Life at Camp Funston


Photo Gallery

A photo of Mother and Dad together, before he left for training.

The lady (153K) to whom the letters were written, my Mother, Lucille Marie Farris Johnston.

Another photo of my mother.She was about 15 here, and that was about the age she started dating my dad.

Click here for an excellent panoramic photo (347K) of Camp Funston, courtesy the University of Kansas Heritage Graphics Collection.

Courtesy of the Special Collections Department of the Kansas City Public Library, here is a look at the Camp Funston Library interior (56K), exterior (82K), and a panoramic shot (364K) of the commercial strip of shops and entertainment known as the Zone.

This (114K) is a shot of the Arcade, which was located in the Zone. Judging from the guard posted in front of the door, it must have been a popular place.

Courtesy Bob Swanson, this is a shot of some Camp Funston soldiers (41K) sending their civilian clothes home after they had received their government issue uniforms. Swanson says American Express, Railway Express and the U.S. Postal Service provided this service for the men.

A bread truck (66K) making a delivery to camp.

One of the main gates of Funston. (25K)

Some picture post cards Dad sent on some of his travels. (Note: This is a large file consisting of four images. It will probably take about two minutes to load at 28 kbps.)

My Dad and his buddies, (69K) dressed for parade review. (Dad's on the right end.)

Here is the shoulder patch of the 10th Division, courtesy Dan Fisher

A boxing match (97K). Boxing was apparently a popular pastime. (Dad is second from the left end.)

A makeshift Emergency Hospital (170K) set up at Camp Funston to care for victims of the 1918 influenza epidemic. (Courtesy, The Otis Historical Archives of the National Museum of Health & Medicine.)

Convoy trucks (98K) going through the mountains.

View one (34K) and View two (30K) of Camp Holabird in 1918, courtesy of the U.S. Army Military History Institute.

The following four photos are reproduced here courtesy Tom Caulley. These are just a taste of what he has on his siteCourtesy Marv Cruzan, whose Dad also trained at Camp Funston, this is a jpeg (234K) of a message from England's King George received by the members of his Dad's 89th Division on arriving in England on their way to France. The handwriting says, "Soldiers of the United States, the people of the British Isles welcome you on your way to take your stand beside the Armies of many Nations now fighting in the Old World the great battle for Human Freedom. The Allies will gain new heart & spirit in your company. I wish that I could shake the hand of each of you & bid you God speed on your mission."

Also from Marv is this piece of German propaganda (126K) which was dropped on the 89th Division, in hopes of dampening their spirits. (P.S. It didn't work.)A couple of other propaganda samples are here (67K) and here (45K).

Included in the papers Marv's Dad left was an Official Army Song Book (94K) which was evidently general issue. It may surprise many to know that there are words to the bugle call, Taps (106K). Among other treasures Marv's Dad left was his Soldier's Diary, (90K) including his thoughts on November 11, 1918 (80K), when the shelling stopped. Also included were samples of currency scrip (133K) with which the AEF came into contact. Additionally, there was this handbill (129K). It was apparently an attempt by the Axis powers to avoid further Allied offensive action while negotiations on the armistice were underway.

In April 1919 Gen. John Pershing reviewed the 89th Division prior to their embarkation for the United States. This (116K) was the program cover, and this (145K) was part of the music. Marv's Dad was a bugler.

Marv's Dad came home on the U.S.S. Agamemnon. Enroute, a ship's newspaper was printed daily. It was a four-page publication. Each of these files is around 400K, so be patient. Each will take approximately a minute to load at 28.8K. May 17, 1919, May 18, 1919, May 19, 1919, May 20, 1919,May 21, 1919, May 22, 1919, May 23, 1919.

Of all the items Marv's Dad left, perhaps the most historically significant are the maps, not only for the war information they present, but for the documented roads and towns that have long since disappeared. Marv has asked me to make clear that these maps are in the public domain and those who want to make copies may freely do so. Maps showing the 89th Division's position in the Argonne, and in St. Mihiel are both in the area of 550K in size and will take about 31/2-4 minutes to download on a 28.8 modem with no net congestion. The Routes and Training Area of the 89th is a smaller file (318K). The Order of Battle map (800K) shows the location of Allied troops at 11 a.m., November 11, 1918.

Here (1064K) (3 pictures-Will take about 5 min. to load on dialup) are pictures of some of the General Staff of the 89th Division and its units Marv scanned from the preface to the 341st Field Artillery regimental history. Also, here is the arm patch of the 89th Division.

The pictures and postcards below were sent to me by Neil Rozman of Columbus, Ohio, whose great uncle, Harry Williams was also stationed at Camp Holabird, the destination for the trucks my Dad drove. These pictures were some Harry Williams took and some postcards he collected, illustrating the appearance of the camp during World War One.

Water front (107K)is a look at a portion of the camp that fronts the water. The water was possibly the Patapsco river, which connects Baltimore with the Chesapeake bay.

Birds-eye trucks (155K) begins to show the tremendous importance of the trucks and the key part Holabird played in the war effort. In one of my Dad's letters, he said there were trucks "as far as the eye could see."

More trucks (116K) provides another view of the seemingly endless trucks at Holabird.

Truck (72K) shows that efforts were not only aimed at trucks but staff cars as well

Truck yard (88K) is an interesting shot because it shows the contrast of the old work horse (an actual horse) with the new work horse (the truck)

With all those trucks around, it was important to have a good mechanic crew (130K) to keep them running. Neil Rozman said his great-uncle Harry Williams was a mechanic and learned a great deal about cars. After the war was over, he worked for an automobile manufacturer (no longer existent) and was later hired as chauffeur for Mr. Theodore Williams (no relation) who, with a partner, later started the Sherwin-Williams paint company.

Tent city (93K) shows where the majority of temporary personnel stayed while at Holabird. When my Dad was there in January 1919, someone had goofed and ordered summer tents (no stoves in them). Whoever it was probably was not living in one of them.

Because of the nature of Holabird's mission, it was subject to large influxes and outfluxes of personnel and tents (149K) were the answer. These were very similar to those my Dad used at Camp Funston in Kansas.

The more permanent personnel had barracks (124K) to live in.

When it came to wash day (106K) you hung your clothes over anything that was available in order to dry.

Everyone has to eat, and mess line (140K) shows a typical scene when it came time to eat. My Dad joked in one of his letters that "the Army really named it right when they called it 'mess'."

Everyone who's ever been in the Army remembers the Parade Grounds (135K)...The efforts to keep in step, keep your lines straight, and not goof up.

And, of course, no review could get by without a band and no band could get by without a band rehearsal (142K) After the parade was over, everyone might have gone to the post exchange (92K) or the Y.M.C.A. (145K)


The following photos were sent to me by Jim Egly of Portland, Oregon. Jim's father, Ezra James Egly, was also at Camp Funston during WW1. He went to OCS and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Field Artillery.

Payday at Camp Funston (483K) is a panoramic view of what happened on payday. Kind of makes you glad you weren't the payroll accountant. I had been curious as to why we see no uniforms, but several people have suggested this may have been a payday for civilian employees. Could be.

Soldiers watching Football (157K) shows the "amphitheater" style seating for many sporting events at Camp Funston.

Motorcycle Squad (131K) One of several modes of transportation at the Camp.

Officers Quarters (117K) shows the barracks of the upper echelon.

An Overall view (120K) and a Sectional view (148K) of the Camp Funston detention camp. The term "detention" had nothing to do with law enforcement. It was merely a place where enlistees were "detained" until a certain point in their training.

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