World War I

Camp Dodge

Des Moines, Polk Co., Iowa

Camp Dodge was established in 1917 to serve as the training camp for the 88th Division (National Army). The 88th “Fighting Blue Devils” Division was comprised of selective service inductees, over 37,000 of whom were Iowans.

Construction of Camp Dodge began in June 1917, and the first men arrived during the first week of September. When the 88th was ordered to the Front in July 1918, Camp Dodge began training the newly organized 19th Division. At the wars’ end it was a demobilization camp.

In 1921, Camp Dodge was reduced in size, and parts of the land were sold off and some 1,200 buildings disassembled. Parts of the camp did remain and were used by the Iowa National Guard. It reopened and expanded again during World War II, and remains as a training facility today.

Postcards – World War I

  • "A partial view of Camp Dodge, Des Moines, Iowa" World War I
  • "View Along Main Street, Camp Dodge, Iowa" World War I
  • "Bird's Eye Looking Southeast, Camp Dodge, Iowa" World War I
  • "Section of Camp Dodge, Showing Barracks, Camp Dodge Iowa" World War I
  • "Residence Section, Camp Dodge, Des Moines, Iowa" World War I
  • "Washing Kits After Noon Mess, Camp Dodge, Iowa"

Soldiers of Camp Dodge

Click the photo below to read more about a soldier stationed at Camp Dodge:

Further Reading & Resources

Iowa History Journal

Iowa National Guard

The Iowa Heritage Digital Collections

The U.S. Army Center of Military History

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  1. My grandfather Willie Savage Chaffin was discharged from WW1 service in Jan/Feb 1919 while in basic training at Camp Dodge. Seeking official documents on his record and discharge.

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