Camps
 
 

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The camps listed below are not found on the pull-down menus above under DTC History/Facilities.

Campsites
Campsites relate to a broad range of activities. Temporary camps were made for various activities, including bivouacs and maneuvers.  Campsites were also used for temporary staging activities for a given unit while awaiting orders to move to a more permanent duty station. They were often made adjacent to railroad sidings, while the unit waited to embark for a divisional camp.  Some of the reported campsites include the 18th Ordnance campsite, Cadiz, and those at Calipatria, Coachella, 1,000 Palms, Goffs, Needles, and Wiley's Well. 

18th Ordnance Campsite
Located 5 miles east of Desert Center, this camp appeared to be a watering point, as the only structures reported included a capped well, a 50,000-gallon water tank, and a wooden tower. No remains of this camp could be found, although its exact location is not currently known.
 

Wiley's Well
Apparently, Wiley's Well was used as a campsite and maneuver area several times during the operation of the DTC/C-AMA. The presence of water at the site undoubtedly contributed to its importance.  During maneuvers in 1943, the signal company's pigeon detachment set up a false camp at Wiley's Well, fooling the opposing side into thinking that there was a full headquarters at the camp.

Current Condition
No remains of a World War II era campsite could be  found at Wiley's Well.  Today, the area is an unimproved BLM campsite with pit toilets and nonpotable water. The well itself is still in place.  Areas of tank tracks can be found in the desert surrounding the camp, which may contain further evidence of military activities that took place near Wiley's Well.

Danby
Danby was reportedly the location of the 691st Quartermaster Laundry Battalion and Headquarters, which was a part of the XV Corps.  The army leased 1,253 feet of spur track at Danby and apparently established a campsite there.  Still standing at Danby today are several foundations and old buildings (Figure 144).  There are also several areas of historical period refuse. Because a great deal of railroad activity has occurred at Danby in the past; it is unknown which of these loci represent DTC/C-AMA-related materials.

http://www.militarymuseum.org/CpDanby.html
Camp Danby is located approximately 10 miles southwest of Essex, in San Bernardino County, California. It is 1.7 miles, heading southeast, down Danby Rd., off of National Trails Highway.

On September 17, 1943, the Department of Interior issued a use permit, in lieu of a formal directive, that transferred 316.79 acres to the War Department. The War Department also leased 0.22 acres by Lease No. W04-193-ENG-2199 from the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company.

This included 1253 feet of railroad track that was located over the leased area and on public main. Camp Danby was used as a campsite for the Army during General Patton's desert training program. A campsite and railway siding was constructed on site but they are no longer located there.

Camp Danby was declared surplus on March 16, 1944. The Corps of Engineers was to take custody by April 2, 1944. A surplus directive was then issued on August 15, 1944. The land was transferred from the War Department to the Department of Interior, by letter, on February 7, 1945. The Department of Interior revoked the use permit, by letter to the War Department, on April 11, 1945. The lease for the 0.22 acres, Lease No. W04-193-ENG-2199, from the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company was cancelled on June 3, 1944. The structures that were installed by the Army during the time of occupation are no longer at the site. Since use by the Army, a mining company has apparently been at the site.

Source: Los Angeles District, US Army Corps of Engineers
 

Fenner
Located close to Camp Essex, Fenner undoubtedly served as a railhead for supply of that camp.  The railhead was immediately west of Goffs and apparently contained a warehouse (96 by 40 feet) and a water point.


Freda
Apparently a major supply center for the DTC/C-AMA, Freda contained several sidings and spur lines off the main railroad (Figure 145).  Concrete foundations, one of which is inscribed with the date "10/19/42," can still be seen (Figure 146).  The foundations most likely represent warehouses. Rock piles for unknown purposes also exist throughout the siding area.  These piles are approximately 2 feet high and may have served as entrances to certain portions of the facility (Figure 147).  Rock insignias indicate the presence of the 378th Engineer Battalion.  Other units known to have been stationed at Freda include the 211th Quartermaster Gas Supply Battalion of the XV Corps.


Glamis
Although a total of 1,000 feet of spur track was leased to the army, Glamis today is the site of much off road activity. This is extremely difficult to discern from historical-period vehicle activity in the area.  There are no obvious remains of buildings dating to the 1940s in this area. 


