What Is a Brief History of the Fort Campbell Army Base?


Quick Answer

Fort Campbell officially opened as a U.S. Army base in the summer of 1942. The base lies along the Kentucky and Tennessee border. It was named after Brigadier General William Bowell Campbell, a former Tennessee governor.

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The site for Fort Campbell was chosen in July 1941. With the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December of that same year and with the base still under construction, the site became known as Camp Campbell for World War II support troops. The Fort Campbell base is a significant U.S. Army historical landmark. It is currently home to the only Air Assault Division in the world, the 101st Airborne Division, and it is also home of the Army's most-deployed contingency forces.

The Don F. Pratt Museum at Fort Campbell showcases the history of the 101st Airborne Division, known as "The Screaming Eagles." The museum dates back to 1956 and features items from World War II and the Vietnam War. An outdoor park near the museum includes historical aircraft and equipment. The museum shows daily historical films and has a gift shop.

The Fort Campbell Historical Foundation supports the museum, and plans are underway for a Wings of Liberty Museum and a Fort Campbell Historical Complex. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preserving the history of Fort Campbell and the legacy of its soldiers.

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