TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The Camp Fannin Association is remembering 78 years since the East Texas Infantry Replacement Training Center was built.
The group hosted their annual reunion Friday and Saturday to honor the military recruits that trained at the center from 1943 to 1946.
Camp Fannin trained over 200,000 infantry replacement soldiers for World War II. When the camp was in operation, it was bigger than the city of Tyler.
It also left a major economic impact on the area, bringing hundreds of new people to East Texas.
“Camp Fannin was 1 of 9 IRTC’s in the United States from California to Florida and Georgia,” Dr. D. M. Edwards, Board Chair for the Camp Fannin Association, said. “It was an important part of supplying the troops to win WWII in Europe and WWII in the Pacific.”
On Friday, members invited the public to join them at the Sleep Inn on Donnybrook to observe multiple artifacts from the Camp Fannin days. Items such as photographs, certificates and postcards will be on sale.
On Saturday morning, there was antique military vehicles displayed on the lawn around the Camp Fannin memorial at UT Tyler’s North Campus. There was also a prisoner of war cell that housed POW’s during the second world war.
According to the Camp Fannin Association, it was named in honor of the hero of Goliad, Colonel James Walker Fannin.
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