On October 8, 2002, The Polar Bear Association of World War II and members of the 338th Infantry Association dedicated a monument to their comrades of the 85th Infantry Division at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. Camp Shelby was chosen for the monument site because of its significance in the history of the 85th Infantry Division in World War II. The 85th Infantry Division was activated for wartime service at this camp and trained here until the spring of 1943 when it was assigned to maneuvers in Louisiana.
Specifications: The monument was manufactured by the Daniels Monument Company of Cottondale, Florida with granite from the Southside Granite Company. Mr. Adolph Ingram of Hattiesburg was the foundation and landscaping contractor. It was erected on December 7, 2001, and dedicated October 8, 2002.
Camp Shelby is currently administered by the Mississippi National Guard as a training camp, but from 1942 to 1945 it was an active army base where numerous divisions trained. Some of these divisions included the 31st, 37th, 65th, and 69th Infantry Divisions, as well as the 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, who most will recognize as that special unit composed of American soldiers of Japanese ancestry. Their monuments are located on Memorial Lane, overlooking the historic parade ground. Thousands of American soldiers marched over these historic roads and stood at attention on this parade ground, some for the last time before their assignment overseas.
Today, Camp Shelby is a staging area for national guard units destined for overseas duty in the War on Terrorism.