Camp Howze was deactivated by the U.S. government in February of 1946 despite many citizens of Cooke County writing to the War Department requesting that it become a permanent facility. Many of those who moved to Gainesville seeking wartime work left, looking for opportunities elsewhere. Nearly eight decades later, all that remains of the site of Camp Howze is the land, a series of deteriorating structures, and a historical marker documenting the history of Howze. Very few people who experienced life at the World War II army training camp or in the community are still alive.
However, Camp Howze impacted the lives of not only those who were enlisted there, but the citizens of Cooke County as well. Many efforts have been taken by groups and individuals to honor the veterans of Camp Howze even in the present day. Camp Howze became ingrained in the historical memory of the community and it continues to be remembered in various ways. The following pages will highlight several organizations and individuals who have been working to preserve the history of Camp Howze and keep its memory alive for future generations.
Research has revealed four primary ways of how Camp Howze has been preserved and remembered in the decades since WWII. The first is through education in local school districts and the community. Those who teach about Camp Howze often have a connection to the camp or understand the significance of preserving the history of Camp Howze. Additionally, Camp Howze has been the subject or been mentioned in different types of media such as academic publications, books, theater performances, and poetry. These works enable people to learn about Camp Howze and its people. In some cases, these pieces of media, were created by people who had a direct connection to Camp Howze. The camp’s memory is preserved through community efforts. This includes reunions, commemorative events, as well as monuments and memorials. Finally, memories of Camp Howze live on through oral histories of soldiers whose military service brought them to the camp and people who have dedicated part of their lives to preserve the camp’s history and the people whose lives were touched by it.