Camp Howze, northwest of Gainesville in central Cooke County, was established by the United States War Department in 1942 as a United States Army infantry-training camp. It was located on a 59,000-acre tract purchased from local landowners beginning in December 1941 and named for Maj. Robert E. Lee Howze, a Medal of Honor recipient who had seen action in the Indian campaigns of the late nineteenth century, the Philippine Insurrection, and World War I. Col. John P. Wheeler activated the base on August 17, 1942, and Maj. Gen. John H. Hilldring was its first commander. With a troop capacity of 39,963 men, the camp served as the training ground for several hundred thousand men between 1942 and 1946. Among the units prepared for action in World War II were the 84th, 86th, and 103d divisions. Camp Howze also held German prisoners of war. The camp provided employment for hundreds of area civilians. In addition, the $20 million spent by the national government on Camp Howze fueled the local economy. In 1946 the camp was declared surplus, disbanded, and leveled.