My grandson Collin from the past weekend. I think he's wearing Grandpa's glasses!
GUEST INFORMATION 09-04-2012
6:20 Adam Schaeffer from the Cato Institute - we talk about Charter Schools, and how they might be killing private schools. Read more on "The Charter School Paradox".
7:10 Dr. Dennis Powers on Valley History and more, and today we discuss the history of Camp White. (more below)
7:35 State Rep. Sal Esquivel - How to increase state reserves, legisltation to do same.
8:10 Linda K. Rolie, career coach, and author of "Getting Back to Work" Everything you need to bounce back and get a job after a layoff. Good conversation, and Linda's LOCAL, find out more on LindaRolie.com
By Dennis Powers
Medford promoted its “Agate Desert”--a flat area seven miles east--in 1941 as the perfect place for military training with its topography being perfect for buildings and parade grounds. In May, the War Department decided the area would be one of nine new training camps throughout the U.S. A large architects’ office was established in the Medford Armory and staffed to design the camp, including the roads, power, and utilities.
The camp became a priority when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and war declared against Japan and Germany. Five firms combined to submit the low bid of $27.5 million, construction soon began, and work began around the clock under huge lights. Traffic over Crater Lake Highway was so heavy that it was made one-way out of Medford with Table Rock Road heading back in the other direction. More than 10,000 workers were involved and many lived in tent cities.
Completed in six months, the camp was officially dedicated on August 15, 1942, as “Camp George A. White” after the adjutant general of the Oregon National Guard who had recently died. It encompassed 77 square miles, trained 40,000 troops at a time, the building core was a one-mile rectangle, had over 1300 buildings, and was the second largest city in Oregon. Camp White trained the 96th Division, as well as engineering, medical, and artillery units between 1942 and 1945.
Just outside of Camp White was the compound that held German POWs and over 1,600 German prisoners were detained there. The facilities included barracks, mess hall, storage, and offices with the area guarded 24/7. Owing to the war effort, the Rogue Valley had a shortage of farm laborers; and the U.S. Government decided that the POWs at Camp White would work in the orchards and be paid 88 cents and a bottle of beer per day--a far cry from what happened with U.S. POWs.
Although repatriated after World War II, some of the POWs returned to the U.S. and even Medford to live. In fact, one POW was so happy with his life in the valley, even when a prisoner of war, that he returned 21 years after being sent back to his native country and for years ran a Medford upholstery shop.
Most of Camp White's buildings were torn down and salvaged for their materials after the war. Buildings were also moved intact to the University of Oregon; the bricked camp hospital became the Veteran's Administration Domiciliary, now operated by the V.A. as the Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and known locally as the “Dom”. The camp’s core gave the infrastructure for the White City Industrial Park; with the surrounding community, the former Camp White building interior was renamed in 1960 as White City.
See: Kramer, George. The Oregon Encyclopedia: “Camp White” at http://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/entry/view/camp_white/. “Campwhite.org” at
http://www.campwhite.org/. See also: Kramer, George. Camp White: City in the Agate Desert. White City, Ore.: Camp White 50th Anniversary Committee, 1992.
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