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Fort Wayne

Fort Custer

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410th Anniversary Dinner

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Cactus Patch

Fort Wayne
Detroit, Michigan


...Aubert transferred next to Kroger Store D-212 on 7 Mile Road, one block west of Livernois, in Detroit, where Harry Rogers was manager and Aubert was produce manager. MI.

Aubert had been informed by the government that as an alien (a Canadian citizen) living in the United States and because the war had begun, he would either have to join the military service or leave the county. Since he did not want to leave, he decided to enlist in the Army, although in essence, he was “drafted.” In a letter dated October 14, 1942, from Local Board #30, Détroit, MI, he was told that he had been found acceptable for training and service.

Aubert proposed to Shirley Emrick on one knee in the living room of her home at 22306 Nowlin Road in Dearborn. He pulled a small box out of his pocket, and asked if she would accept it. Shirley started to cry and told him he would have to ask her mother. When he asked Nellie if he could give Shirley the ring, Nellie asked him if he intended to marry her. When he responded that he did, he returned to the living room and gave her the ring. Aubert told Shirley that he did not want anyone else to “mess around” with her while he was gone to the Army.

Aubert's co-workers at the Kroger Store threw a going-away party for him at Hedge's Wigwam Restaurant at Woodward and 10 Mile Road in royal Oak, MI.

On November 19, 1942, Aubert was inducted into the United States Army (Enlisted Reserve Corps) at Fort Wayne, Detroit, MI. His Army service number was 36546074, and he became a member of the 103rd (Cactus) Infantry Division, 410th Regiment, 1st Battalion, “B” Company. The newly-inducted soldiers were allowed to return to their homes to “tie up any loose ends.” This was the period of his 12 days service in the Enlisted Reserve Corps. On December 1, 1942, Aubert was placed on active duty and sent by train to Fort Custer, Augusta, MI, which was a holding area.

LOCATION: Fort Wayne is located at 6325 West Jefferson (at the corner of Livernois), Detroit, MI 49209. It is open seasonally. Information on special events and tour reservations can be obtained by calling (313) 297-9360

SIGNIFICANCE: Fort Wayne in Detroit, Michigan, was one of the many induction centers located throughout the country during World War II. It was the military installation where my father was inducted into the Enlisted Reserve Corps on 19 November 1942. (A generation later, it was the same installation where each of his three oldest sons were inducted during the war in Vietnam.) From Fort Wayne the soldiers were allowed to return to their homes to attend to their personal affairs and prepare for transfer from reserve status to active duty on 1 December 1942.

HISTORY: The city of Detroit was founded in July 1701 by the French explorer, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac who landed with a party of about 50 men. Since that time, three forts have graced the banks of the Detroit River during Detroit's history, however, only one, Fort Wayne, survives. Though Fort Wayne has never seen combat, it has witnessed much of America's military history, as well as Detroit's industrial and cultural growth. Construction of the fort began in 1843 and was completed in 1848, receiving its name in 1849 in honor of Revolutionary War General "Mad" Anthony Wayne (1745 - 1796). Initially established in fear of a Canadian-American conflict, the fort served during the Civil War as a mustering post, a home for mechanized units during World War I, and the U.S. center for army motor vehicle contracts and acquisitions in World War II. Fort Wayne became Historic Fort Wayne in 1949, when the federal government gave 15 acres of it to the city of Detroit. It was deactivated as an active duty installation in 1967. Today, summer visitors can picnic on its parade grounds, visit its restored buildings and interpretive exhibits, and on special days, experience the sights and sounds of a close order drill in 19th century uniforms.

1. Visitor Center: Gift Shop, Mess Hall (refreshments), Restrooms
2. Historic Marker: Old Fort Road and earthen embankments
3. Scarp: 22-foot wall rebuilt in 1864, containing square gun ports, narrow rifle slits, and small air vents
4. Sallyport: Original gate built to permit the garrison to attack enemy troops
5. Casemate and Connecting Tunnel: Bomb-proof chamber and passageway built to protect defenders should the fort come under attack
6. Powder Magazine: Built to store the fort's powder supply
7. Barracks: Originally constructed in 1848 as living quarters for the Fort's garrison. It is now a museum depicting Detroit's military history from 1701 through 1890
8. Stairway to Ramparts: Optional tour of ramparts and passageways to remaining casemates and view of the Detroit River
9. Indian Museum: Devoted to the preservation of the history and culture of Great Lakes Indians
10. Indian Mound: A 900 year old Indian burial site
11. Commandant's House: Post commandant's quarters restored to its original 1890 appearance
12. Riverfront Parade Ground: Narrowest part of the Detroit River offers an excellent view of downtown Detroit and Windsor, Ontario

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Fort Wayne





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