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Rediscovering Fort Knox - 1942: Fort Knox witnesses Bing Crosby, extreme weather testing, and the Ford Seep

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By MATTHEW RECTOR

In 1942, Armor continued to make advancements through the development of tanks, organization and training. Thousands of Soldiers found themselves in various training programs at Fort Knox, many undertaking basic at the Armored Force Replacement Training Center (ARTC).

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Entertainers often visited the post to support the Soldiers. Among them was actor and singer Bing Crosby, who was photographed with Maj. Gen. Jacob Devers entering the post field house, currently called Sadowski Center.

Soldiers benefitted from findings made by the Armored Board and Armored Medical Research Laboratory (AMRL), which operated in a building that included two rooms to test armored personnel and equipment in extreme temperatures. The building remains today as Bldg. 1022. For video footage of the extreme conditions the Soldiers endured, go to https://archive.org/details/2029_How_Much_Can_You_Take.

Fort Knox also tested the Ford GPA ‘Seep’ — Seagoing Jeep — that same year. The Seep was the amphibious version of the Ford GPW jeep. Unlike the DUKW, a larger amphibious truck, the Seep did not perform especially well. Only 12,780 vehicles were made and some were used in the U.S. landings in Sicily later that summer. Many Seeps would eventually be given to Russia under the Lend-Lease program.