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> Camp Blanding
In 1939 a site was chosen on Kingsley Lake in Clay County to be a National Guard camp and training site. It was named for Lt. Gen. Albert H. Blanding, one of Florida's most distinguished soldiers. Blanding was born in 1876, and in 1894 he graduated from East Florida Seminary in Gainesville. He chose a military career and commanded the 2nd Florida Infantry during the Mexican Border Service in 1916-1917. In World War I he commanded the 53rd Brigade, 27th Division and the 31st Infantry Division, and he served as chief of the National Guard Bureau until his retirement in 1940. Camp Blanding was leased to the U.S. Army as an active duty training center in 1940. During the course of the war, it served as an infantry replacement training center, as an induction center, as the site of a prisoner-of-war compound, and as a separation center. After the war, the GI Bill caused an enormous increase in enrollment at the University of Florida and housing was critical. The University bought temporary barracks from Camp Blanding for $1 each and remodeled them into apartments for married students. Three residential areas, called Flavet (Florida Veterans) Villages, were created and, although they were supposed to be temporary, the last Flavet village was not demolished until 1974. Today Camp Blanding is an active military installation with an almost year-round training schedule for thousands of National Guardsmen, Active Army, and Reservists from all over the United States. This postcard, postmarked “CAMP BLANDING FLA. March 14, 1941,” was copied with the permission of Archie L. Jackson. The citation says "THE MESS LINE, RECEPTION CENTER, CAMP BLANDING, FLA."
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