Library Exhibit- The Cadets of “Fort Bancroft”

Aviation Cadet in front of "Fort Bancroft"- 1943

The Cadets of “Fort Bancroft”: The US Army Air Corps 41st College Detachment at Winthrop, 1943-1944

Continuing our celebration of Winthrop’s 125th academic year, the Dacus Library’s November exhibit is The Cadets of “Fort Bancroft”: The US Army Air Corps 41st College Training Detachment at Winthrop, 1943-1944.

In 1942, during WWII, the U. S. War Department approved Winthrop as a training facility for cadet aviators enlisted in the Army Air Corps. President Shelton Phelps signed an agreement with the War Department that Winthrop would house, feed, and teach the cadets. The contract was signed on February 23, 1943 indicating that the program would begin on March 1, 1943 and end on June 30, 1944. The detachment that Winthrop housed was the 41st College Training Detachment.  The school was expected to furnish textbooks, teachers, classroom facilities, food, housing, and entertainment.  The courses were arranged by block scheduling, allowing five course combinations. Cadets were to have Saturdays and Sundays for recreation, ceremonies, open-post privileges, and dating. The cadets were housed in Bancroft Hall, which was immediately dubbed “Fort Bancroft,” and were enthusiastically welcomed by the whole Winthrop community. The November exhibit highlights the 15 months that the cadets were on Winthrop’s campus through photographs, newspaper clippings, programs, and other items. Visitors may view the exhibit during library hours from November 4 to December 1. For more information or questions, please contact the Archives at or (803) 323-2334

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