HomeHistoryArmories to National Register of Historic PlacesGreenwood Armory Complex

Greenwood Armory Complex

Motor Vehicle Storage Building

None.

Armory Building:

Architect: Prather and Thomas
Contractor: G. E. Moore Company
Cost: $164,000 (budget amount)
Dedicated: June 18, 19641
Notes:

This unit was described as a “1-U-P (Type D)” [one-unit plus] armory, to be built at a cost of $164,000, in correspondence regarding the FY 1963 ARNG Military Construction Program.2

The SCARNG presence at Greenwood can be traced to the establishment of Battery D, 263rd Coast Artillery on May 21, 1930. After induction into federal service for World War II in 1941, the unit was transferred to Charleston and reassigned as Battery B, Harbor Defense of Charleston, in October 1944. Nine months later, the unit was deactivated until the unit was reformed as part of the establishment of a new Guard presence at Greenwood in 1947. On February 11, 1947, SCARNG established Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 218th Infantry, 51st Infantry Division, at Greenwood, with the original unit (after consolidation with Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 263rd Coast Artillery) reformulated as Battery A, 107th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Automatic Weapons). Six years later, this unit was designated as Battery A, 107th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion, and in April 1959, the battery was completely transformed into the 112th Signal Company. In the ensuing years, this battery went through a number of reorganizations: 264th Signal Company in November 1965, 740th Supply Company in 1971, 218th Signal Company in 1974, and Company C, 111th Signal Battalion in 1979. A little over a year later, this last unit formulation was permanently transferred to Williamston, ending its affiliation with Greenwood and leaving Greenwood without a home unit. By June 1981, however, SCARNG deactivated a unit from the Virgin Islands and transferred them to Greenwood as Company D, 111th Signal Battalion.3

Both Greenwood unit formations served admirably in assisting with local emergencies. The first unit provided state assistance during the race riots in Charleston in May 1969, and in 1973 this same unit provided relief services to the residents of Ninety-Six following a massive tornado. The later company configuration, meanwhile, provided shelter and mess facilities for emergency power crews assisting with repairs following a bad storm in 1982.4

As for the Headquarters Company presence at Greenwood, it was transformed in 1959 into two separate units: the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 108th Signal Battalion,5 as well as the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 108th Signal Battalion, 228th Combat Area Signal Group. Soon after, during the Berlin Crisis of 1961, both units were ordered into active duty and mobilized to Fort Stewart, Georgia, for approximately one year, after which they were released again to state duty. As part of the shuffling of forces that affected the original Greenwood unit in 1979, the first Headquarters unit was reorganized as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 111th Signal Battalion, in October 1980. The 228th Combat Area Signal Group portion, meanwhile, was permanently transferred to Camden in 1983 as the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 108th Signal Battalion. As of the site visit in 2010, the facility was home to Company A, 151st ESB, 228th Signal Brigade.

To house the Greenwood operations, SCARNG initially placed the units in a one-unit plus WPA-era armory building, located on Phoenix Street in downtown Greenwood. As of 1959, this facility was described as inadequate for Greenwood’s needs, lacking sufficient classroom, administration, and kitchen space. It was accordingly listed for alteration and addition, rather than construction of a new facility.6 In the early 1960s, SCARNG obtained donated land from Piedmont Technical School and erected the present one-unit plus armory building at the site in June 1964, followed by an FMS facility at a later date. The 1964 armory occasionally has been rented in the past for weddings and vendor sales, but current staff members indicate that rentals are no longer permitted. The facility is not used as a polling place or for other town functions. No blueprints for the 1964 armory have been located, although one staff member did show one historic aerial photograph of the armory, which remains on display in the facility.7

As of 2010, the Greenwood armory complex consisted of ten buildings on approximately twelve acres of land located about one and a half miles to the east of downtown Greenwood, including a brick FMS building, two POL sheds on the FMS facility site, two metal storage buildings, a concrete block storage building, a vehicle wash rack shed building, a small Quonset hut, a wooden mess hall, and the 1964 armory building.8 The FMS was originally constructed as an OMS around 1977. It is located about 50 yards to the northeast of the 1964 armory.

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  1. This information is contained on a dedicatory plaque on a wall in the facility lobby. No other primary source information regarding these details, aside from that contained in note 2, has been located.

  2. “Proposed Projects for Congressional Approval, Fiscal Year 1963,” no date, Folder 633, General, Box 4290, Army-NGB Decimal File, 1962, RG 168, NARA II; Francis S. Greenlief to Adjutant General, State of South Carolina, December 1, 1962, Folder 633, South Carolina, Box 4293, Army-NGB Decimal File, 1962, RG 168, NARA II.

  3. Rhodes, 189, 198, and 231.

  4. Rhodes, 198.

  5. Rhodes, 189 and 231.

  6. “Armory Inventory and Stationing Plan, South Carolina,” 1959, Folder 633, South Carolina, Box 3784, Army-NGB Decimal File, 1959, RG 168, NARA II. The website for the Museum at Greenwood indicates that the museum first opened in 1970 in “the old armory building on Phoenix Street.” It moved to its present site in 1982. See http://www.emeraldtriangle.sc/Museum/Default.aspx.

  7. First Sergeant TC Speaks (Retired), personal conversation, October 26, 2010. Sergeant Speaks is listed by Kitchens, et al (47), as having maintained an historical file in 2005, but he has since retired and did not know the status of this file. Speaks is also listed in Kitchens, et al, as indicating that “instances of violence” ended facility rentals in 2002. Kitchens, et al, also report that the 1964 armory was built in 1968, but the dedicatory plaque in the lobby indicates a completion date of June 18, 1964.

  8. Two trailers reported in Kitchens, et al, as being on site immediately behind the 1964 armory are no longer on location.