Fort Gillem was located in Forest Park, a southern suburb of Atlanta in Clayton County, from 1941 until 2011. The base housed the headquarters of both the First U.S. Army and the Georgia Army National Guard as well as the Atlanta Distribution Center of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service. Fort Gillem was also home to the Third Military Police Group (CID) United States Army Criminal Investigation Command, with a state-of-the-art criminal forensic laboratory, and served as a major distribution facility during national crises or troop deployments.

Fort Gillem
Fort Gillem

Courtesy of Garrison Public Affairs Office, Fort McPherson

First established as the Quartermaster Depot during World War II (1941-45), the facility was activated with units from chemical, engineering, medical, quartermaster, and signal divisions. The Quartermaster Depot, designated as Atlanta General Depot in 1941, shipped supplies to army personnel all over the world and housed an automotive school for soldiers.

After World War II the quartermaster mission at the facility continued and included the distribution of supplies, the maintenance of equipment, and the addition of a coffee-roasting plant. Morris Army Airfield, now closed, was established at the post during the 1950s and comprised an airstrip as well as a repair facility for aircraft. Renamed Atlanta Army Depot in 1962, the post was finally named Fort Gillem in 1973 in honor of Lieutenant General Alvan C. Gillem Jr., former commander of the Third Army, which was based at nearby Fort McPherson. At the same time Fort Gillem was designated a subinstallation of Fort McPherson.

Fort Gillem Dedication
Fort Gillem Dedication

Courtesy of Garrison Public Affairs Office, Fort McPherson

During the 1990s the Georgia Army National Guard increased its presence at the facility as the Oglethorpe Armory opened, and Fort Gillem became home to the Second Recruiting Brigade, the Fifty-second Ordnance Group, and the Equipment Concentration Site for the Eighty-first Regional Support Command. The post also served as the Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) headquarters for the Southeast and operated the Military Entrance Processing Station for Atlanta and northeast Georgia.

Forensics Laboratory Groundbreaking
Forensics Laboratory Groundbreaking

Courtesy of Garrison Public Affairs Office, Fort McPherson

In 2005 the U.S. secretary of defense recommended the closure of Fort Gillem as part of the federal government’s Base Realignment and Closure plan. Fort McPherson and the Navy Supply Corps School in Athens were slated for closure as well. An exit ceremony was held at the base on June 3, 2011, and troops from the First Army were transferred to Rock Island, Illinois. The criminal forensic laboratory remains open.

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Fort Gillem Dedication

Fort Gillem Dedication

Two members of the U.S. Army Forces Command Color Guard unveil the plaque dedicating Fort Gillem, formerly the Atlanta Army Depot, during activation ceremonies held on June 28, 1974. The fort was named in honor of Lieutenant General Alvan C. Gillem Jr., former commander of the Third U.S. Army.

Courtesy of Garrison Public Affairs Office, Fort McPherson

Fort Gillem

Fort Gillem

In 1995 the First U.S. Army was reorganized at Fort Gillem, in Forest Park. First Army headquarters, building 101, sat on a small hill above the sprawling base, which closed in 2011.

Courtesy of Garrison Public Affairs Office, Fort McPherson

Forensics Laboratory Groundbreaking

Forensics Laboratory Groundbreaking

The groundbreaking for a new forensics laboratory at Fort Gillem was held on November 25, 2002. From left to right, Major General Donald J. Ryder; Colonel Harold E. Cooney; Lieutenant Colonel William S. Schaff Jr.; Larry Chelko, director of the laboratory; William A. Story, president of Beers Skanska, Inc.; and Colonel Roger A. Gerber.

Courtesy of Garrison Public Affairs Office, Fort McPherson

Entrance Processing Station

Entrance Processing Station

This 28,000-square-foot building opened on January 13, 2000, to house the Military Entrance Processing Station at Fort Gillem. The base closed in 2011.

Courtesy of Garrison Public Affairs Office, Fort McPherson

Morris Hangar

Morris Hangar

Morris Army Air Field Hangar at Fort Gillem was completed in early September 1959. It contained 20,000 square feet of floor space and was built at a cost of $500,000. The hangar was demolished in 2002.

Courtesy of Garrison Public Affairs Office, Fort McPherson

Depot Soldiers Support Vietnam

Depot Soldiers Support Vietnam

Soldiers at the Atlanta Army General Depot in 1967 show their support of the troops in Vietnam.

Courtesy of Garrison Public Affairs Office, Fort McPherson

Morris Army Airfield

Morris Army Airfield

John O. Morris Sr. and Virginia A. Morris unveil a monument at Morris Army Airfield dedicated to 1st Lieutenant John O. Morris Jr. on September 22, 1959. The airfield was part of the Atlanta General Depot (later Fort Gillem) in Forest Park.

Courtesy of Garrison Public Affairs Office, Fort McPherson

Morris Army Airfield

Morris Army Airfield

Kirk Morris, son of 1st Lieutenant John O. Morris Jr., stands next to the monument dedicated to his father at Morris Army Airfield on September 22, 1959. The airfield was located at the Atlanta General Depot, which later became Fort Gillem, in Clayton County. Both the airfield and the fort are now closed.

Courtesy of Garrison Public Affairs Office, Fort McPherson

Morris Army Airfield

Morris Army Airfield

Morris Army Airfield, pictured in the early 1960s, was an airstrip and aircraft repair facility at the Atlanta General Depot (later Fort Gillem) in Forest Park. Construction started on the airfield in August 1958, and the facility was dedicated on September 22, 1959.

Courtesy of Garrison Public Affairs Office, Fort McPherson

Fort Gillem, 1990

Fort Gillem, 1990

The west end of Fort Gillem near Iverson Gate is pictured in 1990. The 2nd Recruiting Brigade building is the two-story building on the left. On the right are warehouses. The base, which was located in Clayton County, closed in 2011.

Courtesy of Garrison Public Affairs Office, Fort McPherson

Reserve Center

Reserve Center

Construction of a reserve center complex at Fort Gillem in Forest Park is pictured in 2001. Built near Iverson Gate on Hood Avenue, the completed complex included an army reserve center building, medical warehouse, maintenance storage, army reserve vehicle maintenance shop, and supply storage building. The base closed in 2011.

Courtesy of Garrison Public Affairs Office, Fort McPherson

First U.S. Army Headquarters

First U.S. Army Headquarters

The First U.S. Army was headquartered at Fort Gillem, in Clayton County, from 1995 until the base's closure in 2011.

Courtesy of Garrison Public Affairs Office, Fort McPherson