Goffs
Goffs consisted of a railroad siding, ammunition storage area, and a campsite.  The War Department leased an area of track from the Santa Fe Railroad and constructed 2,675 feet of tracks branching off of the leased track. The site was used by the 7th Infantry Division at some time.  Established in 1942, the site also included three administration buildings (100 by 20 feet), two warehouse buildings (96 by 40 feet), and two sheds (96 by 40 feet).  A temporary building measuring 100 by 20 feet was located 1 mile east of the siding and represented the location of the campsite. Ten ammunition-storage igloos were located near Goffs Butte.  The 198th Ordnance Battalion Headquarters with the XV Corps was stationed at Goffs for an unknown length of time. 


The U. S. Army maintained a camp at Goffs 1942-1944. Goffs was an important railhead, supply point, hospital, and for three months in 1942 Headquarters of the 7th Infantry Division. That unit went on to distinguish itself in combat in the Aleutians and at Kwajalein, Leyte, and Okinawa. This monument is dedicated to all the men and women of the U. S. Army who served here with a special salute to those who laid down their lives for their country.

Bronze Marker Erected 2008 by Billy Holcomb Chapter E Clampus Vitus in cooperation with the Mojave Desert Heritage & Cultural Association.

Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.

Location. 34 55.252′ N, 115 4.013′ W. Marker is in Goffs, California, in San Bernardino County. Marker is on Lanfair Road 0.1 miles north of Goffs Road, on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Essex CA 92332, United States of America.
 

Current Condition
Today, little can be found of the DTC/C-AMA facilities formerly present at Goffs.  There are numerous foundations, although it is difficult to determine which of these represent army activities and which represent the railroad (Figure 148).  Remains of a siding can be found, as can associated refuse possibly representing military use (see Figure 139). An explosives dump was located at the base of Goffs Butte, on the southwest side.  The site was cleared out in 1980 by an EOD team from Fort Irwin and Phillips Construction Company, of Needles.  The ordnance consisted of 80 tons of materials, including rockets, grenades, and land mines. 


Ogilby
A total of 850 feet of spur track was leased to the army by the Southern Pacific Railroad.  Ogilby was located close to Camp Pilot Knob and most likely served that camp.

There were apparently no accommodations for soldiers at Ogilby, and no record of any unit being stationed there can be found.  Several foundations can be found at Ogilby today (Figure 149), although an inscribed date of 1939 in one indicates that at least one of the structures predates the DTC/C-AMA.  There are several areas of disturbance, including roadways and trash s catters.  it is not currently known which loci represent army use of the area and which represent railroad use.

Other railroad sidings used by the DTC/C-AMA included Siam, Spadra, Stoval, and Thermal.

 

Other locations of interest

King's Throne
A 100-foot-tall hill is located in the valley between Chuckwalla, Orocopia, and the Chocolate Mountains (in Section 23, T. 7S, R. 14E, SBBM), where it is reported that General Patton would observe the movements of his armored troops in the surrounding area . A roadway was bulldozed to the top of the hill to provide easy access . This road is still plainly visible (Figure 121) . The top of the hill provides an unobstructed view of the valley (Figure 122). The hill is located immediately north of the Chocolate Moun sins Aerial Gunnery Range. It can be accessed via the Red Cloud Mine Road, off of Interstate 10, south 10 miles along a pipeline road. The surrounding valley should also contain evidence of maneuvers.

 

Palen Pass (Coordinates: 3355'2"N 1153'48"W)
The site of the largest maneuvers during the life of the DTC/C-AMA, Palen Pass received heavy impacts from the army.  Fortifications were constructed throughout the pass, as one unit would "defend" the area from another.  These fortifications consisted of gun emplacements, barbed-wire entanglements, bunkers, minefields, and foxholes (Figures 123 and 124) .
Several maneuvers were held in the area.  In addition, each unit that came to defend Palen Pass erected its own defenses by building on what had already been constructed by previous units.  Vestiges of maneuvers can also be found in the valley east of the pass, in the form of bomb craters, cartridge cases, concertina wire, and various refuse (see below).  Palen Pass can
be accessed from the Arlington Mine Road, east from California Highway 177.  This road is very sandy in places and should be traveled only in a four-wheel drive vehicle.

