Plaster Down Camp - Dartmoor

Discussion in 'The Training Wing' started by Brew_Time, Oct 8, 2006.

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  1. I'm trying to find any info on Plaster Down Camp on Dartmoor. It is (or was) situated near Tavistock.

    It was an American re-hab hospital in the war and was sold onto MOD. It then became Battle Camp accommodation for troops who trained at Wyvern Bks in Exeter, me being one of them in 1972. It closed as a battle camp and in winter of 1973 it was a refugee camp for Nigerians. A shock to the system for any Nigerian coming from the African heat to a winter on Dartmoor.

    If anyone has any info or old photos I'd be grateful.

  2. It has taken me a long time to come across this post and answer. I am afraid that I do not know much more than is readily available on the web except that my Great Grandmother was shopkeeper at the Post Exchange there during the WW2. I have a letter of commendation for her dated 15 May 1945 and written by Lt Col E. R. McMahom MC who was Commanding 115t (US) Station Hospital (APO 168, US Army). I will try to pick my mother's brain but she was very young at the time.
  3. Interesting. The US CO had an MC? I know these things happened, and indeed continue to happen. I wonder if he saved some Brits/Empire soldiers as an MO?
  4. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    US medical officers post nominal for Medical Corps.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. I was sent to Plasterdown Camp as Radio Op as my first posting with the Royal Signals in December 1958, I was 18. It was like going back the the stone age! No doors on the bogs, brass taps and a wind straight off the moors that went straight through you. Whoever recovered in this place when it was US Army Hospital could have gone straight into the Olympics, had there been any at that time, as they must have been extremely fit in the first place to have survived it, during the winter anyway. Thank God after three months we were then relocated to Crownhill Barracks in Plymouth. Like revisiting the scene of an accident I went back to Plasterdown about 15 years ago, all gone just the outline of where there were roads and barrack blocks. In the Spring sunshine it looked really nice and peaceful. Looks can deceive!
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2016
  6. I know it was last me slow. But was he an American?

    The reason I ask is that I used to have dealings with RAF Fairford, RAF in the loosest possible sense. The way it was explained to me: It was deemed RAF as it was an operational military airfield within the UK, therefore it would not look right calling it a USAF Base. Ahhhhhnd, as it was an RAF airfield it would need an RAF officer to command it, therefore there was a suitably ranked RAF body with a couple of admins to make sure that the crowns interests were looked after.

    So, it might have been the same at this camp down on Dartmoor, maybe, perhaps.
  7. Indeed. Often the "Station Commander" is a Squabbling Bleeder, but the "Base Commander" is a bird colonel or one star general. But I think that's just the USAF. There weren't many US Army bases in the UK during the Cold War, and I think now there are none, but as a NIG STAB many moons ago, I recall going to the US Army supply depot at Burtonwood. This was a separate camp to the long-closed airfield, and was a purely US facility.

    What about the USN in the UK? Do/did they have RN officers doing the same role as the RAF plastic Staishes?