SHEPHERDSTOWN, W,Va. — It’s an eye into local history that had worldwide impact. Refugees fleeing persecution during World War II were assigned to Fort Ritchie and according to historian Landon Grove they found two thirds of the actionable intelligence during the time.

Grove is the museum director and curator at Fort Ritchie in Washington County, Maryland. On September 12th, he’ll present a lecture at nearby Shepherd University entitled “Camp Ritchie: America’s Secret Weapon in WWII”

The September 12th talk is part of Shepherd University’s President’s Lecture Series. It begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education auditorium.

From 1926 until its closure in 1998, Fort Ritchie trained soldiers for every war from World War II through the Gulf War. For the past two decades, the former Army post has fallen into disrepair; however, tremendous efforts have been made in the last year to revive Fort Ritchie’s potential in Washington County.

A press release from Shepherd University says the lecture will explore the historic district and the area’s long and interesting history, geography, and the increasingly famous “Ritchie Boys” who have been the subject of several documentaries and books and were recently recognized by the United States Senate for their important efforts during World War II.

A Washington County native born in the shadow of Antietam, Grove earned his bachelor’s degree in history education from Salisbury University and a master’s in U.S. history from Indiana University Bloomington. He lives just a few minutes from Fort Ritchie and for the past two years has been working hard to develop a state-of-the-art display of items, documents, and photos to showcase the amazing story of the Ritchie Boys and to celebrate local veterans.