Chesapeake Bay - 20th Century - The Mariners' Museum
The Mariners' MuseumChesapeake Bay - Our History and Our Future
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Introduction
Shipbuilding on the Chesapeake
Curtiss Flying School
Eugene Ely
Langley Field
German Ships in Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation
Fort Monroe and Coastal Defense
Fort McHenry
Camp Eustis
Naval Operating Base, Hampton Roads
Suggested Reading

Chesapeake Bay -
Our History and Our Future
has been made possible
in part by:
Bank of America
Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation

With the United States' entry into World War I, the city of Newport News, Virginia, was soon designated Port of Embarkation, one of only two established-New York City was the second. Newport News was chosen for its location near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, the port facilities that already existed, and its excellent rail transportation; Norfolk was avoided as it was already a crowded port.

Newport News, Virginia, 1898
Newport News, Virginia, 1898
Military camp tents along the James River
As had happened at the end of the nineteenth century during the Spanish- American War, numerous camps sprung up on the Virginia Peninsula, the largest being Camp Stuart, along with Camp Hill, Camp Alexander, Camp Morrison, and Camp Eustis. Embarking from the piers of Newport News, 261,820 soldiers of the American Expeditionary forces left for Europe aboard 145 transports. In all, 4,133,873 tons of military supplies, and 47,263 animals were shipped along with soldiers to Europe. Five hundred eighty-three troop and supply ships left the port of Newport News and sailed through the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay destined for Europe and the War.

Victory Arch, Newport News, Virginia, April 13, 1919
Victory Arch, Newport News, Virginia, April 13, 1919
After the Armistice on November 11, 1918, the Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation saw the return of 441, 146 soldiers. As they arrived on home shores, many of the soldiers marched under the Victory Arch, a plaster and wooden structure designed after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. As they did, local residents cheered their return. Soldiers from Canada, New Zealand, and Australia also passed through the Chesapeake Bay region on their way home.


Ohio Artillery Troops Marching in Newport News, Virginia on March 24, 1919   Troops marching in front of the Red Cross canteen on River Road, Newport News, Virginia   114th Regiment, 29th Division
Ohio Artillery Troops Marching in Newport News, Virginia on March 24, 1919 Troops marching in front of the Red Cross canteen on River Road, Newport News, Virginia 114th Regiment, 29th Division


 

 

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