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Camp Reynolds - World War II Army Cam


I remember while visiting the camp as a child seeing the German POWS. They would trade anything for food. I ended up with a fountain pen and some button off a couple of the prisoners.
- Bill Himes - Local Resident

My stepdad helped in the building of the camp. After the war I bought the Camp's Fire House on Edgewood Drive (called E Street while the camp was in operation) and used it as a service station.
- Jim Morgan - Local Resident

While living in San Francisco I met a couple visiting from Germany -- I was standing on the outside of a cable car and they were seated in front of me -- I heard them speaking a language that I thought was German and asked if they were from Germany -- they said they were and asked where I was from -- when I said Pennsylvania, they asked the town, and when I said Sharon, their eyes lit up -- the husband had been a POW at Camp Reynolds, and he told me how nice the people he met were and how well he was treated generally at the Camp. (I can't explain how he seemed to have had even occasional contacts with people (civilians) living in the area)
- Peter Boyle, Former Sharon, PA resident now living in San Francisco, CA

I enlisted into the Army and was stationed in Germany in 1962. While on assignment in West Berlin I meet a Chaplain. After a talking about where we were from etc. he related a story of how he danced with my Aunt, Carmilla Liscio at one of the Service Clubs at Camp Reynolds.
- Army Veteran, Anthony M. Liscio

My family moved from Glenn Campbell, PA to the Transfer area in the early 1940. My dad worked at Westinghouse in Sharon, PA and we lived in a house owned by Templeton a local potato farmer. As a young boy about 11 years old I worked for the Templeton's picking potatoes. In the middle of 1942 when the Army camp was being built the Army took over the Templeton property and the house we lived in and we moved down into Transfer. I remember before moving that they were building the camp so fast that we were picking potatoes underneath the barracks to save as many potatoes as we could.
Another remembrance was during the Race Riot at the camp when the local Civilian Defense Corps in Transfer came around telling us to stay inside.
- Bill Gardner, Transfer PA Resident

My father James Madison Gilliland (1882-1967) from the West Middlesex area had a team of gray horses that he sold to Sharon Coal and Ice in 1942. Because of gasoline rationing and costs the company intended to use the team to deliver beer to Camp Reynolds. A problem arose for the company when the team could not be driven by anyone else. Therefore Sharon Coal and Ice hired my father to drive the team two days a week in 1943-44 to Camp Reynolds to make the beer deliveries at the PX. I remember my oldest sister was very upset that Dad was delivering beer, but I certainly enjoyed the candy bars he occasionally bought at the PX for me.
- As told by Rebecca (Gilliland) Ahern on August 12, 2013

I remember when I was at Hickory High School Hickory, PA then / now Hermitage, PA) we saw truck loads of soldiers going south on Route 18. The students would wave at the soldiers and talk to them at times as they were stopped at the red light.
- Paul Turjan

Lady remembers her Elementary School in West Middlesex touring Camp Reynolds. She remembers seeing the soldiers in their uniforms.
She also remembers being in Greenville Hospital when news came that the war in Europe had ended. She remembers people shouting in the street that "The War Was Over."
- Lady from Transfer

My brother was 12  years older then me. In 1942 when he enlisted in the Army I was only 5.My memory of his Army career is that he was working for Baldwin Brower's out of Erie in 1941. They had an asphalt batch plant in Boyer's PA  and were installing roads at Camp Reynolds. As the war heated up he and a  couple of buddies enlisted in the Army. My brother had a "lazy eye" and was rejected  for combat and was put into finance. My grandparents were from Germany and he could speak a little German and became a MP at Camp Reynolds. He guarded prisoners and escorted some to Leavenworth in Kansas. He was later transferred to Kansas where he guarded prisoners who worked on farms. He made friends with some and kept in touch after they had returned to Germany when the war ended. He knew a couple of them who returned to the US and married farm girls they met while working. He also attended reunions of prisoners who returned to Leavenworth occasionally. My brother also married a farm girl and spent the rest of his life in Kansas.
- Bill West

My grandfather Calvert was the owner of Calvert Lumber in (Budd St.) Sharon, PA. Calvert supplied wood for the building of the camp.  My cousins still operate Calvert Lumber. He also helped build camp Reynolds and also built torpedo boxes for Westinghouse in Sharon. I remember going to Camp Reynolds to see the Nazis and giving them cigarettes through the cyclone fences which had three strands of barbed wire on top of it. Two of my friends fathers drove buses to take the Nazis to the Columbia Theater in Sharon for movies.
- David W. Difenderfer

Lena Giardina, a Greenville, PA resident who operated Lena's Doll Hospital sewed patches for GI's at the camp.

