Clemson Armory Complex

Motor Vehicle Storage Building

None. Listed as occupying an MVSB in the 1959 Armory Inventory and Stationing Plan. This location was abandoned and returned to the town of Clemson when the Armory Building was constructed.1

Armory Building:

Architect: Demosthenes, McCreight & Riley
Contractor: Yeargin Construction Company
Cost: $146,793.002
Completition Date: August 31, 1964
Dedicated: Possibly July 18, 19653

This armory was described as a “1-Unit (Type C)” armory in a FY 1963 list of proposed projects for congressional approval.4

SCARNG first established a Guard presence at Clemson in 1947, when troops met in the basement of the Old Clemson Library. Formal federal recognition first came on October 27, 1947, when the Guard designated the unit as Battery C, 178th Field Artillery Battalion with only seventeen enlisted men. Drills were first held in classrooms at Clemson College, and the unit eventually completed training operations in Clemson’s old “Hog Barn,” which was modified to function as a makeshift armory and MVSB. In the ensuing years, Clemson’s unit trained as a Howitzer battery at Fort Jackson from 1948 to 1952 and at Fort McClellan, Alabama, from 1952 to 1958. In 1959, as part of the Guard’s Pentomic reorganization, SCARNG reorganized the Clemson unit as Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 263rd Artillery (Automatic Weapon, Self-Propelled).5 Finally, in December 1963, state officials completed a modern armory building for the unit, without an associated MVSB, which formally opened in 1964, when it was leased from Clemson University on a fifty-year lease scheduled to expire in 2014. The armory building was rededicated in December 1970 as the George H. Dunkelberg Armory.6

Because of the nature of the unit’s operations, much of its training continued off-site at Fort Stewart, Georgia (from 1959 to 1968), and at Camp Blanding, Florida (1969 to 1972). Meanwhile, like many South Carolina guard units, Clemson’s primary calls to action consisted of stateside assistance for local needs. In April 1963, for example, the governor mobilized the Clemson unit to assist in fighting the Stumphouse Mountain fire. The present Clemson armory site has also served as an important community venue through annual space rentals to Ducks Unlimited and the Wild Turkey Federation, as a venue for Clemson University fraternity parties, as a local polling center, and as a space for wedding receptions and other parties.7

As of the 2010 site visit, the Clemson armory facility consisted of five buildings on just over eight acres of land located just to the east of downtown Clemson, including a small metal oil shed, a large climate-controlled storage facility, a Quonset hut, a metal trailer, and the 1964 armory building.

Photo Gallery

  1. “Armory Inventory and Stationing Plan, South Carolina,” 1959, Folder 633, South Carolina, Box 3784, Army-NGB Decimal File, 1959, RG 168, NARA II. A motor vehicle storage building was built in 1950 on Clemson University land that was loaned for that purpose. In October 1964, the University inquired about the donation of that building back to the University. The federal government responded that their only interest was in the building’s availability for Guard purposes for 25 years from its date of completion (December 5, 1950). Clemson leased 8.05 acres of land for the new facility in exchange for the return of the lands on which the old facility was built. No new motor vehicle storage building was built at the new facility “since such facilities are not considered essential adjuncts to armories in temperate climates.” See Major General Winston P. Wilson to Major General Frank D. Pinckney (SC Adjutant General), October 7, 1964, Folder 1505-11 SC 64, Box 22, National Guard Bureau, General Subject Files, 1964; and Winston P. Wilson to Lt. Col. CE Harris, August 24, 1964, Folder 1505-11 SC 64, Box 22, National Guard Bureau, General Subject Files, 1964.

  2. Inspection Report, September 1, 1964, Folder 1505-11 SC 64, Box 22, National Guard Bureau, General Subject Files, 1964.

  3. Rhodes, 289

  4. “Proposed Projects for Congressional Approval, Fiscal Year 1963,” no date, Folder 633, General, Army-NGB Decimal File, 1962, RG 168, NARA II.

  5. Rhodes, 289

  6. Staff Sergeant Timothy Short, personal conversation, October 26, 2010, and Rhodes, 289. Rhodes reports that the armory was formally dedicated on July 18, 1965, although this conflicts with both Kitchens, et al (26), and Timothy Short, who insist that operations began there early in 1964.

  7. Kitchens, et al, 26, and Timothy Short.