HISTORY of fort detrick





Fort Detrick Community Guide 2015-2016

Fort Detrick was named after Frederick

Louis Detrick, born April 21, 1889, in

New Market, Maryland.

Camp Detrick circa, 1931

Building 470 was the

Piolt Plant after 1952.

Fort Detrick’s service to the Nation carries on the legacy of the Frederick County patriots who played major roles in the development of the Nation. Five farms originally constituted what is today known as Area A, or the main post area, where most activities are located. Fort Detrick traces its roots to the small municipal airport known as Detrick Field in the 1930s. The first military presence was the encampment of the 104th Aero Squadron of the Maryland National Guard. It was named Camp Detrick to honor squadron surgeon Maj. Frederick L. Detrick who served in France during World War I. Major Detrick died in June 1931, two months before the first encampment, August 10, 1931. Detrick Field was a cadet pilot training center until December 1941. The 2nd Bombardment Squadron, U.S. Army Air Corps, was reconstituted at Detrick Field between March and September 1942, when it deployed to England became the nucleus of the new Eighth Air Force headquarters. The U.S. Biological Laboratories were established at Detrick Field in 1943, achieving pioneering efforts in decontamination, gaseous sterilization, and agent purification.

Camp Detrick became Fort Detrick in 1956, continuing its mission of biomedical research and its reputation as the world’s leading research campus for agents requiring specialty containment. The offensive biological warfare program was disestablished in 1969. The closing of the former biological warfare laboratories gave way to a period of transition in the 1970s. Former laboratories and land were transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Cancer Research and Development Center was established in 1971, now called the Frederick National Laboratory.

The installation has since grown in the scope of its operations and now has an interagency campus, which houses all of the military services as well as non Department of Defense organizations. The installation has matured as a center for advanced biomedical research and development, medical materiel management, and long-haul telecommunications for the White House, Department of Defense, and other governmental agencies. The National Interagency Biodefense Campus is here and co-locates the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, all in an effort to provide opportunities for scientific coordination, education and partnerships.

Fort Detrick was annexed into the city of Frederick in 1983, and to this day partners with the city on many progressive endeavors that benefit everyone in the community. Fort Detrick is one of the largest employers in Frederick County with more than 11,000 Service Members, federal civilians, and contractors, bringing millions of dollars into the community through salaries and contracts. Many of its people teach in local schools and colleges and serve as members of service and charitable organizations.

Fort Detrick has four structures on the National Historic Register, including the Nallin Farm House, the Bank Barn, Spring House, and the
One-Million Liter Sphere,
also called the”Eight Ball.”

Fort Detrick is recognized
as a Community of Excellence.