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Camp Reynolds - World War II Army Cam


My mom and dad, John & Mary Connelly, worked at the Camp. Mom worked in a Motor Pool and drove trucks around and dad worked in a PX in the evenings (he worked at the Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad during the day). He would bring home ice cream in dry ice from the PX and sometimes we would burn our hands playing with the dry ice. Dad was also an Air Raid Warden  My mom remembers the following... Victory Station and being in it; giving colored plastic combs to the POWS and how they would melt them and make plastic jewelry like rings etc.; getting 4 army blankets after camp closed (said they were the warmest); the burning furniture when the camp was closed.
I remembers my mom taking me inside a theater to see the inside and seeing the POWS and the high fence around them. My aunt lived in one of the prefab homes built in Reynolds after the camp closed.
- Paula Nofsker - Daughter

I worked in the warehouses at Camp Reynolds while I was attending St. Michaels during the summer 1943. 
We were paid by check from the government. We filled clothing orders for units (companies) that were shipping out. I worked the midnight shift 12-8. There was a Warrant officer in charge, a lady did the paper work and 3 young guys that did the work. The clothing came in bundles shirts pants etc. and shoes came in boxes.
When we were off they would go out of the camp on C Street and across Route 18 and go swimming in the behind the Blue Sky. I remember guards walking along the railroad siding by the warehouse.
I also remember seeing Italian and German POWS. Another memory is seeing a Captain looking out a window at a group of soldiers hanging out in front of this one barrack… finally he went over to look and see what was going on discovered that there was a “lady of the night” in there. It was said that she got smuggled in in a mail bag.
I quit school and started working at Keystone Works and was drafted into the Army while working there.
- John (Sunny) McCorkle - Former Greenville Resident

After the closing of Camp Reynolds the area begin to be developed into a residential and industrial area by the Greenville Businessmen's Association. Gunnison Homes makers of pre-fabricated homes had a contract with the government to offer GI mortgages to veterans.
My father Warren Goehring was an individual local contractor in the 1950 & 60s who had a contract with  Gunnison Homes to put up houses purchased with the GI mortgage. He built around 400 homes.
The prefab houses were put together in Pittsburgh and shipped here. The homes were built on cement slabs as the GI mortgage would not pay for a cellar. If the veteran wanted a cellar or any other addition they had to supply the money for it.
A majority of the new homes in the Reynolds residential area were made by Gunnison Homes and later on were made by Crestwood Homes located in the Reynolds industrial area and other companies.
- Greg Goehring - Son

I worked at the 10th Street PX while I was in High School. We would catch rides to the camp, sometimes riding in cars that would be dropping off students from St. Michaels School who lived in the camp area.
I worked there from mid 1943 to when the camp was closing.
The inside of the PX I worked had a counter almost the length of the building... on one end was draft beer (3:2 beer), next was where milk, pop, sandwiches and candy could be purchased and at the far end was where cage beer was sold (cage beer was in bottles and packed on ice) and the latrine was. A guy would sell draft beer, another guy would sell the cage beer and a young girl would be selling the food, candy and pop.
As the camp neared closing I remember the Army's system of disposing of things that would not be transferred... if it could be burnt, they would burn it; if it couldn't be burnt then they would smash it; and if they couldn't smash it they would bury it.
During my time there I experienced several major events at the camp. Below are a few of them... .
Heavy Weight Boxing Champion Joe Louis... My dad took me to Joe Louis fight an exhibition match against Jersey Joe Walcott at the Amphitheater.
Judy Garland... I remember seeing Judy at the camp during her 2 day stay.
Race Riot... I was working the night of the riot and remember hearing gun shots and me and another guy who worked with me to the Recreation Hall near 12th Street and hid under some mats until we thought the coast was clear. We later learned what the shooting was about.
- John Connelly - Former Greenville Resident

When I was a young boy I was up at Packard Park playing with some friends. While we were there two men came and were swimming and diving in the river (at that time there was a high & low dive on the river). They swam for a while and then left. We later discovered that the two men were German Prisioners of War (POWS) from Camp Reynolds.
- Vince Tofani - Former Greenville Resident

My mother and I were riding the Pennsylvania Railroad from Transfer, PA to Greenville, PA one day. On the way back the Conductor called the next station they were coming to and it was at Camp Reynolds whose station was called Victory Station. As the Conductor called out "Victory" my mother got all excited as she thought that we had won the war.
- Vern Bartlett - Local Resident

When digging the foundation for our house built in 1961 across from Reynolds High School we found small wooden cases of new tools like hammers, screw drivers, etc. that the Army had buried when they were closing the camp. I also remember that the Greenville Lumber Company sub-contracted the Amish to build our house.
While working for the Greenville-Reynolds Development at the Water Filtration Plant I saw some German sayings on the wall.
Another remembrance is that the army camp roads were wider than our current roads as we found gravel several feet past the side of the roads.
- Rick Mertz - Former Reynolds Area Resident

I was born in 1934 and shined shoes at the camp. We would hick-hike down and then would go through the main gate and had no problem getting in. We also ate there but not in the soldiers’ mess halls.
We each had our own sections and had to fight some times to keep their section from other shoe shine boys. We charged 10 cents but we were usually given more. It was good money. On the weekends we stayed in Greenville as most of the soldiers were in town.
- Gessler - Greenville Rsident

My father, Edward Barnes, from Arkansas, guarded POWS while he was stattioned at the camp.
He meet his future wife Mary Williamson at the USO in Greenville. My mother was from Hadley and was in Greenville visiting a friend who wanted to go to a dance at the USO but my mother didn't want to go because she didn't have a date. Her friend said there would be lots of guys there  She met Ed there and they were married in August 1943.
- Audrey Artman - Daughter

I remember as a young girl my grandfather taking me to the camp to see the POWS at the camp..
- Local Reynolds Area Resident

My grandmother Hilda McClellan worked at the camp. One job was in a sewing unit that took apart "jungle boots" and made them into regular footwear. She also worked in a Dental Clinic.
My cousin Robert who was 12 years old shined soldiers shoes by the Riverview Hotel which was just a little ways from the Pennsylvania Railroad Station where the soldiers were dropped off when they came to town.
- Janet McClelland Runkle - Granddaughter 

Capt. J.K. Jung served at the camp during Nov 1944.
- Gayle - Friend

I remember as a kid growing up in Reynolds that my friends and I (known as the Edgewood Dr. Gang) would play in and explore around the old camp remains. I lived on Edgewood Drive and behind my house back in the woods we discovered Fox Holes and Pill Boxes. One of the Pill Boxes was camouflaged. I also remember riding our bikes on the cement remains of one of the camps theaters on Delmar Street.
- Brian Holzshu - Former Reynolds Area Resident

When I got out of High School around 1966 I worked at Crest Wood Homes, located in the former camp area for a while. I remember there were some old barracks from the camp behind the shop that they used for storage. The floors were sagging and warped.
- Local Greenville Resident