north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

     On March 1, 1943, the U. S. Army Air Force opened a training base near the intersection of Summit and East Bessemer avenues in Greensboro. At 652 acres in size, it was the largest base in America located within the boundaries of a city. Placing the soldiers within walking distance to Greensboro businesses, Basic Training Camp Number 10 boosted the economy and the morale of trainees. The base operated in this capacity for fifteen months, during which time about 87,000 men and women prepared for the Air Force.

     By May 1944, the Air Force had reached its projected capacity and the base became part of the Army Air Force Personnel Distribution Command. The Greensboro facility became the primary eastern Overseas Replacement Depot (O.R.D.), where soldiers were prepared and processed for overseas duty. In February 1945, the site’s responsibilities were altered again. At that time it took on added duties as Redistribution Station Number 5. In that role, it placed about 31,000 troops in the Far East as fighting shifted. Just after V-J Day, in September 1945, the station began processing personnel for separation from duty. Thus, during its period of service, the Greensboro depot provided services ranging over the full cycle of military duties. Over 330,000 troops were processed in or out of service or redistributed to another location through the center.

     As many as 40,000 soldiers were stationed at the Greensboro facility at any given time. The base was comprised of 964 buildings, including five hundred barracks, fourteen mess halls, fifty-five recreation rooms, four movie theaters, ten PXs, five chapels, three libraries, and an equal number of gymnasia, and one large base hospital. Headquartered at the hospital were a newspaper and a radio station, both geared toward entertaining the troops in the Convalescent Training Program. The Greensboro base was closed September 15, 1946, and declared surplus eight days later.

(Raleigh) News and Observer, January 24, 1994
Greensboro News & Record, April 14, 2003
“Greensboro ORD: Its Past and Present,” contemporary report from the base on file in Research Branch, North Carolina Office of Archives and History
Location: County:

Original Date Cast:




north carolina highway historical marker program

Basic training at the Greensboro ORD. Photo from Greensboro Historical Museum.

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources