Camp Upton

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Camp Upton (1917-1919, 1940-1945) - A World War I training Camp established in 1917 near the town of Yaphank, Suffolk County, New York. Named Camp Upton in G.O. 95, 18 Jul 1917, after Major General Emory Upton (Cullum 1895). Abandoned in 1919 and reactivated in 1940 for World War II. Deactivated in 1945 and converted to Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1947.

Camp Upton Pistol Firing Class circa 1918
Camp Upton Auditorium circa 1918
Camp Upton Panorama circa 1919

World War I

One of sixteen National Army Training Camps established in 1917 to train World War I draftees. Established in 1917 under the supervision of construction quartermaster Major O. K. Meyers on a site of about 10,000 acres which grew to 19,990 acres by 1918. The camp was to be "U" shaped with a capacity of about 55,000 troops, it was complete on 20 Dec 1917 at an eventual cost of $ 14,500,000.

The first commander of the Camp was Major General James Franklin Bell (Cullum 2754) who formed the 77th U.S. Infantry Division and began troop training. The 77th was the first division of American draftees to arrive in France (12 Apr 1918) during World War I and it distinguished itself during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive suffering overall 10,497 casualties. The 77th headquarters returned to the U.S on 25 Apr 1919 and the division was demobilized.

At the end of the war the camp became a demobilization center until it was abandoned in 1919. The public property was auctioned off in August 1921. All that remained were the roads. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) reforested the site in the 1930s and it remained relatively undeveloped until 1940.

World War II

With the introduction of the peacetime draft in 1940 the camp was reactivated as an induction center and training camp. In 1944 the camp expanded into a convalescent hospital for returning wounded troops. At the end of the war the camp was declared surplus on 30 Jun 1945.

In 1947 the camp was converted into what became the Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Current Status

Now the Brookhaven National Laboratory near Yaphank, Suffolk County, New York.

USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Database Entry: 2091805

Location: Yaphank, Suffolk County, New York.

Maps & Images

Lat: 40.8688889 Long: -72.8791667


  • Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 586-587
  • Rinaldi, Richard A., The US Army in World War I - Orders of Battle, Tiger Lily Publications LLC, 2004, 244 pages
  • Brief Histories of Divisions, U.S. Army: 1917-1918, U.S.A. General Staff, June 1921, 92 pages


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