Headquarters, 36th Division, United States Army, 1917-1919. Established to train Texas National Guard and Oklahoma National Guard, after the U.S. entered World War I, April 1917. Named for James Bowie (1795-1836), one of the commanders who died at the Alamo in Texas War for Independence, Camp Bowie was occupied in July 1917. First troops to arrive slept in deep Johnson grass that covered the site, an undeveloped suburb.
By Nov. 1917, the 36th Division had 25,000 men here, and on July 8, 1918, they were shipped to France, to form reserve for French Armies of the Center. After nightfall, Oct. 6, the 36th occupied a segment of the fighting front; on Oct. 8 joined by elements of the U.S. 2nd Division, it captured St. Etienne-A-Arnes. It fought Oct. 10-28 in the Meuse-Argonne operation that shattered the German Army and assured victory to the Allies, bringing Armistice on Nov. 11, 1918.
The 36th Division, embarking for home the next May, had all its men on U.S. soil by June 11, 1919. Soon demobilized, it saw its "Home" at Camp Bowie revert to civilian uses between July 1919 and Aug. 1920.
When the Texas National Guard entered World War II its new camp at Brownwood was also named Bowie.
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