Unique Footage of a US WWII Camp Archaeology Project in Belgium Reveals Stunning Finds

“From the bevy of pretty girls working at Camp “TopHat,” Antwerp, Belgium, the cadre mend of the 556th AAA (AW) Battalion, picked Jeannie Grange, Antwerp Belgium, for the title “Miss TopHat.” (Left to Right) Pfc. Martin Combs, Vars, Ind.; Sgt. Arthur Harkey, Salisbury, N.C.; Cpl. William R. J. Powers, New Cumberland, W. Va., Miss TopHat; Pvt. Donald E. Shamp, Sioux City, Iowa; and Pvt. George Basher, Blackwood, N.J. This camp is the last stop for GIs before they return to the U.S.” 

Camp ‘Top Hat’ near Antwerp was a troop processing camp, named after the popular cigarette brand. Founded in 1945, the camp was the final stop for 270.000 American troops that were about to board a ship back to the United States. In total there was room for 16.500 soldiers and officers, who stayed there for several days or weeks. The quite comfortable camp became so popular and was considered an American city on the banks of the Schelde.

As a consequence of big infrastructure projects, the former terrain that housed the camp is currently being researched by archaeologists and ammunition experts. It is the last chance for archaeologists to shine light on, document and research a part of the past of World War II.

The archaeology project should be finished in this month, April 2021. However, unique footage of the excavations and finds of the camp has already been released. Read more: Antwerpenmorgen.be

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