The 533d Engineer Amphibian Regiment soon learned that Camp Carrabelle
was an orphan of the resort state of Florida. The terrain was flat and covered with
jack pines. The water had a high sulphur content. Snakes were numerous, and it ap-
peared as if every farmer in the region used the roads as a playground for his hogs.
It was a rude shock to find that the balmy weather that had been anticipated was
very much absent, and many mutterings were heard that November was warmer in
Massachusetts than at Carrabelle.
The camp was more livable than the Ist Battalion had been accustomed to at
Cotuit. The barracks were standard 100-foot by 20-foot tar paper shacks with kitch-
ens and showers nearby. There was not always enough hot water, and plumbing was
a thing of the past, but on the whole the facilities were adequate, and after mess halls
and day rooms had been dressed up, Camp Carrabelle became a satisfactory home.
Those northerners in the Regiment who had thought of Florida as a state com-
pletely filled with resorts, recreation, and bathing beauties suffered a rude disappoint-
ment. The nearest town, Carrabelle, was dismal proof that Tobacco Road was not a
figment of its author’s imagination. To the north one passed through Sopchoppy and
other towns made up of a few shacks and a swarm of hogs, until Tallahassee was
reached, sixty miles away. There was a highway which ran in front of the camp,
connecting Apalachicola to the west with Tallahassee. The traffic was light and
bus service was, for all practical purposes, non-existent. It was soon obvious that
the Florida Board of Commerce would not be flattered to hear the opinion of the
newest residents of its northwest section.
More information on the 533rd can be found at