- Grandson

Carmella Giardina (daughter of Lena Giardina), a Greenville, PA resident married Patrick Orrick who worked in the Motor Pool at the camp.

- Grandson

I remember when Judy Garland sang at the Officer's Club and, I imagine, sang later elsewhere in the camp.  We were at a table with General Ladd, and Colonel & Opal Chase. They used to keep our little dog, Peanuts, when we were away.  They were a grand couple.  Were posted in Japan after leaving Camp Reynolds.  Both General. Ladd and Chuck Chase were buddies from West Point, as was the Major who lived with his wife in our spare room for a while. Sorry their name escapes me at the moment - they were a very fine couple, as well. 
- Mimi Filer, Columbus, Ohio

I remember riding in an Army truck to school in Transfer until the Army Base provided a school bus. We even had a guard with a rifle and I remember being worried that anybody jumping out would be shot. I also remember the German POWs who picked up garbage.

- Ruth Ann Allen (Wescott)

My mother Lois Wilson (Crawford) was a file clerk in the post office at Camp Reynolds.

- Ellen Crawford Dummett

In May of 1944 I hired out on the Erie Railroad as a freight and baggage handler at the Greenville passenger station and freight house. It was an exciting time. In 1942 the U. S. government bought up some of the farm lands south of Greenville, and turned it into, first, Camp Shenango, later re-named Camp Reynolds.

The camp was not a training camp as such, but on a good day, and with the wind in the right direction, we could hear rifle fire from the ranges at the camp four miles away. I can remember by father taking me to the over-pass near the camp on a Sunday afternoon, and watching the troop trains on the Pennsylvania Railroad, which entered the camp, loading and unloading soldiers.
Something that most people don't remember now is that during World War II, many Mexican nationals came to the states to work. At Greenville, there was a track gang of at least twenty men of various ages headquartered.
After Camp Reynolds was in business for about two years, German prisoners-of-war began to be brought in. The camp received some of its small freight at the Erie freight house. I can remember five or six German prisoners, guarded by a non-com from the camp, usually armed with a M-1 carbine, plus a non-com driver, also armed, arriving to pick up some freight. I would get the papers ready to sign; the guard would tell me to point out what was to be taken, and then to step out of the way. He would say something to one of the Germans, they would go to work, the non-com would sign the papers, and they were off back to the camp. It was quite interesting, and I felt no fear at the time. I didn't get a chance to speak to any of the prisoners, since the non-com was strictly business, but I would have liked to.
- William Garts  (Former Local Resident)    To Read More CLICK HERE

My father and mother met at Camp Reynolds. He was from Maryland and she was a local girl. They married in January 1944.

- Email

Mike Pistolesi taught music at Greenville HS for many years. He came to the Greenville area during WWII and was sent to Camp Reynolds to play in the band.  He would play for the troops who were leaving and I believe, for the Germans when they would go to dinner, etc.  

- Warren Keck

As a result of a great amount of snowfall Main Street of our little town Greenville, developed two ruts in the heavy snow, since we didn't have any snow-clearing equipment to handle such a large snowfall. The standing joke at that time was that a stranger, finding his way into town, would ask "Which rut do I take to get out of this place?" That was more truth than fiction, since the ruts grew larger by the day, and if you didn't stay in your rut, you didn't go anywhere.

Camp Reynolds was just a few miles down the road from our town. In, I believe, March of 1945, an engineer company stationed at the camp brought in its equipment, which included power shovels, bulldozers, etc., along with high-pressure water hoses, and cleaned up Main Street. We hadn't really seen the pavement since December 12 of 1944.
- William Garts  (Former Local Resident)    To Read More CLICK HERE

I remember going through the camp with my uncle who was a WWI veteran at age 13. The German prisoners came to work at a factory next to Wampum school. 

- Gene Cody