Camp Hulen’s mission later expanded to include POW camp

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Camp Hulen mud days January 1940.

Contributed by Mickey Crenshaw
Matagorda County TXGenWeb

   EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second of a two-part history of Camp Hulen.
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using the rest rooms of the four gas stations, and there were many house trailers without sewer facilities. 
   Temporary business shacks went up beside the established business houses, causing a real fire hazard as well as giving the downtown area an unsightly appearance.  
   Prostitutes walked the streets endangering the health of both civilians and soldiers. 
   The local law officials were so overtaxed with the amount of work put upon them that they could not curb all the vice in town. 
   Working together, the Provost Marshal and camp surgeons of Camp Hulen, the Palacios Chamber of Commerce and medical organizations in surrounding counties took care of the health situation.  
   A five-county military sanitary zone was set up; the zone included Matagorda, Wharton, Victoria, Jackson and Calhoun Counties. 
   Just as construction got into “high gear,” the rains came and Camp Hulen and the surrounding area became a sea of mud.  
   Torrential downpours made life miserable for the soldiers and that is when Camp Hulen got its nicknames; “Lake Hulen” and “Swamp Hulen.”             
   The seas of mud hampered but did not slow the work being done to prepare the camp for the additional thousands of troops to be stationed there.  
   Pictures showing the lakes of water and mud that covered roads and work areas were sent to Washington and caused considerable perturbation; they feared an extensive delay in construction would necessitate a similar delay in the complex training under the National Defense Program.  
   The fears were groundless as work progressed according to schedule.  

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