NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. –
Looking back at the Defense Distribution Center, Susquehanna installation’s 100-year history, there are many missions that took place that, although no longer active, were critical to the success of the Nation.
One such mission was the building, activation and management of the Army’s 1301st Service Unit Reception Center.
In September 1940, the passage of the Selective Service Act necessitated the construction of reception centers across the country for processing inductees into the Army.
As a result, in November 1940, a contract was let for the 1000-man, 1301st Service Unit Reception Center on what was then known as the New Cumberland Quartermaster Depot.
Activated in February 1941, the Center expanded later that year, with construction of over 30 additional buildings, including barracks, a mess hall, officers' quarters, an infirmary, recreation hall, post exchange, theater, guardhouse, processing buildings, and shops.
The Center expanded again in 1942 when the adjacent Civilian Conservation Corps camp, previously used to host a program for unemployed, unmarried men as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal, was transferred to the Army.
By war's end a half million males- approximately 90% of Pennsylvanians entering the Army- had been processed through the Center.
In early 1945, part of the Center's facilities housed German and Italian prisoners of war and later that year the Center was converted to a U.S. Military Disciplinary Barracks that remained on the depot until 1959.