In the fall of 1951 I was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky in the 11th Airborne Division. I was at that time in Company “A” of the 188th Airborne Infantry Regiment.
Some time in early October, 1951 we were advised that in a few days our group would be going on a secret mission. There was a lot of talk and speculation about what our mission would be and the destination.
Our group guarded a facility on Fort Campbell known as “The Birdcage.” It is located at the far south end of Fort Campbell. The Bird Cage was a facility consisting of several large bunkers that had two wide steel doors on each of them. The doors were large enough for a truck to enter with a load of whatever was to be stored inside. I visited Fort Campbell some time ago and the facility is still there but now is abandoned, and it had only one tall chain fence surrounding it. The 188th Airborne Infantry guarded the facility, Company Strength for two weeks at a time. For two weeks Company “A” would guard.
The next two weeks Company “B” would be the guards etc. I remember after two weeks we were plenty glad to see Company “B” take their turn guarding because the duty was really boring, especially when we had no beer for two weeks! The living conditions at the Birdcage were primitive, there were several barracks and they consisted of large square wooden floors with poles supporting the roofs. The sides were of canvas that could be rolled down in winter, or rolled up for summer, there was no heat in winter. We slept on regular Army cots. Our duty time was 2 hours on duty and 4 hours off. This is how it was for two weeks at a time. I can say for sure I had rather jump out of 10 old shaky airplanes with bad oil pumping misfiring engines than to serve two weeks duty at the Birdcage!
Click Here to view a warning sign located at the southeast corner of the Birdcage at Fort Campbell.
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