• Patch building originally built as YMCA

  • Fort Leavenworth has several buildings that do not belong to the Army or the federal government. They are of special interest either because of how they came to be located on post or for their use.

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  • Fort Leavenworth has several buildings that do not belong to the Army or the federal government. They are of special interest either because of how they came to be located on post or for their use.
    Armed Forces Bank is relatively new, but its predecessor, the Army National Bank, was granted a revocable license to operate on post in July 1907. Another commercial organization grandfathered to remain on the post is Armed Forces Insurance. Originally called the Army Co-Operative Fire Association, it was founded by Army officers, including Arthur MacArthur — Civil War Medal of Honor recipient and Douglas MacArthur’s father — at Fort Leavenworth in 1887. Its name was later changed to Armed Forces Co-Operative Insurance Association. Its present building on Biddle Boulevard was built in 1953 to replace an earlier structure.
    Another building constructed with private funds but now Army property is the Patch Community Center at 320 Pope Ave.
    The structure was built and dedicated in 1907 for the Army by the Army Department of the International Committee of the Young Men’s Christian Association. It was constructed with funds provided by philanthropist Helen Miller Gould who donated the money in honor of her late father, financier and railroad magnate, Jason Gould. Little remembered today, Jason (Jay) Gould was among the class of entrepreneurs called “robber barons” in their day.
    The donation of funding for YMCA buildings by Ms. Gould was similar to the donation of library buildings such as that on 5th Street in downtown Leavenworth by businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Originally a large house, in 1924, an auditorium, indoor swimming pool and gym were added.
    In February 1954, the Army revoked the license granted to the YMCA to operate a building on post, took control of it and named it for Lt. Gen. Patch.
    Alexander McCarrell (Sandy) Patch was an Army “brat” born in 1889 at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1913 and was commissioned in the 18th Infantry. After early service with his regiment in Texas and Arizona, 1913-17, he deployed to France with the regiment in 1917. Maj. Patch was the director of the Army Machinegun School and later worked as a staff officer in the G-5 Section (Plans) at the American Expeditionary Forces General Headquarters, 1918-19.
    After the war, Patch served at Fort Benning, Ga.; in Washington, D.C., and three times as a professor of military science and tactics at Staunton Military Academy, Staunton, Va. Patch was a distinguished graduate of the Command and General Staff School in 1925 and graduated from the Army War College in 1932. Before World War II, Lt. Col. Patch served as the senior instructor to the Alabama National Guard and as the commander of the 47th Infantry Regiment.
    Brig. Gen. Patch deployed to the Pacific in January 1942. He commanded the Americal Division (23rd Infantry Division) and XIV Corps in the Pacific Theater, 1942- 43, and the Seventh Army in Sicily and France, 1944-45.
    Page 2 of 2 - As an example of the impact of the war on military families, his son, Capt. Alexander M. Patch III (USMA Class of 1942), was killed in action in France on Oct. 22, 1944, while leading a rifle company in the 79th Infantry Division.
    Lt. Gen. Patch was the commander of Fourth Army at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, at the time of his death. He is buried at West Point. Patch Barracks in Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany, home of U.S. European Command, is named in his honor.
    Patch Community Center now serves as a youth center, Scout meeting place and provides other school-age services. When a fire destroyed St. Ignatius Chapel to its west across McClellan Avenue in 2001, Patch Community Center became the only formerly private building on Fort Leavenworth that is now in public hands. The building’s facade notes that the building was erected in 1907.
    For information on his book: Fort Leavenworth: The People Behind the Names visit here.
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