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As It Was: Camp White Grenade Offers “News with a Bang”

The Camp White Army training base and prisoner-of-war camp east of Medford during the Second World War had a population of 35,000 desperately in need of a newspaper.

The first issue was published on Jan. 29, 1943, containing stories on camp activities and news from surrounding communities.  First Lt. Kenneth Lucky directed the paper.

No one was sure what to call the publication, so a contest was held to select a name.  The Medford Kiwanis Club offered a $25 war bond to the officer or enlisted man who proposed the winning name.

Pfc Ben Cooper won the contest by suggesting the title Camp White Grenade “News with a Bang.” 

The Grenade furthered communication between the base and the surrounding communities.  Army reporters, many of whom had been professional journalists before the war,

wrote stories about soldiers on base and camp activities.  They also covered the intense competition between the camp’s six-man football league which included civilian fans living off-base.

The Grenade published 80 weekly issues between 1943 and 1944, when it stopped publication as the base population dwindled.
 

Sources: Kramer, George. Camp White City in the Agate Desert. Camp White 50th Anniversary Committee, 1992, pp. 66-68; "About Camp White Grenade." Library of Congress, Chronicling America, chroniclingamerica.loc.gov › Chronicling America. Accessed 6 Dec. 2018.

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.