Fort Gordon's effect on military training is varied and far-reaching.
A pictorial history of the sprawling base, which started as Camp Gordon near Atlanta more than a century ago, has been published by three area men under the title Fort Gordon.
Sean Joiner, Dr. Gerald Smith and Robert Anzuoni collected photos of the fort's early history, including its 1917 start as a training center for World War I soldiers.
"(Fort Gordon) had such a global impact," said Anzuoni, the director of the U.S. Army Signal Corps Museum at Fort Gordon. "There are so many people out there who have trained here."
The book is the latest addition to Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series.
Anzuoni, who contributed many of the early pictures, said the base was the training center for the 4th Infantry Division; the 26th Infantry Division (Yankee Division); the 10th Armored Division (Tiger Division); and elements of the 82nd Airborne Division.
Famous alumni of Camp Gordon include Sgt. Alvin York, who was referred to as the "greatest soldier of World War I"; Jonathan Wainwright, the division operations officer who earned the Medal of Honor in World War II; and Gordon Johnston, the division chief of staff for the Signal Corps who also earned the Medal of Honor.
"All those had an impact on the war in Europe," said Anzuoni, of Aiken. "And they trained right here."
The Army's Comanche code talkers, who used their native language as a radio cipher, trained at Fort Gordon and landed on Normandy on D-Day.
Anzuoni said the base was once home to the Military Police School and is still home of the Signal Corps Training Center, which opened in 1948.
"It is an important training center," he said.
The base also served as a basic and advanced training center, preparing soldiers for every war since World War I.
Robert Duvall started his acting career in the theater while stationed at Fort Gordon in the mid-1950s.
Actor Rip Torn also served at the base, and actress and pin-up girl Jayne Mansfield lived there in the early 1950s while married to a lieutenant in the MP School, said Smith, an Evans resident.
"Anywhere you meet people, if they have been military, Army, usually they have been here," said Joiner, of Martinez.
Joiner, the Criminal Science Department chairman at Augusta Technical College and author of three books, said the Fort Gordon project started when he came across a collection of 1950s photos from Fort Gordon on eBay.
The book contains pictures depicting the camp's 1917 opening and its reopening in 1941 at its current location.
There are also pictures of barracks life, the base band, field training, the base as a holding place for German and Italian prisoners of war, and the area surrounding the fort.
"Some things are still very similar," Anzuoni noted, saying the pictures of the field mess tents and training look similar to today's.
"A lot of it really hasn't changed too much."
The base is still having a big effect on Army training, Joiner said. In 1974, it became home to the Signal Corps, and the Signal Regiment in 1986. The base now is the training site for all of the signal units in the Army.
Also, the National Security Agency's primary headquarters is at Fort Gordon.
The book is available at most area and online bookstores or by visiting www.arcadiapublishing.com.
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