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Fort Cavazos is a United States Army post located near Killeen, Texas. The post is named after Gen. Richard E. Cavazos, a native Texan and the US Army’s first Hispanic four-star general. Formerly named Fort Hood for Confederate General John Bell Hood, the post is located halfway between Austin and Waco, about 60 mi (97 km) from each, within the U.S. state of Texas. The post is the headquarters of III Armored Corps and First Army Division West and is home to the 1st Cavalry Division and 3rd Cavalry Regiment, among others. Its origin was the need for wide-open space to test and train with World War II tank destroyers. The War Department announced the location in January 1942, and the initial completion was set for that August. As originally constructed, Fort Cavazos had an area of 158,706 acres (64,226 ha), with billeting for 6,007 officers and 82,610 enlisted personnel. The main cantonment of Fort Cavazos had a total population of 53,416 as of the 2010 U.S. Census. Fort Cavazos was the most populous U.S. military installation in the world. The main business area is in Bell County, with the training countryside area of the post in Coryell County. In April 2014, the Fort Hood website listed 45,414 assigned soldiers and 8,900 civilian employees with Fort Hood covering 214,000 acres (87,000 ha). History Foundation During World War II, tank destroyers were developed to counter German mobile armored units. These were mobile anti-tank guns on armored halftracks or specially developed tanks. Wide-open space was needed for the tank destroyer testing and training, which Texas had in abundance. Andrew Davis (A.D.) Bruce was assigned to organize a new Tank Destroyer Tactical and Firing Center, and he chose Killeen, Texas for the new camp. The War Department announced the selection on 15 January 1942. An initial acquisition of 180,000 acres (730 km2) was made, and it was estimated that the camp would cost $22.8 million for the land, facilities, and development of utilities. The date of completion was set for 15 August 1942. About 300 families had to move from their homes to make room for the camp area and the communities of Clear Creek, Elijah, and Antelope were demolished to facilitate construction of the base. The old Sugar Loaf community, historically called the "Cradle of Killeen," provided the city with many of its first citizens in 1882. All that remains of the community is the mountain from which it took its name, located in the Fort Cavazos area. To lessen the burden of moving, the Army agreed to allow land to be used for grazing for a nominal grazing fee. This grazing arrangement still continues today.In mid-August, the camp was occupied and the official opening took place on 18 September 1942. Camp Hood was named in February for the Confederate General John Bell Hood, who commanded Hood's Texas Brigade during the American Civil War, part of a series of new training camps named for distinguished military leaders together with Camps Carson, Campbell and Atterbury.The original facilities provided housing and training sites for nearly 38,000 troops. In January 1943, an additional 16,000 acres (65 km2) in Bell County and 34,943 acres (141.41 km2) in Coryell County near Gatesville, Texas were purchased. The site near Gatesville was known as the sub-camp and later as North Camp Hood. During the war years, North Camp Hood housed nearly 40,000 troops and 4,000 prisoners of war, and was the site for the southern branch of the United States Disciplinary Barracks.At the end of 1942, there were about 45,000 troops living and training at Camp Hood and in late June 1943 it peaked at almost 95,000 troops, which was maintained until early 1944.In 1944, the number of tank destroyer battalions in training at the post declined rapidly. Field artillery battalions and the Infantry Replacement Training Center replaced them in March 1944. By September, the Infantry Center was the largest activity on post with 31,545 troops. The total camp population on the last day of 1944 was 50,228.During the last year of World War II the post's mission shifted and its population drastically decreased. As the war came to an end, troop training slowed and equipment reclamation and demobilization were prioritized. A separation center was established in September 1945, and as the year ended, post strength had fallen to 1,807 prisoners and about 11,000 troops. The Infantry Replacement Training Center was officially shut down on 7 January 1946. Cold War The 2nd and 20th Armored Divisions were sent to Camp Hood after returning from Europe in January 1946, but the 20th was soon inactivated, leaving less than 5,000 at the post. The 2nd Armored would remain at the post until its inactivation at the end of the Cold War. Camp Hood was retained postwar as an armored training center and on 15 April 1950 was officially renamed Fort Hood as a result of its permanent status.In mid-1954, III Corps moved from California to the post. The Corps supervised the training of combat units at Fort Hood and other Fourth Army stations from 1954 to 1959 when III Corps was inactivated. Probably the most famous trainee to come through the post was Elvis Presley, arriving on 28 March 1958. Other than receiving record amounts of mail (3–4 bags per day), he was treated like all other trainees. On 19 September, Presley shipped out for Germany. During this period, the 4th Armored Division was reactivated and deployed to Germany as part of the "Gyroscope" concept of unit movement. In September 1961, Fort Hood again became the home for the III Corps, and in February 1962, III Corps was assigned as part of the U.S. Army Strategic Army Corps (STRAC). At the same time, the basing of the 1st Armored Division there made it a two-division post. On 15 June 1963 Killeen Base was turned over to the Army. Vietnam War During the late 1960s, Fort Hood trained and deployed a number of units and individuals for duty in Vietnam. As the United States ended its role in the conflict, thousands of returning soldiers completed their active duty with one of the divisions. During this time, the post was modernized. On 13 September 1965, Darnall Hospital opened. In 1970, construction began on Palmer Theater and Venable Village was dedicated. Modern barracks were springing up around post. The wood buildings of the post were replaced with brick structures.In April 1968, more than 40 African American GIs, who objected to being sent to occupy riot-damaged Black neighborhoods in Chicago following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., were court martialed and jailed by the US Army. Many of the soldiers were decorated and wounded veterans who had completed tours of duty in Vietnam.In October 1969, Killeen Base was designated as West Fort Hood and the airfield's name was designated as Robert Gray Army Airfield. The base was named after a Killeen native who was a pilot of a B-25 bomber on the famous Doolittle Raid in Tokyo in 1942. He was killed later in World W.... Discover the D K Hood popular books. Find the top 100 most popular D K Hood books.

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