Above is the cover photograph of
the Camp Tyson book.

Camp Tyson Book Has Arrived

Paris, Tenn. - The book, ďAs If They Were Ours: The Story Of Camp Tyson, Americaís Only Barrage Balloon Training FacilityĒ has arrived at the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce office.

The book relates the history of Camp Tyson, which was a WWII Army camp located in the town of  Routon a few miles outside of Paris. The book was written by Shannon McFarlin of Paris, who interviewed over 100 people for the book, including former soldiers who served ...there, people who worked there, people who housed soldiers while the camp was being built, people who ran area businesses associated with the camp and couples who met because of the camp and later married.

The book is being sold for $20. For persons from out-of-town and out-of-state, cost of the book will be $25 to cover shipping costs.

The phone number of the Chamber office is 731-642-3431. The Chamber office is located at 2508 E. Wood St. Paris, Tenn., 38242 and is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.



Camp Tyson was unique and historic for several reasons:

--As the only such facility in the U.S., the soldiers who served there had an experience unlike any other soldiers anywhere.

--Camp Tyson was responsible for the transformation of Paris from a small town to a city, with its influx of hundreds more construction workers, soldiers and their families and subsequent modernization of its infrastructure to accommodate its new citizens.

--Of special significance, Camp Tyson was the home of the all-black 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, which was the first battalion to rush onto the beaches on D-Day. They were trained for that battle at Camp Tyson and their accomplishments have been largely unheralded. McFarlin was able to track down soldiers who were trained there and were at D-Day for interviews

--Additionally, both Italian and German prisoners of war were held there during and after the war. McFarlin interviewed former soldiers who remembered the German and Italian prisoners. Most of the book is written from first-person interviews.

Additionally, McFarlin received many documents never before seen as a result of a Freedom Of Information Act request, as well as many documents from the Library of Congress and other government sources.

The book chronicles the history of the camp, from its construction through its use during the war, the closure of the camp and its subsequent purchase by the Spinks Clay Co. The book is published by Merriam Publishing.

McFarlin has bachelorís and masterís degrees in history and public history from Murray State University. She is the News Director for WENK/WTPR and also writes for Paris! Magazine.


This page added  by  Shannon  McFarland
January 21,  2016