Marker Monday: Camp Gordon

To highlight this year’s Georgia History Festival theme, “A Legacy of Leadership,” November’s #MarkerMondays explore Georgia’s military history.


Image Credit: David Seibert

This week’s #MarkerMonday highlights Camp Gordon, in Chamblee, Georgia.  When the United States entered World War I in 1917, the War Department established a series of sixteen temporary training camps around the country. Chamblee, north of Atlanta, was chosen as the site for Camp Gordon, named for former Georgia governor and U.S. Senator John B. Gordon. Opening in July 1917, the camp was the largest construction project in Atlanta’s history at that time. The site’s 1,635 buildings contained barracks for 46, 000 men, as well as accommodations for over 7,000 horses and mules. Camp Gordon served as the birthplace and training facilities of the 82D “All American” Division, an airborne infantry unit of the United States Army.  The division played an important role in the Battle of St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensive on the Western Front, the latter brought the war to an end. The camp also served as a base hospital for the Emory University Medical Unit. Referred to as the Emory Unit, the group trained at Camp Gordon for several months before deploying to Blois, France in 1918. Camp Gordon was demobilized in 1919 after the end of the war, and abandoned by 1921. During World War II, the Naval Air Station Atlanta occupied the site. The 82D Division was reactivated and served in Europe as the 82D Airborne Division, and the Emory Unit operated as General Hospital 43 in North African and France. Since 1959, the site of Camp Gordon has continued to be used as the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport.

Price, Francis E. , Copyright Claimant. The home of the All American Division, Camp Gordon, Atlanta, Ga. Atlanta Camp Gordon Georgia United States, ca. 1918. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, 2007664094, https://www.loc.gov/item/2007664094/.


Explore the links below to learn more about Camp Gordon, the 82D Airborne Division, and the Emory Unit.

GHS is proud to house several collection items relating Camp Gordon, including picture postcards and military papers. To find more Camp Gordon materials search our online finding aids.

Full Marker Text

New Georgia Encyclopedia (World War I in Georgia)

New Georgia Encyclopedia (World War I Military Camps)

Today in Georgia History

Fort Wiki: Camp Gordon

Dunwoody Crier: Chamblee’s Camp Gordon, World War I training

82D Airborne Division Association

82D Airborne Division War Memorial Museum (General Information)

NPR: 82nd Airborne Celebrates 100 Years

US Army Center of Military History: Lineage and Honors Information- 82D Airborne Division (All American)

AJC.com: When Emory went to war

Saporta Report: When Emory doctors went to war

Emory News Center: Emory Medical Unit in World Wars is focus of new exhibit

Further Reading

Harris, Joel Chandler. History of the Emory Unit: Base Hospital 43, U.S. Army, American Expeditionary Forces. Atlanta, GA: Johnson Dallis Co., 1919.

Related Marker Monday Posts

The Poppy Lady (Posted May 30, 2016)

Corra Harris (Posted March 3, 2017)

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