USO in Indianapolis
The Camp Atterbury photographs were taken by William J. Moriarty, Sr., a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, as part of his duties for the U.S. Signal Corps while he was stationed there in 1943. The images demonstrate the daily activities of camp life and training, as well as social events, and depict racial segregation among regular army troops and the Women's Army Corps (WAC).
|Soldier offering mascot ‘Buddy’ a treat, 1943 December 4|
For more information, please see the collection finding aid.
USO in Indianapolis
On May 22, 1941 the first center for uniformed men was opened on Wabash Street in Indianapolis. It was called The Army, Navy, and Marine Service Club and was located in a converted freight house under the auspices of the Indianapolis Parks Board. The Works Project Administration supplied the labor to convert the building, and the community donated the furnishings. Mrs. Dorothy F. Buschmann became the first full time director for the Center on September 1, 1941.
By November 1, 1941 an average of 2,000 men a week visited the Club. The Club included: game rooms, a library, and a writing room. The Club was staffed with young women called "Cadettes" three days a week. Also, a "pantry shelf" served dinner on Sunday and snacks seven days a week.
Soon it was obvious that one center would not be enough. The Union Station Canteen was opened on December 22, 1941 followed by the Illinois Street Center on July 8, 1942. The facilities were incorporated into the Indianapolis Service Men's Centers in late July 1942. Subsequent to this incorporation the Senate Avenue Center was opened. The Robert Park Center was added last in the spring of 1943.
By December 31, 1947 all United Service Organizations clubs and facilities were closed, and the organization was given an honorable discharge by President Harry S. Truman.
All images are provided for the personal use of patrons and researchers and may not be incorporated into publications, websites, or exhibits without written permission of the Indiana State Library or other appropriate copyright holder.
All information came from L470, Indianapolis U.S.O Council Records, Box 3, Folder 7, and S37, Katherine Watson Collection. This collection is available in the Manuscript Section of the Indiana State Library.