Historic Photo_ swimming pools in 1944

In an April 1944 photo, work is in full swing on the new enlisted men’s swimming area to be known as Hartman Pool. Ground was broken by Brig. Gen. George A. Horkan, camp commander, in a ceremony a few weeks earlier. (Photo by U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum)

FORT LEE, Va. (Jan. 7, 2016) -- This installment of the Historic Photo of the Month looks back to June 1944 with the opening of two outdoor swimming pools at Camp Lee.

“Edmonds and Hartman pools – two hot-weather havens for Camp Lee enlisted men – were opened in official ceremonies on June 1. Accepting them on behalf of camp personnel were Brig. Gen. George A. Horkan, camp commander, and Col. James H. Johnson, ASFTC commander. Lt. Col. Louis V. Bean, camp engineer, who designed and built the two swimming pools, presented them to the general.”

This is the opening paragraph under a headline “Two Swimming Pools for GIs Open in Ceremonies 1 June” from an article in the June 7, 1944, Traveller.

“Plans for an acquacade, to be held later in the summer, were already well under way when the pools were opened.

“Hartman pool is named for Brig. Gen. Charles D. Hartman, who commanded the old QMRTC from May 1941 to April 1942. It is located just south of Service Club 1. Edmonds pool, named for Maj. Gen. James E. Edmonds, CG of Camp Lee from February 1941 to December 1943, is located between 16th and 18th streets, southeast of Avenue C,” the article read.

“Both pools were constructed of non-critical, priority-free materials. Hartman pool can accommodate some 520 persons, and measures 120-by-50 feet. It is 10-feet deep at the diving end.

“Edmonds pool, slightly smaller, accommodates 348 persons. Both were built with GI labor.

“By the end of June, several convalescent Soldiers from the Lee ASF Regional Hospital were expected to begin therapeutic swimming lessons in Hartman pool.”

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