Camp Myles Standish was a U.S. Army camp located in Taunton, Massachusetts during World War II. It was the main staging area for the Boston Port of Embarkation, with about a million U.S. and Allied soldiers passing through the camp on their way overseas or returning for demobilization after the war. It was also a prisoner-of-war camp. Immediately after the war, it was considered as a candidate site for the United Nations Headquarters.
|Camp Myles Standish|
|Built by||United States Army|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
The city of Taunton was notified in June 1942 by the War Department that 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) would be taken for use as a military staging area. The design of the layout for the camp was made by the J.F. Worcester Company. The Matthew Cummings Company of Boston received the contract to construct the buildings. The camp opened on October 8, 1942 and was named in honor of Myles Standish who was the first military commander of the Plymouth Colony region. Camp Myles Standish was the main staging area for the Boston Port of Embarkation where American soldiers as well as soldiers from Canada, Great Britain and Australia processed before moving to the European Theater of World War II, or after returning to the US for demobilization. The camp covered 1,485 acres (601 ha) and could accommodate 1,298 officers and 23,100 enlisted personnel.
As such, a garrison quartermaster was set up so an entire division could be prepared for deployment within a day or arrival. This made train traffic understandably chaotic, with trains regularly coming into town from Providence, Rhode Island, Springfield, Massachusetts and Boston. The yard itself, run by the New Haven Railroad, contained about ten miles of track.
German soldiers who were captured during the war were detained at this camp. Italian soldiers were detained there as well although they were considered 'co-belligerents' because Italy had surrendered by the time the Italian soldiers arrived at Camp Myles Standish.
There are several buildings that were once part of Camp Myles Standish that still remain standing as of 2009.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts took over the site from the federal government to create the Myles Standish State School for the Mentally Retarded. The patients of the institution were housed in the former hospital area for the former army camp. In 1951, Governor Paul A. Dever was instrumental in providing for over two dozen new brick buildings on the south part of the former army camp site. Following the death of former Governor Paul A. Dever, the Myles Standish State School was dedicated in memory of Paul A. Dever. The City of Taunton acquired over 700 acres (2.8 km2) of the former army camp in 1973 for the purpose of constructing a modern industrial park. The Myles Standish Industrial Park has continued to expand and has become one of the most successful industrial parks in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.