Camp Kilmer, NJ
One of the ports of embarkation for Soldiers during WW2.
The site was selected in 1941 by the War Department as the best site to serve the New York Port of Embarkation. Construction began in early 1942. Located in Piscataway Township, New Jersey and Edison Township, New Jersey at 40°31′00″N 74°26′45″W, the closest city was New Brunswick located two miles to the south. Plainfield was located four miles north of the camp. New York City, about 22 miles to the northeast, could be reached by the mainline of the Pennsylvania Railroad. A flyover loop crossing the four-track mainline (now the Amtrak NEC) allowed movements into the large train loading yards without interference with mainline traffic. Many troop embarkations would be at the New Jersey locations of Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne and Hoboken. The camp was also served by the Port Reading branch of the Reading Railroad and the Amboy branch of the Lehigh Valley Railroad.
The post was activated in June 1942 and the first unit to arrive at Camp Kilmer was the 332nd Engineer General Service Regiment, a complement of 1,239 enlisted men and 52 officers. The unit arrived July 22, 1942 on three separate trains from Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. The buildings were constructed of wood and were painted bright contrasting colors for a camouflage effect. This was similar to the dazzle camouflage used for ships in World War I. The camp primarily consisted of ten "Disposition Areas", or sets of barracks in which units and soldiers were assigned while awaiting transportation to Europe.
At Camp Kilmer troops sent personal effects home, received medical injections and the supplies needed before loading onto transport ships for travel to the European Theater of Operations. After V-E Day, the post was used to deprocess troops returning from Europe, prior to sending them on to their local Personnel Center, Separation Center or Reception Station. The camp remained active until the fall of 1949 when it was no longer needed.