Perhaps the largest maneuver to take place was the first mock battle of Palen Pass .  The battle was partly conducted for the benefit of visiting dignitaries, including several state governors.  One of the participants in the battle, Sgt. Joe Delgado, recalled the action several decades later:

"First came the airplanes and strafed hell out of it .  Then the artillery shells began to cover the ground, next came tanks rumbling into the pass blasting away and finally streams of troops.  There was so much dust and smoke up there you wouldn't think anything could be alive for miles.  But when we stopped, and the smoke began to clear, someone shouted, "Hey look up there, what's that moving?"  And just like nothing at all had been going on, this old dusty prospector and his burro, looking like something from the last century, came walking through all that smoke and dust and debris paying no attention at all to any of us or all the live ammunition we'd blasted that pass with." [as quoted in Pew 1985:29].
The army recognized that practically the entire maneuver area had been used for live-fire exercises, and that clearing it was nearly impossible.  The Palen Pass maneuver area was left as is, and only marked with signs (Blake 1987: 30).[1]


[1] The Desert Training Center/California-Arizona Maneuver Area,1942-1944HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL CONTEXTS; Matt C . Bischoff

 

Elements of the DTC/C AMA Outside of the Mojave Desert Area

Arizona
Because the DTC/C-AMA included numerous square miles in Arizona, many sites exist in the state.  For the purposes of this report, however, those sites are not included in the following list. It is hoped that investigations of the DTC/C-AMA sites in Arizona will be undertaken before they are lost. 

Camp Hyder

 

Camp Bouse
The super secret DTC base and there are those who served that still insist everything that went on there remains classified.  We also uncovered the secret behind Camp Bouse which we called "Camp Bouse and the Candlelight Caper."  Camp Bouse was home for the 9th Tank Group (M)(Sp) during WWII. The unit participated in America's involvement with the British developed Canal Defense Light (CDL) project. A lovely tale and there are those who still believe the project is top secret.
 

 

Camp Laguna
 

California
Banning
Several facilities existed in Banning, which was located immediately outside the DTC/C-AMA. Installations included a general hospital (with 1,000 beds), a landing strip, an aid station, and a range. 

The 369th Engineer Regiment

On 28 July the regiment was ordered to establish a camp at Banning, California, and to construct a one thousand bed General Hospital about three miles west of the city. The move would involve only the First Battalion due to the fact that Companies D, E, and F were at Bouse, Spadra, and Pomona, respectively. The move was effected on 6 August 1943. It was estimated that the task of construction including buildings, roadways and pipelines would take about three months and a schedule of preparations was prepared on that basis. Companies A, B. and C were assigned areas of the hospital site and each company was responsible for the completion of its own area.

With four major projects going the problem of supply was tremendous. Lt. Prohaska, Regimental Supply Officer, and Lt. Huensch, Construction Supply Officer, did a commendable job in procuring, accounting for, and distributing supplies and materials to the various project sites. Their untiring efforts were instrumental in the final success of those projects.

While the hospital at Banning had a very high priority, nevertheless, the practice of being responsible for miscellaneous small tasks continued. These are too numerous to mention individually but they involved general construction of buildings, roads, and railroads. The original completion date for the hospital was moved up to 9 October 1943. The tempo of the work necessarily had to increase, by 20 September the first units of the 297th General Hospital arrived from Temple, Texas, which was to operate the hospital. The construction of the doctors and nurses quarters was rushed to completion. As the deadline date approached, Company F and Company E returned from their completed jobs at Pomona and Spadra and these companies were utilized to the fullest in meeting the date set for completion. By 9 October all major construction was finished. Several weeks were spent by small detachments in finishing and policing. By 15 October the hospital was in operation.[2]
 

The desert work day schedule was 0700 to 1700. [2]

The site is located in the city of Banning, 4 miles east of the city of Beaumont, in Riverside County, California. It is bounded by Wilson Street to the north, Jacinto View Road to the south, Omar Street to the west, and Sunset Avenue to the east.

