U.S. Army Installations In Maryland 
During World War II

Maryland State Archives
350 Rowe Boulevard
Annapolis, MD 21401

Phone: (410) 260-6400
Internet: mdsa.net
e-mail: archives@mdsa.net

Introduction

As America anticipated war in the late 1930's, and actually mobilized following the attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941, Maryland was the scene of manpower build up, training and indoctrination, and logistical and materiel preparation.  U.S. Army installations in the state, originally established for the First World War, were revitalized and expanded to meet the demands of America's entry into World War II.

To provide some insight into the lives of those training and working in preparation for war in both Europe and the Pacific, this document packet focuses on three of those Maryland installations: Fort Meade, Aberdeen Proving Ground, and Edgewood Arsenal.

National History Standards

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following National History Standards for Grades 5-12:

Era 8: The Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945)

STANDARD 3: The causes and course of World War II, the character of the war at home and abroad, and the reshaping of the U.S. role in world affairs.

Standard 3C: The student understands the effects of World War II at home.

5-12: Explain how the United States mobilized its economic and military resources during World War II. [Utilize visual and quantitative data] 
7-12: Explore how the war fostered cultural exchange and interaction while promoting nationalism and American identity. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships] 

Primary Resources

  1. TITLE:  Quartermaster Reserve Trainees
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  Fort Meade, MD, 1 June 1939
    NOTES: "In this photograph of the first group of Quartermaster Reserve Trainees, newly commissioned officers check in at Control Station No. 3 on Vesie Hill, Fort Meade, MD (1 June 1939)"
    SOURCE:  Fort Meade Historical Timeline "Between The Wars"
    REPOSITORY:  Fort George G. Meade Museum

  2. TITLE:   12,000 Loaves of Bread a Day!!!
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  Fort Meade, MD, date unknown  
    NOTES: "The Fort Meade bakery supplied bread for the whole post (approximately 20,000 people including families of married men).  A big electric oven like the one shown above turned out 700 one-pound loaves every hour.  Each batch was cooked for 30 minutes."
    SOURCE:  Fort Meade Historical Timeline "World War II"
    REPOSITORY:   Fort George G. Meade Museum

  3. TITLE:  Actress Marlene Dietrich with Major Richard O'Connell
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  Fort Meade, MD, 1942
    SOURCE: Fort Meade Historical Timeline "World War II" 
    REPOSITORY:  Fort George Meade Museum

  4. TITLE:  Eddie "Rochester" Anderson
    CREATED/PUBLISHED:  Fort Meade, MD, 1942
    SOURCE:  Fort Meade Historical Timeline "World War II"
    REPOSITORY:  Fort George G. Meade Museum

  5. TITLE:  Prisoners of War
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  Fort Meade, MD, date unknown 
    NOTES: During World War II, Fort Meade was home to a number of German and Italian prisoners of war.  In September 1943, the first shipment of 1632 Italian and 58 German prisoners arrived at Fort Meade.  Some of those prisoners, including a highly decorated German submarine commander named Werner Henke, died during their captivity and were buried at Fort Meade.  Werner Henke was shot and killed while attempting to escape.  Others died of natural causes.
    SOURCE:   Fort Meade Historical Timeline "World War II"
    REPOSITORY:  Fort George G. Meade Museum

  6. TITLE:  POW Burials at Fort Meade
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  Fort Meade, MD, date unknown
    SOURCE: Anne Arundel County County History Notes, January 1995 
    REPOSITORY:  Fort George G. Meade Museum

  7. TITLE:  Historic American Engineering Record: Aberdeen Proving Ground
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  1985
    SOURCE:   Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress

  8. TITLE:  Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt in Aberdeen
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  1942
    NOTES:  Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt looking on as men of the Ordnance Replacement Training Center take an examination in the principles of ammunition supply. Mrs. Roosevelt was particularly interested in observing the methods used by the Army in teaching men who have had little or no formal education. At left is Brigadier General Bethel W. Simpson, who escorted her around the post.
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress

