CAMP FANNIN. Camp Fannin, an infantry-replacement training center of World War II, was located ten miles northeast of Tyler. The reservation was a wooded, hilly site of more than 14,000 acres named for James Walker Fannin, Jr. Construction was begun on December 1, 1942; Col. John A. Robenson assumed command on March 16, 1943; and the camp headquarters, 361st Service Command Unit, was activated on April 25, 1943. The replacement-training center was activated on May 29, 1943, and the first trainees arrived in June. Formal dedication of the camp was held on September 6, 1943. Colonel Robenson was succeeded as commanding officer by Lt. Col. Charles H. Brammel on August 4, 1943. Maj. Sam H. Burchard commanded the prisoner-of-war camp located at the station. Troop capacity at the height of war operations was 18,680, and the camp had hospital beds for 1,074. All except the cantonment was declared surplus on January 19, 1946. At the end of World War II in 1945, the camp was converted to a separation center for the discharge of soldiers. Two years later, some of the buildings were placed on the new campus of Tyler Junior College. The abandoned base became the East Texas State Tuberculosis Sanatorium the following year.
Donald W. Whisenhunt, comp., Chronological History of Smith County (Tyler, Texas: Smith County Historical Society, 1983). Albert Woldert, A History of Tyler and Smith County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1948).