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Camp Howze at Gainesville, Texas

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Chimney and foundation remains from a World War II training camp.

Opened in 1942 just northwest of Gainesville, Cooke County, Texas, the purpose of Camp Howze was to train infantry for activation during World War II. It became a VERY busy place, housing over one hundred thousand troops in its short life. For a while, it also served as a prison camp for German P.O.W.s; trained female auxiliary workers in fields like nurse aide, drivers, clerical, and mechanics; and became an important center for Gainesville's war efforts.

Hastily built, Camp Howze only lasted a four years and was, just as hastily, decommissioned by the federal government. As it econompassed nearly 60,000 acres, its ghostly remnants still lie on the prairies a few miles from the southern banks of the Red River.

The plat map of Camp Howze was sketched in 1942. The photo of a lonely chimney, surrounded by several foundation blocks, stems from me enjoying a lovely Summer day a few years ago.

Students at the University of North Texas created a wonderful resources for Camp Howze. To learn more about the camp, follow the link here:

Camp Howze's plot plan by the U.S. Engineers Office (Denison), 1942.
Camp Howze encompassed thousands of acres.
Men at a floating bridge
Building a bridge over Red River to test pontoon structures at Camp Howze during World War II (Jack Robertson).

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