comment from: squadcar [Visitor]
I went to high school in Neosho, and my buddies and I spent many hours exploring the the abandoned Air Force engine test area (this was roughly 25 years ago). Those "concrete pads" (there are 2) are stands where rocket engines were tested. They are maybe 30-40 feet high, and built-in to the side of hills. At the base of each stand was a room with a big control panel (all the electronics were removed long ago, leaving just the metal shell). Coolest of all were the two TUNNELS which connected the test stands to a main building. We used to call the test stands "launch pads" but we later learned that they didn't actually launch rockets there, just tested them.
Permalink 07/10/07 @ 16:41
Comment from: P King [Visitor]
My uncle was stationed at Camp Crowder before going overseas with the signal corps during WWII. I remember going to see him but could never really figure out just where this was. Thank you for the location and the other information.
Permalink 07/31/07 @ 04:29
Comment from: Les [Visitor]
My dad went to Radio Operators School there, during WWII, I think in 1943... I found a site with some pictures and a map..

http://users.mo-net.com/racko/crowder.html

If anyone is interested..
Permalink 08/18/07 @ 00:20
Comment from: joe McCarron [Visitor]
I have found little reference to the combat engineers who trained at Camp Crowder beginning in Aug 1942.We were aware we were at a signal corps camp especially when we pulled guard duty with rifles and full field packs while the signal corps guards were unencumbered, no field packs, no rifles, etc. I was with Co.D, 2nd Batt, 40th Engineers Combat Regt. (all my old army buddies are long gone)
Permalink 10/24/07 @ 16:06
Comment from: Scout [Visitor]
Another cool exploration. Thanks again. We used this site for training purposes when I was with the 4th ROTC Rgn. back in the 80's. We were also at Fort Clark. I shot Expert there one day and still have the medal, outshooting all the officers and enlisted both-probably around 100 soldiers.

I believe Clark is the home to the only Special Forces unit in the National Guard.

Thanks again. Oh, and I've camped out overnight at Crowder, which is supposedly hainted. I saw no evidence of it, although it is danged creepy.
Permalink 10/28/07 @ 10:25
Comment from: Mel [Visitor]
I was in the National Guard for 9 years and worked at Crowder for several months full time and as creepy as it is, I don't think it's haunted. I spent many nights alone in a guard shack and it was quiet except for all the deer running around.

Permalink 10/29/07 @ 16:49
Comment from: Ronald Henry [Visitor] · http://information on Ezra Eugene Fish (father)
Ezra Eugene Fish was stationed at
Camp Crowder in 1942.I would like
to see if anyone has any information
about him. Do to medical history,
if he is still living. I am 64 and
would love to know some of these things.Any information would be
appreciated.
Thank you
Ronald Henry
Permalink 11/07/07 @ 13:24
Comment from: Chuck [Visitor]
I found this website researching a photo of my Fathers CCC carpenter crew building the camp in Dec 1941.
Permalink 12/21/07 @ 00:14
Comment from: mark [Visitor]
My mother worked at the rocketdyne plant and had to observe the engine testing.I've saw the test stands when I was about 6 yr.old. My Father's last posting in the army was at camp crowder( I did not know of the POW camp)in the early 60's to help with the final closing of the camp. The last time I was back in Neosho was about 2 years ago. My daughter and walked back in the woods to see if we could find what remains of the test stands,I don't thing we walked far enough. Does anyone have pictures of what remains of the test stands.
Permalink 01/21/08 @ 00:08
Comment from: Gerd [Visitor] · http://www.cigland.com
Very nice site!
Permalink 01/29/08 @ 09:05
Comment from: AUBE alain [Visitor] · http://pepere2@wanadoo.fr
Hi ! my name is AUBE and I'm retired Maj from the FAF.I'm looking for some one who could help me to find the name and other informations about a sergeant from the US SIGNAL CORPS assigned in Robinson (east of France)during the WW2.
I have differents pictures from him,Please can somùe body help me, this is for a good human cause
thanks (sorry for my english)
Permalink 04/15/08 @ 14:19
Comment from: doug [Visitor]
My father was stationed ther in the late 40's, early 50's. he met my mother there who was from pineville. My older brother and sister were both born at Camp Crowder. Nice pictures, I d love to see it.
Permalink 05/19/08 @ 15:31
Comment from: Randy [Visitor]
My parents and grandparents both lived in Neosho. I remember my father telling me about the German officers they held at Camp Crowder.
My grandmother would tell us about the testing of the rocket engines late at night that would awaken her. She always hated those Sonic booms.

