October 13, 1955
The U.S. Army officially renamed Camp Rucker to Fort Rucker after declaring it a permanent installation and relocating the Army Aviation School from Oklahoma onto the base. Founded as an infantry training camp in Dale County during World War II, Camp Rucker served as the training site of four infantry divisions and later housed German and Italian prisoners of war until the war’s end. Today, the 64,000-acre base is the state’s largest military installation with a daytime population of 19,000. The fort is the primary flight training base for Army Aviation and is home to the Army Aviation Museum, which houses the Army Aviation Hall of Fame.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
The headquarters at Camp Rucker in Coffee and Dale counties, ca. 1940s. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of US Army Aviation Museum)
Edmund W. Rucker (1835-1924) served the Confederate Army under Gen. Nathan B. Forrest during the Civil War and later became a successful Birmingham industrialist. Fort Rucker in Coffee and Dale counties is named in his honor. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Birmingham Public Library Archives)
Fort Rucker is the U.S. Army’s combat aviation center, as well as the helicopter maintenance facility and pilot training ground for all branches of service. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of The Birmingham News)
Students piloting UH-1H Iroquois helicopters practice formation-flight patterns at Fort Rucker in south Alabama in December 2009. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of the U.S. Air Force. Photograph by Airman 1st Class Anthony Jennings)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.