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Hospital


CAMP UPTON
CONVALESCENT HOSPITAL
Copied from the Camp Upton convalescent yearbook



Entrance gate to Camp Upton.


The Camp Upton Convalescent Hospital operated for 22 months. The mission was to provide care of overseas veterans and to restore them to physical, mental and emptional fitness.

Upton's initial 82 patients were transferred from Atlantic City on 28 September 1944 when the Second Service Command Convalescent Hospital was activated. Then in February 1945, the whole post became an ASF Convalescent Hospital with authorized capacity of 3,500 but actually rising to 4,300 in its peak period. The mission was to put these patients in the best possible physical, mental and emotional condition thru planned use of their time in physical, educational and occupational pursuits.


Exterior view of barracks, showing unusual chutes, for easy escape in case of fire.

Much original thinking and planning were required, for the idea of a convalescent hospital was new and there were few precedents to follow. With a strong conviction of the worth of the work, early difficulties in lack of equipment were overcome thru initiative and hard work.

Few can realize the amount of new construction and the remodeling of old facilities that the Army has provided for its convalescent patients, as one sees Upton today. There was a modest request for less than $10,000 alterations in the first week of hospital's existence in 1944. However, on 30 January 1945, new criteria for increases in construction were received. Planning started immediately. Every energy and push was given by Surgeon General and Surgeon, Second Service Command, to make this Post the outstanding example of its type in the country. The hospital had started with only 53 plain barracks and 9 other buildings left from Reception Center days. In the spring of 1945 the Post Engineer and District Engineer cooperated to supervise a construction company's remodeling 71 barracks up to the finest hospital standards, painting every building on the Post, converting 57,000 square feet of warehouse space into 7 of the finest Pre-Technical Shops, as well as all the necessary requirements to carry on life in an equivalent city of 5,000 population - enlarging the library, service club, dental clinic, mess halls, Music studio building, Detachment dayroom, the cold-storage plant and commissary store. In addition to all that remodeling, the new construction out of concrete blocks left nothing to be desired - 2 large remedial gyms with connecting indoor swimming pool, as well as 2 new field houses for athletics and games, along with a ten-acre hard-surfaced game area for every sport from outdoor bowling to handball (even a combination concrete tennis court (and ice skating rink); eight new one -story Academic Education buildings of 34 rooms; the most modern Physio-Therapy building, well-equipped; 24 indoor bowling alleys; a large patient personnel building; and one of the finest Red Cross buildings, with an auditorium for 800.


Interior of Remedial gym.

All these buildings, either remodeled or new construction, have central heating. Many soldiers who went thru Upton in the Reception Center days returned as patients at the hospital to marvel at the changes.


One of 24 indoor bowling alleys.

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