KY National Guard History eMuseum

Elizabethtown Armory

Elizabethtown Armory
A Brief History of the Kentucky National Guard In Elizabethtown

The National Guard has been in Elizabethtown since the early 1940s, when a unit leased a building (now a bicycle shop) on the edge of town; exact location unknown. The exact date when the Guard unit formed is unknown.

Since its beginnings in Elizabethtown, the National Guard has been Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion of the 138th Field Artillery. The only major conflict in which the entire Battery served was the Vietnam War. The Elizabethtown unit served along with other companies from Bardstown, Carrollton, and Louisville, all of whom comprised the 2/138th Field Artillery Battalion. The 2/138th served in Vietnam from 1969-1970. Several lives were lost during the war. The only other major conflict in which men from the Elizabethtown unit served was Desert Storm. The entire unit was not activated, but one person transferred to Glasgow and went overseas with the 1/623rd Field Artillery.

National Register Plaque
National Register Plaque - "This property has been place on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior

Besides federal active duty, the unit has participated in state active duties such as the Prestonsburg bus crash in 1958. The unit was commended for their outstanding service by the Prestonsburg Schoolchildren Recovery Committee. Several National Guard units from around the state helped during the bus crash. Battery B won several Superior Unit Awards in 1961, 1962, 1964, and 1965. In 1974, the National Guard was activated for the truckers strike and they were sent to Brandenburg to assist the community and to help with the clean-up after the April tornado that destroyed many of the buildings in the city. More recent state active duty missions have included cleaning up after the flood of March 1997, snow duty in 1996, 1997, and 1998. Every Memorial Day, the unit participates in a parade.

The armory is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

About The Elizabethtown National Guard Armory

The current armory in Elizabethtown is the only armory ever built here. The building consists of a two-story main block flanked on either side by one-story, four-bay wings. The building is topped by a flat roof and has a two-story drill hall attached at the rear. The armory is situated on a sloping, fall-away lot in the middle of a residential area. It rests on a raised concrete foundation, and is composed of two main floors and a basement. The armory is a large building with some decorative elements of the Art Deco style, such as the linear stone ornamentation on the facade of the building. Otherwise, the building is devoid of much architectural detail. Several concrete steps lead to the entrance of the armory, and a flagpole sits directly in front of the building.


Photos and information courtesy Kentucky Heritage Council -- Report No. 25" Inventory and Evaluation of National Guard Armories in the State of Kentucky" - 1999 by Kate Carothers.


Last Updated 8/30/2007