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    This month in Fort McCoy history: February 2020

    4620th Service Unit Women's Army Corps Detachment

    Courtesy Photo | The 4620th Service Unit Women's Army Corps Detachment poses for a picture in the...... read more read more



    Story by Aimee Malone 

    Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office           

    Fort McCoy, Wis., was established in 1909. Here is a look back at some installation history from February 2020 and back.

    75 Years Ago — Feb. 1, 1945

    Camp McCoy's female Soldiers departed from the installation for temporary duty in Chicago. The entire Women’s Army Corps (WAC) detachment left for a special Army mission.

    Leading the delegation were 1st Lt. Lois S. Button, commanding officer, and 1st Lt. Betty Erickson, executive officer. The McCoy WACs were housed at the Chicago Women’s Club.

    The 4620th Service Unit was activated at Camp McCoy May 8, 1942, and was commanded by Lt. Mary Roberts and Capt. Dorothy Alexander before Button assumed command. The WACs served in about 150 different types of jobs.

    35 Years Ago — Feb. 21, 1985

    Within hours of their arrival at Fort McCoy, 541 members of the 36th Engineer Group (Combat), Fort Benning, Ga., found themselves knee-deep in snow pitching tents.

    Deployed directly to the field was a major test for the soldiers participating in Frozen Seahorse ’85 because it closely simulated the chain of events that would have to take place if the unit were actually deployed. The units that participated in the exercise were the 36th Engineer Group, Higher Headquarters Company, 43rd Engineer Battalion (Combat Heavy) and the 2nd platoon of the 533rd Transportation Company.

    The experiences gained through that exercise and the training on individual soldiers skills were implemented into the group’s 72-hour field training exercise. The major exercise included training in the combat engineer mission as well unit movement and reorganizing as infantry to defend a position. Frozen Seahorse '85 was in support of the unit’s European Capstone mission, which supported NATO.

    30 Years Ago — Feb. 9, 1990

    Five was the lucky number for the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO)-Sparta, a tenant activity at Fort McCoy. The organization was selected as one of five to receive DRMO of the Year honors from its headquarters, the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service in Battle Creek, Mich.

    DRMO-Sparta was judged the best of the 16 DRMOs that competed in the “small” category. This award marked the fifth time the DRMO-Sparta won the competition. The other awards were for 1981 through 1984.

    20 Years Ago — Feb. 25, 2000

    Documentation of more than 1,300 Fort McCoy buildings was completed with computerized records and digital photographs.

    The Fort McCoy Archaeology Laboratory conducted the study from about March 1999 through January 2000. The project included taking digital photographs of building exteriors and compiling information about the size, use, age, etc., of the buildings.

    Installation personnel, such as Real Property, building managers, directorate planners, and security personnel who have responsibility for the buildings, could then access the information with a desktop computer.
    The project was conducted in compliance with Section 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Section 110 of the act required all federal agencies to inventory their real estate to determine if they had anything that would merit inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

    About 75 percent of the buildings at Fort McCoy in 2000 were built during World War II in the early 1940s. Ted Grevstad-Nordbrock, a member of the Fort McCoy Archaeology Laboratory, said the buildings lasted a lot longer than originally envisioned and many still served their original purpose. If anything, the study showed the ability of the buildings to withstand the effects of time, he said.

    (Article prepared by the Public Affairs Office from The Real McCoy and Triad archives.)



    Date Taken: 02.12.2020
    Date Posted: 02.12.2020 15:44
    Story ID: 362807
    Location: FORT MCCOY, WI, US 

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