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Camp Upton was an installation of the United States Army located in Yaphank on Long Island in Suffolk County, New York. It was located near Camp Mills.

HistoryEdit

Vanguard of new york conscripts arrive at Camp Upton, Long Island. One thousand-nine hundred-forty . . . - NARA - 533526

WW I conscripts arrive at Camp Upton

Camp Upton was named after Emory Upton, a Union general of the Civil War and was created in 1917 to house and train soldiers for the United States, which had no large standing army at the time of its entry into World War I. Irving Berlin, the composer, and Alvin York, the most decorated soldier of the American army in World War I, were processed at Camp Upton. The 77th Division was first organized there. During part of the war, the 82nd Division was quartered there.

At the end of World War I, the camp was used to demobilize and inactivate units. Some of the units demobolized at the camp were: the 327th Infantry Regiment, the 325th Infantry Regiment, the 53rd Brigade, and the 101st Signal Battalion.

In May 1919, Camp Upton became the site of the Recruit Educational Center, an Army program that enrolled foreign-born, non-English speaking, and illiterate soldiers. Most of the Recruit Educational Center's inductees were immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe. In practice, the program aimed to "Americanize" these immigrants through instruction in the English language, military protocol, U.S. history, geography, citizenship, and political economy. Soldiers who graduated from the Recruit Educational Center at Camp Upton were eligible for a three-year term of military service, after which they could be naturalized as American citizens.[1] In 1921, the federal government sold the buildings and equipment, but kept the land, designating it Upton National Forest. Many of the structures from the camp were transported to form the first large scale settlement at Cherry Grove, New York on Fire Island.[2]

It was used again by the Army in the mobilization of 1940 that preceded the American entry into World War II and later housed a convalescent and rehabilitation hospital. In 1946, the camp was closed and ownership transferred to the Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Popular cultureEdit

Irving Berlin, while stationed at Camp Upton, wrote a musical, Yip, Yip, Yaphank, which included the memorable song "Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning." The musical was turned into a 1943 movie This Is The Army which starred Ronald Reagan.[3]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 40°52′24″N 72°52′19″W / 40.873346°N 72.872057°W / 40.873346; -72.872057

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