Histories of Military Fire Departments in North Carolina

Created December 8, 2014
Last updated April 6, 2022


Change Log

April 2022 - Updated a few bits and pieces.
April 2020 - Moved Fort Bragg and Pope Airfield content onto a separate subsite.

Contents

Introduction

This page collects historical information on military FDs in North Carolina. There's a particular emphasis on former fire departments. This page only minimally attempts to record ex-military apparatus or former firehouses. Presently, this site is recording textual information only.

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Bluethenthal Field, Wilmington

The airfield was named for aviator Arthur Bluethenthal, the first person from Wilmington killed in World War I.  The airport was dedicated in 1928 as same. Its name was changed in the 1950s to New Hanover County Airport, in 1988 to New Hanover County International Airport, and in 1997 to Wilmington International Airport. See also NCANG Wilmington, listed below.

During World War II, the airport was used by the Army Air Force for antisubmarine patrols and training. During the 1960s, the Air Force stationed several fighter jets at the airport. 

Apparatus operated during World War II included a 1944 Brockway-American LaFrance Class 155 (507646). Source: TH.

See also NCANG Wilmington, listed below.

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Camp Butner

Opened on Aug. 4, 1942 and served as an Army training facility until 1947. The fire department was created when the camp was established. Apparatus operated during World War II included a 1942 Chevrolet/ALF Class 300 300/300 (504734) and 1943 Dodge/Boyer Class 525 500/150 (505420). Source: TH.  

As depicted in a 1942 photograph, the fire department that year had some 51 men and seven (?) pieces of apparatus.

In 1947, Camp Butner was purchased as a site for a new state mental healthy facility. CBFD became part of the John Umstead Hospital. The staff numbered 18 men, and the department protected both the hospital facility and the unincorporated community. The firefighters were trained as police officers and the department became Butner Public Safety. Source: MJL.

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Camp Davis, Holly Ridge

Built 1940.

Apparatus operated during World War II included the following. Source: TH.

See Legeros photos of Camp Davis site in present day.

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Camp Greene, Charlotte

Built 1917. Closed 1919.

After a hospital fire on Dec. 30, 1917, the Charlotte FD leased the camp a steam engine and a team of horses. Camp Greene was located west of the city, in the area of Camp Greene Street, Remount Road, and Wilkinson Boulevard.

The fire company, US Army Unit 323, was organized in March 1918 and demobilized in March 1919. Source: AFF. 

Apparatus included the following. Source: TH.

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Camp Lejune, Jacksonville

Built 1941.

See FDMaps.com page for current fire station locations.

Apparatus records include this Pierce information:

E-3676 SQD.10 1987 PIERCE ARROW 1000 500 100 50' TSQT
E-3678-05 ENG.10 1987 PIERCE ARROW 1000 500 0 100 50' TSQT  
E-3678-06 ENG.6 1987 PIERCE ARROW 1000 500 0 100 50' TSQT
E-3678-07 ENG 1987 PIERCE ARROW 1000 500 0 100 50' TSQT
E-5769-03 RES.6 1990 PIERCE DASH  4X4             HDR  WALK-IN
E-8454-01 ENG.1 1994 PIERCE ARROW 1250 750 100        
E-8454-02 ENG.2 1994 PIERCE ARROW 1250 750 100        
E-9309-01 ENG 1995 PIERCE ARROW
E-9309-02 ENG 1995 PIERCE ARROW 1250 750 100
E-9971 ENG.2 1996 PIERCE ARROW 1250 750 100
E-5470-03 RES. 1 1990 PIERCE DASH  - 2D 4X4 HDR NON WALKIN

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Camp Mackall, Southern Pines

Camp Mackall was built in 1942, and construction included seven service clubs, two guest houses, three libraries, 16 post exchanges, 12 chapels, a hospital, 65 miles of roads, and three 5,000-foot runways. CMFD was mentioned in newspaper articles of the 1940s. Source: web page.

Apparatus operated during World War II included a 1944 Brockway-American LaFrance Class 155 (507629). Source: TH.

See Fort Bragg page for more information.

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Camp Sutton, Monroe

Apparatus operated during World War II included the following. Source: TH.

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Charlotte Army Air Base

Morris Field.

Dedicated April 21, 1941, deactivated May 14, 1946.

Charlotte FD assumed fire protection duties at Morris field in 1947 and continued until 1957, when the airport and the North Carolina Air National Guard took over fire protection. Charlotte FD returned to the airport in 1969 and has provided joint protection since that time.

See these fleet listings for a history of apparatus operated during WWII and later years.

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Charlotte Naval Ammunition Depot

Located ten miles south of Charlotte, the naval ammunition depot was completed in 1943, and at the height of production employed several thousand people and had a campus over 2,000 acres and 200 buildings. The facility was deactivated on July 1, 1957. On August 9, 1957, the Charlotte Observer reported that two depot fire trucks had been loaded to the nearby volunteer Pineville FD. Pictured in the story is a what looks like a 1945 Mack B 45 pumper.

