Camp Curtis Guild, located in Reading, Mass., is the Massachusetts Army National Guard’s second-largest training site, sitting on more than 680 acres in the towns of Wakefield, North Reading and Lynnfield. Located 18 miles north of Boston, Camp Curtis Guild can be reached in less than 2 ½ hours from any part of the state.
Camp Curtis Guild is committed to providing and maintaining a viable, small unit training site for units of the Massachusetts Army National Guard as well as local, state and federal agencies. Available resources include: 15 training areas; two bivouac sites for up to company-sized elements; a land navigation course; Engagement Skills Trainer; vehicle recovery training site; engineer dig training site; and a helipad. The site also has 10 miles of unimproved roads for wheeled and tracked vehicle driver training.
Current tenant units include: the Massachusetts National Guard Office of the Inspector General; 26th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade; Field Maintenance Facility #4; CERF-P; 272nd Chemical Company; 972nd Military Police Company; and the 188th Engineer Detachment.
History of Camp Curtis Guild
During World War I, the site was leased from the Bay State Rifle Association by the U.S. Navy and operated as Camp Plunkett. Wooden barracks and mess halls were erected during this period. At the close of the war, the Navy returned the camp, with buildings that had been erected, to the association.
The site was acquired by the commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1926 from the Bay State Rifle Association, at a cost of $65 million. On March 1, 1926, Governor Alvin T. Fuller named the camp in honor of former governor, Curtis Guild, Jr. “in consideration of [his] public service and intimate connection with the military forces of the state and nation.”
During World War II, the camp was operated by the First Service Command as a staging area for the port of Boston. The Camp was also used as a training area by the United States Coast Guard.
The commonwealth of Massachusetts operated a transient WPA Camp in this area during the period 1933 – 1936. Several additional wood frame buildings were erected on the camp with WPA funds. Additional land was acquired by the state in 1935 and 1950.