Share Memories Of Camp Adair At March 1 Public Meeting In Oregon

Camp Adair Sign
Camp Adair Sign
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Logo
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

SALEM, Ore. -( Before it was a wildlife area, EE Wilson near Corvallis was Camp Adair, a U.S. Army training base, hospital and Prisoner of War Camp during World War II.

Help ODFW conserve its history by joining us at a public meeting on Wednesday, March 1 from 6-8 p.m. at the Siuslaw National Forest Headquarters, Room 20, 3200 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis.

Veterans, local residents and others are encouraged to attend the meeting and bring their photos and stories of Camp Adair.

Volunteers will be on hand to digitize historic documents related to the base. Ideas on how to preserve the memory of Camp Adair at EE Wilson Wildlife Area are also welcome.


About Camp Adair

In 1942 the United States Army purchased the small town of Wells, just north of Corvallis, and 50,000 acres of surrounding farmland for a new training base. In just six months 1,800 buildings were constructed on the newly christened Camp Adair.

During its short history over 100,000 soldiers lived and trained there. They went on to fight in the European, Italian, and Okinawa campaigns. After the last divisions left for combat, Adair continued in use as a hospital and a Prisoner Of War camp for the duration of World War II.

When the base was decommissioned in 1946, most of the land was sold back to former owners, returning veterans, and other private parties. Base buildings were auctioned off and moved whole or salvaged for lumber.

Camp Adair was a U.S. Army training base during World War II. Photo courtesy of Benton County Museum.
Camp Adair was a U.S. Army training base during World War II. Photo courtesy of Benton County Museum.

A portion of the former base cantonment, too disturbed from roads and buildings to return to agricultural use, was deeded to the Oregon State Game Commission (now ODFW) for the “conservation of wildlife, other than migratory birds.” The EE Wilson Wildlife Area opened in 1950.

Today, EE Wilson serves as a sanctuary for local wildlife, “outdoor school” for many local schools and universities, and recreational area for fishing, hunting, hiking, and wildlife photography.

The Camp Adair memorial garden, pheasant pens, bass pond, and a new archery range provide opportunities to interact with both the natural environment and history of Camp Adair.

Major annual events at EE Wilson include a pheasant hunt in October, Youth Outdoor Day in June, and archery, shooting, and hunting trainings throughout the year.

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Jean McDonald

While removing the possession from our parents home, we have found several pillow covers our father sent home to loved ones that are souvenirs of Camp Adair. Are there collectors that would be interested in acquiring them?