  9. TITLE:  Sergeant Glen Church and Son
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  1942?
    NOTES: Aberdeen, Maryland. This father and son team work together in the Ordnance School at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. Sergeant Glen Church, forty, looking up at his son Edward Church, twenty-nine, who is a corporal. They enlisted in the U.S. Army together and hope to work together for the duration.
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress

  10. TITLE:  Telephone Operators at Aberdeen Proving Grounds
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  December 1941
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress

  11. TITLE:  Defense Workers at Aberdeen Proving Grounds
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  December 1941
    NOTES: Girls who work at Aberdeen proving grounds paying rent for room in dormitory for defense workers. Aberdeen, Maryland.
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress

  12. TITLE:  FSA Dormitory Room
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  December 1941
    NOTES: Girls who work at Aberdeen proving grounds and share a room in FSA (Farm Security Administration) dormitory for defense workers. Aberdeen, Maryland.
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress

  13. TITLE: Defense Worker Reading a Letter  
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  December 1941
    NOTES: Defense worker reading a letter from home. He works at the proving grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland and lives in one of the FSA (Farm Security Administration) dormitories for defense workers.
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress

  14. TITLE:  Gas Demonstration
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  June 1942
    NOTES: Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland. Gas demonstration. Soldiers in gas chamber filled with tear gas.
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress

  15. TITLE:  Attaching Wiring to a Glass Tube Containing Liquid Gas
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  June 1942
    NOTES: Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland. Gas demonstration. Attaching wiring to a glass tube containing liquid gas. This is later exploded and a group of soldiers are run through the gas to learn its identity by the odor.
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress

  16. TITLE:  Exiting the Gas Chamber
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  June 1942
    NOTES: Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland. Gas demonstration. Soldier who has just come out of the gas chamber filled with tear gas after having been in there several seconds without a gas mask.
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress

  17. TITLE:  Testing Gas Masks
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  June 1942
    NOTES:  Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland. Gas demonstration. Soldiers in the gas chamber filled with tear gas which emanates from cans on the floor in the corner.  This training enabled new soldiers to test the effectiveness of their gas masks and build up their confidence in the equipment.
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress

Additional Media Resources

History Department, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY

United States Army Center of Military History

U.S. Army Military History Institute

WWII Links - University of Michigan

The Institute on WWII and the Human Experience

The Rutgers Oral History Archives of WWII

Additional Instructional Resources

Resources on Incorporating Primary Sources and Historic Sites in Classroom Instruction

Secondary Resources

Allen, Mary Moore.  Origins of Names of Army and Air Corps Posts, Camps, and Stations in WWII in Maryland.  Black Mountain, NC, 1943

Beard, Charles President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War 1941 Yale (New Haven) 1948, 3rd edit.

Bradley, Sylvia.  We Live Among Heroes: A Commemorative of Wicomico County's World War II Veterans Westside Historical Society of Wicomico County, 1996

Buchanan, A Russell Black Americans in World War II Clio (Santa Barbara) 1977

Rogers, Michael A. Answering Their Country's Call: Marylanders in World War II. Baltimore, JHU Press, 2003

Sheads, Scott S. (with Dieter Ralston).  "The Home Front at War," 2003

Associated Heritage and Preservation Organizations

United States Army Ordnance Museum
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
410-278-3602
Fort George G. Meade Museum
4674 Griffin Ave., Ft. Meade, MD
301-677-6966
Maryland State Archives
350 Rowe Blvd.
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 260-6400

Credits

Teaching American History in Maryland is a collaborative partnership of the Maryland State Archives and the Center for History Education (CHE), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and the following sponsoring school systems: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore County Public Schools, and Howard County Public Schools.

Other program partners include the Martha Ross Center for Oral History, Maryland Historical Society, State Library Resource Center/Enoch Pratt Free Library, with assistance from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress. The program is funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

This document packet was researched and developed by Derrick E. Lapp.

An Archives of Maryland Online Publication
© Copyright, Maryland State Archives, June 23, 2004