Winter in Panama with the U.S. Army


This World War I recruitment poster for the U.S. Army features a drawing of a ship transiting the Panama Canal and photographs of training exercises conducted in Panama. Under a treaty concluded with Panama in 1903, the United States was given permanent control over a zone of land 16 kilometers (10 miles) wide and about 64 kilometers (40 miles) long across the Isthmus of Panama, for the purpose of building, operating, and defending the Panama Canal. This strip of land, known as the Panama Canal Zone, was the site of several military installations, among the relatively few overseas military bases maintained by the United States in the period before World War II. The photographs show a training battalion of the Signal Corps engaged in various activities, an ambulance company, soldiers engaged in a rifle drill, a swimming class, and target practice by mountain artillery. Under a treaty signed by the United States and Panama in 1977, Panama resumed sovereignty over the Panama Canal Zone in 1979 and took control of the canal and its associated military installations on December 31, 1999.

Last updated: February 10, 2014