Fort Jackson, formerly Camp Jackson, in Columbia, South Carolina

By 1939 the United States began rebuilding up its military forces in reaction to world events. Included in this plan was the enlargement of the National Guard’s Camp Jackson in South Carolina and making it a regular Army installation for the 8th Division, handing control of the post to the Federal Government in 1940. Active in military preparation before and after Pearl Harbor, as many as half a million troops may have been trained for World War II at Fort Jackson. Fort Jackson brought people and revenue to the state capital. The soldiers faced grueling work in their training but enjoyed some special events as well. During the war, celebrities, such as movie star and singer Betty Grable, made guest appearances. Grable visited the Fort and attended a bond rally in Columbia in September 1942. At the bond rally she entertained the troops with a stage performance and visited the sick and wounded.

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