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Camp Reynolds - World War II Army Cam

 
 REMEMBRANCES - Page 3

My father Frank Rotell worked in the commissary at the camp during the war. When the camp closed in 1946, the dormitories for civilian family workers across the road from the camp became Reynolds Village and my father operated a grocery store there. My mother, Elvira, was Secretary for Reynolds Village. We left in 1948 and moved back to Sharon as things pretty much closed down then.
I have vivid memories of the POWs working in the village, collecting garbage etc.
I also remember 1st grade in a one room school house in Transfer (Ms Mortimer was the teacher I believe), then 2nd grade at St. Michaels and then 3rd grade at Transfer. I believe the school house is still there. I had two older brothers Tony and Don and a sister Angela.
- John Rotell

Me and my twin brother & mom went to the camp to see dad, it was on his birthday
I think I was 5 or 7 at the time.

- Son

A couple months ago we had some discussions. On the Mahoning Division, the Erie had on-line the Keystone Arsenal [connect at Stony Point], Ravenna Arsenal [Freedom, OH], The Ravenna Arsenal was active at ever decreasing activity until the end of the Cold War. The Erie did serve the Shenango Personnel Replacement Depot [Camp Reynolds] via a connector at Pymatuning [Transfer] to the parallel PRR E&P branch. This facility was used for the build-up for the Normandy invasion then after beginning of 1944 was used as a German POW camp.
- Paul Stumpff: Geneva, Ohio [formerly Greenville, PA & Niles, Ohio]

My mother used to work as switchboard operator at the Camp.

- Paul

My friend's brother-in-law says when he was 10 years old he remembers seeing prisoners of war walking down the Mercer-Greenville road picking up trash. They lived in the Fredonia area at the time. I've been told that the Rhodes Busing Company that was in our area  (New Castle) would come to the camp and take the soldiers to Conneaut Lake.
- Nancy

I Volunteered at the camp with sisters and parents. We lived in Sharon and had soldiers in for dinner.

- Heidi Moyer  CA


My dad (Papa) often talks about Camp Reynolds at Transfer, PA. During World War II, the Army came into the area and forced people from their homes and farms in order to establish a camp used for preparing troops to ship out overseas. Many of the neighbors had to sell out and move to other areas. Papa's family moved to the area called Delaware Grove, where they bought a farm which his parents owned until the mid-1970s. (The house on this farm was very old and was reportedly used by the Underground Railroad to hide slaves many years before.)
On Route 18 in Transfer, Papa's family, his Grandfather Love and Uncle Paul Love all had houses side by side. After the Army came in and forced them out, they moved Grandfather Love's house across the road and put the main gate to the camp in its place. Papa's house was taken by the Commander of the base as his residence. It was a very nice house - Papa's father was a good carpenter and had built it well.
Camp Reynolds was built in 1942 and closed in 1945. Papa thinks that it covered about 1,000 acres. Over one million men passed through its gates during that time. The soldiers were trained there and sent to the "European Theater of Operations" to fight in the war.
While the camp was under construction, Papa, who was 15 years old, worked at a sandwich shop about a half mile from his house towards Greenville. The "sandwich shop" was on a neighbor's front porch. The construction workers came there to buy sandwiches, drinks, etc. for their lunches. The neighbor also had one gas pump, so folks could buy gas there, too.
On one trip back to this area after his family had moved, Papa and his friends took a road that goes through a covered bridge. They came to the bridge as American soldiers were marching down the road. The troops parted and Papa drove right down the middle between two rows of soldiers!
The most interesting part of Papa's Camp Reynolds story is when he tells of one visit he and his buddies made to the base in his 1936 Ford convertible. They entered through a back gate - no one tried to stop them, although he doesn't think that they were supposed to be there. They came around a corner and stopped. Right in front of them was a large group of German POWs being marched to the mess hall! They just sat there in the car and watched the enemy soldiers pass by.
- Granddaughter   - Papa Tales - Stories from the life of my Grandfather.  CLICK HERE to Visit Blog

POWs were marched up the hill (Kidd's Mills Rd/Industrial Park Rd) for exercise by the MPs and they would stop at Hill Top Orchard for a break for water and a few apples.
- Suellyn Wright Novak (Parents owned Hill Top Orchard)

My brother James, age 17, from Grove City PA worked for HR Paving Company which was paving roads at Camp Reynolds. When he turned 18 a buddy talked him into enlisting. He did his basics in Indiana. He then was sent to Camp Reynolds. because he could speak some German he was made an MP to work with the POWS. One of his jobs was to take 2 or 3 POWs to Leavenworth Kansas. He was later transferred to Leavenworth. While there he married a farm girl and stayed out there after the war. He remembers that several POWs married farm girls after the war.
- Bill West

I went to elementary school grades 1-3 and part of 4th in the Transfer Fire Hall (behind the old Transfer High School). I remembered we wrapped our books up with our name on them and they were at the new lementary school in Transfer when we arrived. I was at the new school for grades 5 & 6th.  
When I was in 7th grade, around 1954, I had class in two dormitories that was were used by the Camp. The former dormitories was used for the camp's civilian workers and after the camp's closing the dorms were used as housing for returning war veterans. The two dorms were setup for 7th and 8th grade. I remember broken glass down the hall from my room. The music teacher was Mrs. Baldridge.
After 7th grade we went to Hickory, then Farrell and to Reynolds High School in 1963.
- Pat Miller

I lived in the Reynolds Village dormitories until 1953 when they started to tear down the dormitories.
- Local Resident

As a young boy I saw the troop trains from the camp heading to embarkation points going through Sharon, PA from Ellsworth St. My older brother worked at the camp as a carpenter when the camp was being built.
My wife's dad's brother, Babe Wasley from Sharpsville, PA played in the Benny Jones Orchestra which played at the camp.
- Toni (Wasley) & John Ryan - Sharpsville, PA

Local couple donated a player piano to one of the camp's day rooms.
- Daughter of Couple

I worked as a Dental Assistant, my sister Shirley worked in the Quartermasters Office and Mary Lou my Aunt worked in a Grocery Store.
- Vivian Gill

I remember delivering Pittsburgh Gazette papers on 24th & 25th Streets at the camp as a young boy.
- Paul Marina

My mother Mary worked at the camp making boots when she was 38 years old.
- Jerry Slovinsky

When I was a real young girl I remember a couple of soldiers being in a bad motorcycle accident by the Clark bridge. One guy flew up into a tree and then fell out.
- Former Clark, PA Resident

I knew a guy who bought the camp Post Office and built a hunting camp with the lumber.
- Local Resident

I was from Jamestown, PA and worked ta the camp.worked at the camp he was from Jamestown PA. I remember seeing the troops and the POWs playing softball by the Covered Bridge.
- Eugene Carr

In 1942 I worked at the camp while it was being built. I lied about my age to get hired, I was 13 at the time. I worked in the hospital area and saw patients.
- John Cianci - Local Greenville Resident