Charlotte Quartermaster Depot

The Army Quartermaster Depot was located at 1776 Statesville Avenue. It was activated in 1941 and deactivated in 1949. The fire department operated until at least 1952, from citations. Source: CMCFPS.

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Elizabeth City Coast Guard Air Station

Opened 1940.

On May 31, 1944, they sent two trucks to help Elizabeth City with a fuel fire.

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Elizabeth City Naval Air Station, Weeksville

Built 1944. Closed 1962.

Elizabeth City Naval Air Station was commissioned in 1940 as a Coast Guard air station. The facility was under Navy control during World War II.

Early apparatus included a 1952 Oshkosh/Howe 750/1000/100F/200# CO2 and identical 1954 model. Source: Mark A. Redman.

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Fort Bragg

Built 1918.

See this Internet Archive copy of an official history page, captured July 2016.

Read Legeros research notes.

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Fort Fisher Army Air Field, Kure Beach
Fort Fisher Air Station
Fort Fisher Recreation Station

Read Legeros research notes.

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Fort Macon Coast Guard Station

The station's firefighters and apparatus are mentioned in newspaper articles in the 1950s and other eras, as assisting with mutual aid at fires in Atlantic Beach and Morehead City.

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Harvey Point Naval Auxiliary Air Station

Activated 1942, deactivated 1958

Harvey Point Naval Auxiliary Air Station had a fire department by 1944. The air station remained in service until 1958.

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Laurinburg-Maxton Air Base

Activated 1943, deactivated 1945.

Laurinburg-Maxton Army Air Field operated during World War II. Laurinburg-Maxton Air Base FD appears in at least one DOI directory (1972).

Apparatus included a 1944 Kenworth/Mack Class 155 (508632) and a 1943 Ford/American LaFrance Class 500 500/150 (505638). Source: TH.

See Legeros photos of air base today.

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Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue

Built 1942.

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Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Havelock

Built 1941.

See FDMaps.com page for current fire station locations.

Apparatus records include:

E-3677-01 ENG 1987 PIERCE ARROW 1000 750 100
E-3678-04 ENG 1987 PIERCE ARROW 1000 500 0 100 50' TSQT
E-5470-02 RES. 1990 PIERCE DASH  - 2D 4X4 HDR NON WALKIN

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Marine Corps Air Station Edenton

Marine Corps Air Station Edenton operated during World War II. The fire department included both a crash crew and a structural department.

See blog post.

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Marine Corps Air Station New River, Jacksonville

Built 1943. (Served by Camp Lejune FD?)

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Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point, Southport

Opened 1955. 

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Naval Section Facility, Morehead City

The fire department of the Navy Section Facility in Morehead City is mentioned in newspaper articles in 1943.

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North Carolina Air National Guard, Ablemarle

Forthcoming.

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North Carolina Air National Guard, Charlotte

See these fleet listings for a history of NCANG apparatus at the airport.

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North Carolina Air National Guard, Salisbury

Forthcoming.

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North Carolina Air National Guard, Wilmington

Apparatus included a 1954 American LaFrance O-11A crash truck (54L 210). Source: TH.

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North Carolina Army National Guard, Morrisville

Located at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

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Oteen Veterans Administration Hospital, Asheville

In 1918, US Army Army General Hospital No. 19 opened in Asheville to serve the soldiers in the area who were training for duty for the First World War. The hospital was later named the Oteen Veterans Administration Hospital. The campus and its many buildings were protected by a fire department that was motorized by 1922. Early apparatus included a 1918 American LaFrance Type 75 triple-combination

Read Legeros research notes.

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Pope Army Air Field, Fayetteville
Pope Air Force Base

Established 1919. First major expansion in 1930s. Based expanded during 1940s, as troop carrier training site, and with paratrooper training added at Fort Bragg. Activated as Air Force base on December 3, 1947. Deactivated on March 1, 2011, and absorbed into Fort Bragg and becoming Pope Field. The airfield is presently protected by Fort Bragg Emergency Services. The base fire station was renamed Fort Bragg Fire Station 7.

Read Legeros research notes.

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Raleigh-Durham Army Air Base

Operational on May 1, 1943. Used until Jan. 1, 1948. Also operated concurrently as a commercial airport.

Apparatus operated during World War II likely included a 1946 International/Bean crash truck (500 GPM), which was present in 1955. Source: MJL

Read detailed history of the airport FD from Legeros.

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Seymour Johnson Army Air Field, Goldsboro
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base

Built 1942.

Apparatus operated during World War II included a 1942 International-Central Fire Trucks 300/300 Class 300 (504636). Source: TH.

Modern apparatus included the following. Source: PB.

See FDMaps.com page for current fire station locations.

 

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Simmons Army Airfield, Fort Bragg

Built 1952. (Served by Fort Bragg FD)

See Fort Bragg page for more information.

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Smith-Reynolds Airport, Winston-Salem

Served as training base for military pilots from 1942 through 1945, but continued commercial and private airline service during period.

Apparatus operated during World War II included a 1942 International-Seagrave Class 125 crash truck (504271). Source: TH

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Sources


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