Fort Hood

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Fort Hood is a United States military post located outside of Killeen, Texas. The post is named after Confederate General John Bell Hood. It is located halfway between Austin and Waco, about 60 miles (97 km) from each, within the U.S. state of Texas.

Its origin was the need for wide-open space to test and train with World War II tank destroyers. The War Department announced the location in January 1942, and the initial completion was set for that August. As originally constructed, Fort Hood had an area of 158,706 Acres, with billeting for 6,007 officers and 82,610 enlisted personnel. The main cantonment of Fort Hood had a total population of 33,711, as of the 2000 U.S. Census. It is in Bell County, with some portions of the base in Coryell County.

Contents

History

Origins

During World War II, tank destroyers were developed to counter German mobile armored units. These were mobile anti-tank guns on armored halftracks or specially developed tanks. Wide-open space was needed for the tank destroyer testing and training, which Texas had in abundance. Andrew Davis (A.D.) Bruce was assigned to organize a new Tank Destroyer Tactical and Firing Center, and he chose Killeen, Texas for the new camp.[1] The War Department announced the selection on 15 January 1942. An initial acquisition of 108,000 acres (169 mi² / 437 km²) was made, and it was estimated that the camp would cost $22,800,000 for the land, facilities, and development of utilities. The date of completion was set for 15 August 1942.

About 300 families had to move from their homes to make room for the camp area. Whole communities were uprooted. The communities of Clear Creek, Elijah, and Antelope ceased to exist. The old Sugar Loaf community, historically called the "Cradle of Killeen," provided the city with many of its first citizens in 1882. All that remains of the community is the mountain from which it took its name, located in the Fort Hood impact area. To lessen the pain of moving, the Army agreed to allow land to be used for grazing for a nominal grazing fee. This grazing arrangement still continues today.

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