Friday, April 6, 2018

100 Years Ago: South to Camp Fremont

After several months of preparations, the men of Base Hospital 50 were finally on the move! On Saturday, April 6  exactly one year after Wilson's declaration of war on Germany  Major Eagleson led his unit to Camp Fremont, near Palo Alto, California, for further training."Wives and sisters, sweethearts and mothers, gathered at the station an hour before train leaving time, in order to 'surely be there when Jim left.' The men, many of whom are among the best known in the city, and many of whom are former University of Washington students, were given a rousing sendoff by Seattle friends" and boarded a train headed south to continue their training in anticipation of soon being deployed overseas.1

The special train, which departed at 11:15 a.m., consisted of "Pullman sleepers, a dining car and a baggage car, which was used for an assembly hall for concerts for the trip. Friends of the Unit in Seattle presented a folding organ, which, with numerous musical instruments brought by the men added to the pleasure of the trip."2 The unit was met at 6:00 p.m. by a delegation of Portland citizens and served a "splendid dinner" at a nearby hotel before continuing their journey. The unit arrived at Camp Fremont at 11:00 a.m. on April 8, 1918, and reported to Major Ray W. Bryan, regular Medical Corps, United States Army, who had been detailed by the War Department as Base Hospital 50's commanding officer.

  1. Seattle Hospital Men Speeded on Way to South. Seattle Daily Times, Saturday, April 6, 1918. Page 4. 
  2. United States. Army. Base Hospital No. 50. The History of Base Hospital Fifty: A Portrayal of the Work Done by This Unit While Serving in the United States and with the American Expeditionary Forces in France. Seattle, Wash. : The Committee, 1922. Page 63
  3. "Seattle Hospital Unit Leaving." Seattle Daily Times, Sunday, April 7, 1918. Page 25.