My Granddad would take us black berry hunting in the old camp this was way before the college it was fun exploring the old buildings in the mid 1960.

I have tons of memories of Neosho.
Permalink 06/09/08 @ 18:17
Comment from: David [Visitor] · http://Microsoft
I was born and raisd in Carthage 25 mi.n.of Neosho.My father was an electrical inspector during the construction of Crowder. There were a lot of bitter farmers that were forced off their land when the Govt built the Camp. Locals would intertain the POW's with Sunday dinners in their homes. There were German, Italian & Jap internees.Their treatment was outstanding. A close buddy of mine delivered Pepsi to their compounds.I recall seeing a building across from the main gate burnt down exposing the 20 or do bedframes of a Red light house. There are so many stories.
Permalink 07/31/08 @ 02:39
Comment from: Jeff [Visitor]
My father was stationed at Camp Crowder from 1942(3?) to 45 and I remember riding in a duce and a half when I was about 2. My mother and I lived in Joplin after coming down from New York to join my father. I left with a southern accent. I have an oil painting portrait of myself at 3 or 4 done by one of the German POWs. I would like to trace the artist's family.
Permalink 08/04/08 @ 14:05
Comment from: Shaybert [Visitor]
Camp Crowder was also the inspiration for Camp Swampy of the cartoon Beetle Bailey by Mort Walker. Camp Crowder is still an active National Guard venue. Blessings, Shay

http://dailycartoonist.com/index.php/2007/06/01/how-beetle-baileys-camp-swampy-got-its-name/
Permalink 08/09/08 @ 10:07
Comment from: Cindy Theimer [Visitor]
I just found out that my Dad, Thomas D. Mowry(1931-2008) was at Camp Crowder when he first was inducted in the Army in 1952(he was from Graham County, KS). It is kind of cool finding something out about him that he never told us kids. Thanks alot.
Permalink 09/21/08 @ 17:56
Comment from: willie [Visitor]
My dad was stationed at Camp Crowder in 1942(3) for basic training and Signal Corp school. There's very little out there on the signal corps info wise. Dad was assigned to the 45th Signal/Heavy Construction Batt.
B company. If anyone served in the 45th I'd like to hear from you. We presently are into WWII reenacting and living history. Of course our impression is the 45th Sig.Co. Thanks!
Permalink 01/08/09 @ 22:08
Comment from: willie [Visitor]
I forgot to give you my email...tech4williejr@yahoo.com
Permalink 01/08/09 @ 22:12
Comment from: Sandie (Rogers) Toms [Visitor] · http://Illinois
I have a "Pillow Topper" silk from Camp Crowder, MO My uncle, Alvin Hostetler was stationed there in the 1940's? Sent this to my mother for a christmas gift. Anyone know my uncle? or can give me history on him. He and my mother are deceased.
Permalink 01/24/09 @ 17:06
Comment from: Mark [Visitor]
FYI, They sent some Katrina evacuees to Camp Crowder for about a year.
Permalink 01/28/09 @ 11:07
Comment from: Rob [Visitor] · http://amiacartoon.blogspot.com
THIS IS AWESOME, I WAS IN CAP AS A KID AND WE DID A WEEKEND ENCAMPMENT THERE, ACTUALLY TWICE, WE STAYED IN A BUNCH OF OLD WHITE BUILDINGS, THAT I'M PRETTY SURE WERE THE POW BUILDINGS THE SECOND TIME WE STAYED IN THE BUNKER/MORE UPDATED BARRACKS BUILT INTO THE SIDE OF A HILL, IT WAS A FUN PLACE, THE FIRST TIME I EVER REPELLED WAS OFF OF ONE OF THE CONCRETE ROCKET TEST AREAS.
Permalink 04/07/09 @ 07:17
Comment from: Devin W [Visitor]
I worked at Camp Crowder recently (and was later sent there for pre-deployment training) Ant there is not much left of the old base, there are some of the white WW2 barracks still standing as well as an old museum.

