Camp Atterbury World War II photograph collection
Scope and Contents
The photographs were taken by William J. Moriarty, Sr., a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, as part of his duties for the U.S. Signal Corps while he was stationed there in 1943. The images demonstrate the daily activities of camp life and training, as well as social events, and depict racial segregation among regular army troops and the Women's Army Corps (WAC).
- Moriarty, William John (Photographer, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Moriarity joined the National Guard in the 1930s. During World War II, he was called up for service in 1941 as a master sergeant with the 38th Infantry Division. Moriarity worked as an ultra-high speed Morse code sender/receiver and was stationed at Camp Atterbury, Indiana during 1943 as part of the Signal Corps. He also attended Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning, Georgia and was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant. Moriarty was later selected for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and assigned to a ten-member team (Team 16D). He also went through parachute jump school and used those skills when he and his team parachuted into France eleven days prior to D-Day (June 6, 1944). Lt. Moriarity was severely wounded in the leg in 1945 when a German V2 rocket hit a building he was in.
After World War II, Lt. Moriarity remained in the army and became a courier. He carried sensitive documents across the globe, even making deliveries to General Dwight Eisenhower. Moriarity retired from the Army in 1951 and returned to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he worked for the U.S. Postal Service. He died in 1978.
Biographical information courtesy of William J. Moriarty, Jr.
During the Second World War, Camp Atterbury had 1,780 buildings providing housing to 44,159 officers and troops, including 499 enlisted men barracks, 40 Bachelor Officer Quarters (BOQs), 23 WAC barracks, 61 prisoner-of-war (POW) barracks, 193 mess halls, 12 chapels, 5 service clubs, 3 officers clubs, 6 theaters, 4 gymnasiums, and 4 swimming pools. Wakeman General Hospital and a convalescent center comprised 68 buildings, occupying 80 acres on the base. The hospital treated more than 85,000 patients during World War II, and was one of the U.S. Army's plastic surgery centers.
Over 275,000 soldiers trained at Camp Atterbury during World War II, including the 83rd Infantry Division; 8th Detachment of Special Troops, 2nd Army; 365th Regimental Combat Team, 92nd Infantry Division; 30th Infantry Division; and 106th Infantry Division. Colonel Welton M. Modisette served as Post Commander of Camp Atterbury until June 13, 1945 and the 1560th Service Command Unit, part of the 5th Service Command, staffed Camp Atterbury from 1942 to 1946.The base hosted a stationed company from the Women's Army Corps (WAC) and around 38,000 women trained at Camp Atterbury during the war. Many WACs went to Camp Atterbury to train for three to four months as x-ray, laboratory, surgical, medical, or dental technicians at the Enlisted Medical Technicians School, part of Wakeman General Hospital.
The Camp also served as an internment camp, housing between 12,000 and 15,000 Italian and German prisoners of war. The prisoners were housed in a large compound located on the extreme western edge of camp.
Following the end of World War II, Camp Atterbury was inactivated for the first time on July 31, 1946. During the subsequent decades, the base was reactivated and inactivated as the United States' martial conflicts waxed and waned. The Indiana Military Academy moved from Fort Benjamin Harrison to Camp Atterbury in July, 1965. The base became an Army National Guard Training Site on September 1, 1976 and until the 1990s, the camp provided support to the Indiana National Guard throughout various conflicts. Today, Camp Atterbury primarily provides military training and serves as a mobilization site for the U.S. military.
Atterbury Muscatatuck. "History." About Us. Last updated April 20, 2017. Accessed October 4, 2017. http://www.atterburymuscatatuck.in.ng.mil/Home/AboutUs/History.aspx.
Goodson, Felix E. The Indiana Guard Reserve. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana Creative Arts, 1998.
Hinds, James M. Camp Atterbury, Indiana. [Franklin, IN: Camp Atterbury?}, 1985. (at the Indiana State Library: Indiana Pamphlet. ISLO 355 no. 57)
"Indiana Village and Farms to Give Way to New 55,000 Acre Army Camp." Indianapolis Sunday Star, February 1, 1942.
"New Hospital Pride of Camp Atterbury." Indianapolis Star, October, 25 1942.
"U.S. Orders Work Started on Southern Indiana Camp." Indianapolis Times, January 7, 1942.
0.3 Cubic Feet (1 index card box)
Existence and Location of Copies
- African Americans -- History -- Indiana
- African-American soldiers
- American Red Cross
- Bartholomew County (Ind.)
- Blacks -- Segregation
- Brown County (Ind.)
- Camp Atterbury (Ind.)
- Dance parties
- Gray Ladies (Organization)
- Hand-to-hand fighting
- Indiana -- History -- Theater
- Johnson County (Ind.)
- Military camps -- Indiana
- Military chapels
- Militrary education
- Modisette, Welton Matthew
- Schricker, Henry F. (Henry Fredrick)
- Submarines (Ships) -- Japan
- United Service Organizations (U.S.)
- United States -- Armed Forces -- Women
- United States. Army African American troops
- United States. Army Nurse Corps
- United States. Army Service Forces. Service Command, 5th
- United States. Army--Chaplains
- United States. Army--Service clubs
- United States. Army. Infantry Division, 30th
- United States. Army. Infantry Regiment, 366th
- United States. Army. Service Unit, 1560th
- United States. Army. Signal Corps
- United States. Army. Station Hospital, 317th
- United States. Army. Women's Army Corps
- World War, 1939-1945
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Indiana
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Military life
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Particiaption, Female
- Camp Atterbury World War II photograph collection
- Description rules