Camp Merritt, located in Bergen County, New Jersey, was authorized by the federal government in August 1917 as a critically needed embarkation base for processing US Army soldiers bound for the battlefields of Europe during World War I. The site of the camp, which now encompasses parts of five towns, was chosen for its proximity to roadways, railroads, and the Hudson River, which enabled the rapid movement of large numbers of troops and equipment to the nearby shipping port of Hoboken. As the war progressed, the size and scope of the base expanded; it was closed on June 30, 1920. During its lifetime, the camp processed over one million soldiers and nurses both going to and returning from war zones.
Howard E. Bartholf is a retired industrial sales engineer and Vietnam veteran. He is a charter member of the Army Historical Foundation and published author of articles that have appeared in military magazines and journals. Bartholf has a personal connection to the base—his family helped construct it, and his father was born on land that was once part of the base. This collection of images was assembled from the National Archives, museums and historical societies, individuals, and the author’s personal collection.
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