FORT BARFOOT, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia National Guard post formerly known as Fort Pickett was officially renamed on Friday.
The Nottoway County-based camp was first opened in 1941 as part of the United States military’s expansion ahead of entering World War II. The base was named after a Confederate officer of the Civil War, George Edward Pickett.
“Fort Barfoot” gets its new name from Tech Sgt. Van T. Barfoot, a recipient of the Medal of Honor in WWII. According to a report from the Naming Commission, Barfoot distinguished himself on May 23, 1944, when he single-handedly advanced on three machine gun nests, taking multiple prisoners as he did so. On the same day, he also reportedly faced down three tanks — disabling one — sabotaged enemy field artillery and helped two seriously injured soldiers evacuate the battlefield.
“Any single one of these actions could merit a high award for valor,” the Naming Commission’s report reads. “And every one of them was carried out with the utmost dedication to the success of his mission and the safety of his Soldiers.”
A Redesignation Ceremony was healed at the base’s Blackstone Army Airfield. Senior military leaders and the Barfoot family joined to unveil the new Fort Barfoot sign to be installed at the main gate.
Fort Barfoot is one of nine army bases across the country that were named after confederate leaders that are now scheduled to be renamed. Fort Lee and Fort A.P. Hill are also scheduled to have their names changed.