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The Apache Sentinel
On July 16, 1943, The Apache Sentinel was first published by the soldiers at Fort Huachuca, a U.S. Army installation located in Southern Arizona. Fort Huachuca was originally established as a camp during the Indian Wars between the United States government and Native Americans, and the paper’s first issue featured a photograph of the fort’s founder, Captain Samuel Whitside. In the 1940s when The Apache Sentinel was published, the 92nd Infantry Division, a segregated African American unit, was based at the fort, along with the African American 32nd and 33rd companies of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), later the Women’s Army Corps (WAC).
The weekly newspaper had several editors during its short run, and there were many staff members listed, including the Post commander. The Sentinel’s slogan was “Guardian of the Ft. Huachucha Spirit” and was printed by the publishing company of the Douglas Daily Dispatch [LCCN: sn 84020064]. The paper highlighted activities for the soldiers, such as the post band and movie screenings, and included columns like “Around the Post” (later “Around the Fort”), “This Week in the War,” and “What’s Cookin’—Here?” that once discussed dehydrated food.
Some issues included a place for an address and stamp and encouraged soldiers to “Send The Apache Sentinel Home.” The paper reported on entertainers like Lena Horne and the Nicholas Brothers who visited the fort. Poet Langston Hughes read some of his works at the USO club. Sports news included coverage of Fort Huachuca’s baseball team that played other regional teams like the Nogales Internationals from Sonora, Mexico. The one-year anniversary issue featured photographs of the soldiers, civilian employees, the fort’s facilities, and the surrounding desert.
The Women’s Army Corps featured regularly in the Sentinel. “Our Hats Off to the WACs!”, an editorial in November 1943 stated: “Yesterday we had the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. Today we have the Women’s Army Corps, no longer a subsidiary, but a part of the United States Army,” signifying a pivotal moment for women in the army. The front page of a December 1943 issue celebrated the one-year anniversary of the WACs at Fort Huachuca.
On September 22, 1944, the Sentinel reported suspension of publication. That issue was filled with photographs of the fort, from the barracks to soldiers in training, hiking through the desert. A week later, the mimeographed, weekly Post Script appeared, self-described as a “rag” intended to “bridge the gap between offering no news at all and the complete and elegant news coverage which the hibernating Apache Sentinel dished out.” Much of the Post Script’s coverage was similar to the Sentinel, such as “War This Week.” In late October 1944, the Post Script announced Fort Huachuca’s return to active status, the temporary newspaper ceased, and the Apache Sentinel resumed publication in November 1944. The Sentinel ceased publication again in April 1945 and the Post Script returned once again from May 1945 until its last issue in January 1946.
Essay provided by University of Arizona Libraries.Dates of Publication1943-1945Frequency of PublicationWeeklyPlace of PublicationFort HuachucaLanguageEnglishPermissions and ReuseThe contents of the Arizona Digital Newspaper Program (ADNP) are available to the public by our partners for using in research, teaching, and private study. Please note that U.S. Copyright and intellectual property laws apply to the digital resources made available through this site.