But if you go out in the woods you can sometimes find old building foundations, as well as the old rocket test pads. Not to mention bunkers and tunnels all over the place. A neat place to go exploring.
Permalink 05/18/09 @ 21:44
Comment from: Gail [Visitor]
On 7/31/08 David wrote, "..were a lot of bitter farmers that were forced off their land whenf the Govt built the camp". My husband's grandfather, Robert Lee Brown, was one of those "bitter farmers". He was paid $3,000.00 for his acreage, which wasn't even close to the worth of the property. He had acres of peach trees on the property. Within a short 2 to 4 week period families had to relocate. Buildozers came into the area and bulldozed away the homes, barns, outbuildings, trees, landscaping and removed all signs of life. EXCEPT a huge pear tree that stood beside the old farm home. We were there in the 1980's and that pear tree was still standing. I wonder if anyone out there had any of those pears? Grandfather recloated and he, with the help of some neighbors,spent days removing his peach trees and replanting them on his new land. He was only able to save 1/4. Stark Nursery in Stark City, MO, bought the peaches from Rober tLee and sold them, the R. L. Brown Sharpshooter Peach. Crowder College is now there and there is a street named after Grandfather. The dormistories are named after Grandfather's children. Yes, history and genealogy is great!
Permalink 06/27/09 @ 18:31
Comment from: Greg Taylor [Visitor] · http://www.taylorletters.blogspot.com
My father, Pvt. William Wellington Taylor, Jr. went through Signal Corps radio school at Camp Crowder in the spring of 1944. Anyone who wants to know what it was like there for a radio trainee can read my father's letters at my blog: www.taylorletters.blogspot.com
Permalink 07/18/09 @ 21:52
Comment from: Millie [Visitor] · http://qpq.csl.sri.com/Members/Trading
Good Day. I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this. Help me! There is an urgent need for sites: Stock trading computers. I found only this - stock market Trading hours. Taylor hanson shares a family portrait. Certainly be a resource that I use as long as we homeschool. Best regards :cool:, Millie from Rwanda.
Permalink 08/04/09 @ 17:43
Comment from: Robert W. Bader [Visitor]
I worked with my father in the radio repair business in Indianapolis, IN. before I was drafted. I was sent to Camp Crowder, after my induction into the Army in Aug. 1944, for Signal Corp Basic Training. I was training to be a lineman but, I couldn't climb the training poles and was transferred into the Field Artillery. I am surprised at the present condition of the site, though there has to be a lot of history there.
Permalink 08/20/09 @ 17:53
Comment from: Harry M Dodd [Visitor]
I had my basic training at Camp Crowder in 1945... What I remember with such fondness were the people in and around Crowder -
They were wonderfulpeople - They would 'take us GI'S in to their homes for dinner on a Sunday.
Permalink 08/29/09 @ 00:22
Comment from: Harry M Dodd [Visitor]
I had my basic training at Camp Crowder in 1945... What I remember with such fondness were the people in and around Crowder -
They were wonderfulpeople - They would 'take us GI'S in to their homes for dinner on a Sunday.
Permalink 08/29/09 @ 00:23
Comment from: Ap stock footage [Visitor] · http://www.comtech.gm/Members/Footage/artbeats-stock-footage
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Permalink 10/13/09 @ 23:13
Comment from: Dell computer repair [Visitor] · http://www.3drops.com/Members/Comprepair/affordable-computer-repairs
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Permalink 10/18/09 @ 10:17
Comment from: edhardyclub [Visitor] · http://www.edhardyclub.com
Thank you for your help!
Permalink 12/03/09 @ 21:47
Comment from: Perry [Visitor]
Did you check out the city that has been fenced off over by the tunnels where they checked the jet engines?
Permalink 05/14/10 @ 18:33
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Permalink 07/31/10 @ 07:00
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Permalink 10/25/10 @ 05:53

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