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Tarleton, Howard Payne, Brown County Museum celebrate Camp Bowie's 75th anniversary
Camp Bowie 75th Anniversary

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Tarleton State University joins Howard Payne University and The Brown County Museum of History to commemorate this month’s 75th anniversary of the commissioning of Camp Bowie, one of the state’s largest U.S. Army training facilities during World War II, located in Brownwood.

During the recent state legislative session, the House and Senate passed a resolution honoring the anniversary and recognizing the commemorative event.

“We’re honored to join Howard Payne University and The Brown County Museum to support and organize an event that is significant for the region and the state of Texas, and helps us remember our rich military history,” said Dr. Eric Morrow, head of Tarleton’s Social Sciences Department. “Camp Bowie represents the tremendous impact World War II military installations had on Texas, increasing state resources and modernizing public services, transportation, communications, medical facilities and more.”

The U.S. War Department authorized construction of Camp Bowie on Sept. 19, 1940—a year before the United States entered World War II. More than 250,000 soldiers trained at the base before it was decommissioned six years later.

Like the original training facility with the same name, constructed in 1917 three miles west of downtown Fort Worth, the Brownwood camp was home to the famed 36th Division Infantry (T-Patchers). A fictional account of the division was made into a major Hollywood movie, “A Walk in the Sun” (1946), by Twentieth Century Fox.

A quintet from the 36th Division Infantry Band and The Brown County Museum, 212 N. Broadway St., kick off the event at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, with the opening of the museum’s newest exhibit, “A Tribute to Those Who Served.” Later, the full band takes the stage at Brownwood’s Lyric Theatre, 318 Center Ave., for a 7 p.m. concert. A video of local residents who remember the Brownwood military installation follows.

A parade is set for 10 a.m. the following Saturday, Sept. 19, in downtown Brownwood (in concert with the city’s annual reunion), and the museum sponsors a living history camp and live military re-enactments as well as a memorial at the site of the camp’s original flagpole.

Between Saturdays, faculty and students from the two universities as well as military scholars, researchers, and local and state dignitaries make presentations on Camp Bowie, the history of Texas military installations and the contributions of local men and women who served in World War II at a two-day symposium (Sept. 17, 18) on the Howard Payne campus.

“The Camp Bowie symposium and the commemorative events are much more than academic exercises,” Morrow explained. “They are a tribute to those who served then as well as those who serve today. This is the first of many such events that will reflect on a challenging time that reshaped Texas, the region and the world.”

Commemorative events are free and open to the public; however, there is a minimal fee—from $10 to $55 depending on activities selected—for the symposium. To register for the symposium as well as tours of the Camp Bowie area, visit

Event Schedule:
Saturday, Sept. 12
• 2 p.m.—“A Tribute To Those Who Served,” The Brown County Museum
• 7 p.m.—36th Division Infantry Band, Brownwood Lyric Theatre

Wednesday, Sept. 16
• 7:30 p.m.—Symposium reception, Howard Payne University, Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center

Thursday, Sept. 17
• 8:30 a.m.—Registration for symposium and Camp Bowie tour, Howard Payne University, Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center
• 9 a.m.-4:15 p.m.—Symposium sessions (noon luncheon in the Mabee Center with keynote speaker Jeff Hunt, director of the Texas Military Forces Museum in Austin), Howard Payne University, Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center
• 5 p.m.—Symposium tour of “A Tribute to Those Who Served,” The Brown County Museum
• 6:30 p.m.—Symposium banquet, Howard Payne University, Mabee Center

Friday, Sept. 18
• 9-10:45 a.m.—Symposium session, Howard Payne University, Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center

Saturday, Sept. 19
• 10 a.m.—Parade, downtown Brownwood
• 1 p.m.—Camp Bowie Memorial, site of original flagpole, Krueger Hill, U.S. Highway 377 South.
• 1:30 p.m.—World War II re-enactment, European Theater, Krueger Hill, U.S. Highway 377 South.
• 3:30 p.m.—World War II re-enactment, Pacific Theater, Krueger Hill, U.S. Highway 377 South.

Tarleton, a member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven educational experience marked by academic innovation and exemplary service, and dedicated to transforming students into tomorrow’s professional leaders. With campuses in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian and online, Tarleton engages with its communities to provide real-world learning experiences and to address societal needs while maintaining its core values of integrity, leadership, tradition, civility, excellence and service.


Tarleton State University
Dr. Eric Morrow, head of the Department of Social Sciences

Howard Payne University
Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer

The Brown County Museum of History
Beverly Norris, coordinator of “A Tribute to Those Who Served”

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Camp Bowie 75th Anniversary