This week I want to highlight the nine US Army installations that are being renamed this year. The latest was renamed just this week for the above pictured man. Fort Polk, Louisiana is now henceforth known as Fort Johnson, after Medal of Honor recipient William Henry “Black Death” Johnson of the legendary Harlem Hellfighters. We previously discussed the man here, and the Hellfighters we talked about here.
Only two more bases are scheduled to be renamed. Fort Gordon will be renamed Fort Eisenhower after former President, Army General of the Army, and Supreme Allied Commander Europe Dwight Eisenhower in October. Fort A.P. Hill will be renamed at an undetermined date to Fort Walker in honor of Mary Edwards Walker (the only female MoH recipient and a bad ass lady).
The six other facilities that have been renamed, and links to discussions we’ve had or outside articles if we haven’t gotten to them yet, are;
- Fort Barfoot was formerly Fort Pickett. Renamed on 24 March 2023, the base carries the name of Colonel Van T. Barfoot. Barfoot was a technical sergeant with the 45th Infantry Division in Italy during WWII when he earned the Medal of Honor. He had previously received the Silver Star. By the time the awards caught up with him in 1944 he’d received a battlefield commission.
- Fort Novosel, formerly Fort Rucker, is well known as the world’s largest rotary wing training base. On 10 April it was changed to honor CWO4 Michael Novosel. I discussed the amazing man he was at length in a previous Valor Friday.
- On 27 April, Fort Gregg-Adams was renamed from Fort Lee. Named now for Lt Gen Arthur Gregg (a mustang officer who was one of the first black men to achieve such high rank and now the only living person in modern times to have a Army facility named for them) and Lieutenant Colonel Charity Adams Earley (the first black WAAC officer, commander of the legendary 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion during WWII, and the highest ranked black woman in WWII).
- Fort Hood was renamed Fort Cavazos on 9 May. General Richard Cavazos was a 33-year career officer. The first Hispanic to make four-star rank in the Army, he earned the DSC as a lieutenant in Korea and a second DSC in Vietnam as a lieutenant colonel.
- Fort Benning, Home of the Infantry, is now known as Fort Moore. It is named for Lieutenant General Hal Moore and his wife Julia. Hal Moore was a DSC recipient for leading 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry in the first major ground action for American troops in Vietnam at the Battle of Ia Drang. I talked about him, albeit briefly, in my article about Joe Galloway.
- Fort Bragg was renamed Fort Liberty on 2 June.