CAMP GUERNSEY JOINT TRAINING CENTER, Wyo. - There was a lot of enthusiasm in the community leading up to the first summer camp at Camp Guernsey 80 years ago.
Advertisers in the Guernsey Gazette welcomed the Guard and urged them to make Guernsey its permanent home. Organizers of Carnival Days were excited for what promised to be record-setting attendance at the town’s annual festival. Several editorials commended the Guard for choosing Guernsey.
By the time the second weekend of camp rolled around, the guardsmen found themselves center stage for Carnival Days. The three-day event saw the horsemen of the 115th Cavalry ride in parades along with the Scout Car Platoon of the 116th Quartermasters Regiment, from Cheyenne. The 115th Cavalry Band’s 35 members performed an evening concert, and a “Maneuvers and Drill” presentation was given by the “Entire Wyoming National Guard,” according to the Gazette.
Wyoming Gov. Leslie A. Miller recognized his soldiers and their length of service in the Guard during a dismounted review on Saturday. He also inspected the troops the following morning during the Governor’s Mounted Review, an event heralded as the “highlight of Carnival Days.”
At least one soldier gained notoriety in the Gazette’s promotional story about the Saturday evening boxing matches at the ballfield.
“It promises to be a good string of battles,” the paper proclaimed of the main events, including the Wyoming middleweight championship bout. “But when you get down in the prelims, we should see some fun. Now you take this Sgt. Speck and Bob Lowry pitted against each other. This is a grudge fight so some of their troop members tell us, and we look for a real tangle. Anyhow, keep your eyes on Speck and Bob.”
We’re not sure who Bob was, but there were two sergeants Speck assigned to Headquarters Troop out of Casper, Staff Sgt. John J. Speck and Sgt. Theodore L. Speck. Oh, in case you were wondering, Sgt. Speck won the fight.
Following the first encampment at Guernsey, a reporter recounted some of the training in the June 24 Gazette, “Everyday sees them out at daylight carrying on maneuvers in the chalk bluffs and hills south of Guernsey. Here the terrain is ideal and many maneuver problems have been worked out by the officer personnel. On Wednesday one of the Colorado National Guard planes was here and the art of sending messages was practiced, with messages and orders being picked up from the armies and delivered to the different positions.
“Today the camp starts breaking and by Sunday evening this entire camp will be abandoned and the boys will be on the way to their respective homes.”
Editor’s note: Thanks to the Guernsey Gazette, Wyoming State Museum, University of Wyoming and Wikipedia for the use of materials used in this story. To retain the prevailing journalistic style, quotes used from the Guernsey Gazette are kept intact, however non-compliant they may be with Associated Press style.