During the years when Camp Crowder was an active army base, many people, who later became or were famous, spent time there. Dick Van Dyke, Dan Dailey, Richard Webb, Carl Reiner, Russ Meyer, along with many future professional baseball players were stationed at Camp Crowder.

During the years when Camp Crowder was an active army base, many people, who later became or were famous, spent time there. Dick Van Dyke, Dan Dailey, Richard Webb, Carl Reiner, Russ Meyer, along with many future professional baseball players were stationed at Camp Crowder.
Some of the great entertainers of the day visited. Such celebrities as Cary Grant, Buster Crabbe, boxer Joe Lewis and Benny Goodman and his band paid visits to the soldiers in camp. But none had a bigger long-term affect on Camp Crower than cartoonist Mort Walker.
Walker is most famous for the long running cartoon series, Beetle Bailey. The setting for Beetle's fun and games was Camp Crowder, which was renamed Camp Swampy by Walker.
While stationed at Camp Crowder, being training as a radio operator, Walker envisioned Beetle Bailey and based many of his characters on his fellow soldiers.
After the war, Walker entered the University of Missouri and, in 1950, Beetle Bailey became a nationally syndicated cartoon. It still runs today with Walker's family and other artists and writers providing the cartoon material.
When I was working on my graduate degree, I chose Camp Crower for a formal paper. I interviewed many local citizens for the assignment and many expressed an interest in having a copy. When the paper was completed, I produced a small book. As I thought about the actual production of the book, I felt that a Mort Walker cartoon was the obvious choice for a cover.
I contacted Mr. Walker and he was most gracious and he enjoyed talking about his time at Camp Crower. He said he would send his idea for my cover and it soon arrived. Unfortunately, his notes and letters and the original cartoon were lost when a friend's house burned. She was doing some research on World War II and had asked to borrow my Mort Walker folder. Unfortunately, all my original material was lost.
Mort Walker was honored in Neosho with a walking trail at Bicentennial Park, a rather large park carved out of what used to be Camp Crowder. Also, area Boy Scouts seemed to have adopted Beetle and Camp Swampy as a theme for their various campouts. It is nice to see Mort Walker's influence on Neosho being passed along to youngsters.
But now we say good-bye to Mort Walker, and thank him for, not only his military service, but for his continued efforts in honoring the American soldier, and for the legacy he left for you and me to enjoy all these years later.