The History of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri

Acclaim Press

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The History of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri by Paul W. Bass

In this exciting new book, author Paul W. Bass documents the 75-year history of Fort Leonard Wood, formed in anticipation for America’s involvement in WWII and still training front line defenders today.

The History of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri provides detailed information on the formation of the base in 1940 (and why it was named for General Leonard Wood), then follows base training, objectives and growth during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Cold War, plus the War on Terrorism beginning in the 1990s through today.

The most detailed book ever published about Fort Leonard Wood, this book also documents how the base has impacted the development of Pulaski and Phelps counties and the surrounding region.

Published in honor of Fort Leonard Wood’s seventy-fifth anniversary, this decade-by-decade history begins with the fort’s creation in 1940. It was one of the first training camps built in response to World War II, as civilian and military officials began planning for the possibility that the United States would soon enter the war. Situated in Pulaski County, the fort encompassed more than sixty-five thousand acres, much of it purchased from landowners by the government. It was deactivated when the war ended, only to be reactivated during the Korean War. Fort Leonard Wood has since remained an integral part of the US Army, serving as the home of the army’s engineer school, military police school, transportation corps, and biological,  radiological, and nuclear school. Concise overviews of the fort’s activities and accomplishments, as well as personal recollections by those who served there, place its contributions to Missouri and the nation in context.

About the Author

PAUL WILLIAM BASS was born in Independence, Missouri. He graduated from William Chrisman High School, Southwest Baptist College, and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He married Jan Smashey in 1969. He served in full-time church staff positions for nineteen years in Arkansas, Alabama, and Missouri. From 1990–2007, he served at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, as director of student activities and held various adjunct teaching positions. He became the intercollegiate debate coach, with OBU debaters winning three national championships. He took early retirement in 2007 and, in that year, received the Isocrates Distinguished Debate Coach Award from the International Public Debate Association. During that time in Arkansas, he served in several interim pastor positions and became a bivocational pastor at Anchor Baptist Church for twelve years.

He began his writing career in 2007, having published 11 previous books. Missouri Innovators will be the first in a series of neighboring state innovator books he is considering for the immediate future. In addition to his writing, the last few years he has been teaching college-level Bible classes at the Mercy School of Nursing in Springfield, Missouri, in cooperation with Southwest Baptist University.

Paul and his wife, Jan, are retired and living in Willard, Missouri. His email address is

Product Specifications

Published by Acclaim Press, First edition (February 16, 2016), 224 pages.