September 1943 the 508th joined many thousands of other soldiers in the area of Tullahoma, Tennessee, about 80 miles NNW of Chattanooga, as America conducted a full dress rehearsal for the coming invasion in Europe. Central to this training was Camp Forrest, one of the Army's largest training bases during World War II.
Little was left to chance as units from every branch of service were pressed into mock combat. The effectiveness of this play-acting became evident as a number of men ultimately compared their D-Day experience to their "baptism of fire" in Tennessee. "It was just like Tennessee except the ammo was live!" were the words echoed by many who hit the beaches of Normandy six months later. (See U.S. Army's photos of Tennessee Maneuvers or for the recollections of a member of 29th Field Artillery, view
Lebanon and Tullahoma, Tennessee Today