JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Be a part of Pacific Northwest history. On Friday, Aug. 18, a large formation of service members will assemble at 4 p.m. on Watkins Field on JBLM Lewis-Main as the greater JBLM community celebrates the Centennial of Camp Lewis and JBLM.
Friday, August 18, 2017 Centennial Ceremony
3:00 p.m. Historic vehicles and military displays on 3rd Street (adjacent to Watkins Field)
4:00 p.m. Centennial ceremony begins; units in formation
4:20 p.m. Salute Battery honors with 75mm Pack Howitzers; National Anthem
4:25 p.m. Centennial remarks by Washington State and I Corps leaders
4:50 p.m. Ceremony ends with I Corps Song and Armed Forces Medley
Camp Lewis and JBLM early history
· In January 1917, Pierce County passed a bond for $2 million to buy 70,000 acres of land near American Lake to donate to the Federal government for military use. In April 1917 an Army-engineer company surveyed the site for use as a military camp.
· Construction started in June 1917, and in three months almost 2,200 buildings and structures were quickly built costing about $7 million to support more than 44,000 Soldiers.
· In July 1917, the War Department named the site Camp Lewis in honor of Captain Meriwether Lewis of the Corps of Discovery, Lewis and Clark expedition.
· On Aug. 17, 1917, officers began to arrive at Camp Lewis to form the 91st Division.
· By Aug. 31, 1917, construction was complete and Camp Lewis was ready for troops.
· The first drafted recruits arrived for training at Camp Lewis Sept. 5, 1917. The new Soldiers trained with the 91st Division, then served in France during World War I.