Camp Hulen

Camp Hulen, formerly known as Camp Palacios, was on Turtle and Tres Palacios bays just west of Palacios in southwestern Matagorda County. It reached its peak use as a United States Army training center during World War II. It was originally established as a summer training camp for the Thirty-sixth Infantry Division of the Texas National Guard after the Palacios Campsite Association donated the land to the state in 1926. The association had in mind the economic benefits a military training center would bring Palacios. Some 6,500 men came to the first training session in the summer of 1926. Beginning in July 1926 Camp Palacios had a newspaper, the Camp Palacios T-Arrow Daily, published by the Palacios Beacon; its name was derived from the symbols for the two states that largely made up the Thirty-sixth Division: T for Texas and an arrowhead for Oklahoma. In 1930 the camp, where more than $500,000 was spent on housing for the division, was renamed Camp Hulen, after John Augustus Hulen. By 1934 some 1,886 concrete tent floors had been laid for the trainees. Because the surrounding bays provided a safe range for target practice, in 1940 the United States War Department began to use the base for antiaircraft training for national guard units from across the country (the Thirty-sixth Division had moved to Camp Bowie in Brown County). In January 1941 the first draftees arrived, and the following month saw the first printed issue of the weekly Camp Hulen Searchlight, which had begun earlier as a simple mimeographed sheet. The paper ran until 1945; a few 1943 copies are housed at the Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Camp Hulen is part of or belongs to the following places.

Adopt a Town

The Texas Almanac's Land Rush program lets you adopt the town, county, or lake of your choice and share your message with the world. 100% of the proceeds benefit education in Texas.

Currently Exists


Place type

Camp Hulen is classified as a Town


  • Latitude

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Proud to call Texas home?

Put your name on the town, county, or lake of your choice.

Search Places »