SITE HISTORY: The 100.00 acre site was acquired by the War Department on 10 April 1942 through leaseholds (Lease Nos. W 04-193-eng-914, 915, 74, and 506) from four private individuals. The Army used the site as a hospital for the California-Arizona Maneuver Area. Structures known to have been built at this site included army barracks that were used as a hospital, Quonset huts, a fueling station with underground tank, and buried utility lines. On 26 May 1944 the hospital was placed in a category of surplus by the War Department. On 6 July 1944, a transfer was made of the hospital lease from the Army to the Department of the Navy for use as a Naval hospital.

 

Camp Anza
The Adjutant General's Office placed Camp Anza in the category of surplus effective 12 February 1946. Effective 30 September 1946, custody and accountability of Camp Anza was transferred to the War Asset Administration. The 1240 acres which were once Camp Anza, are now under numerous ownerships, most of them private residence. One of the larger commercial owners, Rohr Industries, purchased an 80 acre site in 1952.  Camp Anza, also known at one time as Arlington Staging Area, was acquired in 1942 and 1943 by the U.S. Army for use as a staging area for troops embarking from the Los Angeles Port of Embarkation and later as a Disposition Center, handling debarkees only. The camp contained facilities for housing, training, and equipped approximately 7,000 men with emergency capacity for 10,000.
 


Cable Canyon
A range of unknown type and size was established in the Cable Canyon area.  The exact location of this range is currently unknown. 

Cherry Valley
A general hospital containing 1,000 beds was established in Cherry Valley.
 


Colton
A campsite of unknown purpose was present somewhere in the vicinity of Colton.  The exact location of this campsite is currently unknown. 
 


Fontana
An ammunition-storage facility existed at Fontana.  The facility consisted of numerous storage igloos.
 


Indio
Indio was the closest town of any size to Camp Young and was often the jumping-off point for officers and soldiers en route to the DTC/C-AMA.  In addition to the Hotel Indio, which served as a temporary offsite headquarters, there were overnight camps, a laundry site, loading ramps, a military police station, and an aid station located in Indio.
 


Ono
Facilities in the Ono area used by the DTC/C-AMA included a station hospital and a reservoir.
 


Camp Haan
March AFB is the former Camp Haan of the DTC era.

The attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 quickly brought March Field back into the business of training air crews. Throughout the war many soon-to-be-famous bombardment groups performed their final training at March before embarking for duty in the Pacific. During this period the base doubled in area and at the zenith of the war effort supported approximately 75,000 troops. At the same time, the government procured a similar-sized tract west of the San Diego highway that bordered the base and established Camp Haan as an anti-aircraft artillery training facility. It supported 85,000 troops at the height of its activity. For a time, March Field remained a bust place indeed. In 1946, Camp Haan became a part of March's real estate holding when operations at the base returned to a more normal setting.

 

Palm Village
An ordnance pool was established in the Palm Village area.  Its exact location is currently unknown. 
 

Palm Springs
The Army Air Force had a base and training station at the Palm Springs airport.  According to the U.S. Army's 1989  Site Survey Summary of the Palm Springs Municipal Airport,  the Continental Division of the Army Air Transport Command  used the site as a service station during the 1940's.

In March 1941, the War Department certified improvements by the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) to the existing airport in Palm Springs (known as the Old Palm Springs Airport or the Auxiliary Field) as essential to National Defense. Because of its clear weather, Palm Springs had been used by both the Army and commercial airlines as an emergency landing field for planes approaching March Field and the Los Angeles area from the east.

In November 1941, the airport was approved to serve as a staging field by the Air Corps Ferrying Command, and land was acquired for a major airfield which was built one half mile to the east of the Old Palm Springs Airport. The new air field was functional by early 1942, and the Auxiliary Field was thereafter only used as a backup landing site. The Army Air Field's mission was to deliver every type of military aircraft to different allied bases throughout the world (PSHC 1943).

Late in March 1943, Palm Springs was reassigned from the 6th Ferrying Group at Long Beach and became the 21st Ferrying Group of the Ferrying Division, Air Transport Command at Palm Springs. In November 1943, the field became the site for the Ferrying Division's Pursuit Flight Transition School where pilots were trained to fly pursuit fighter aircraft (Historian of 21st Ferrying Group N.D.). However, in April 1944, Palm Springs AAF once again came under the Ferry Command.

The Old Palm Springs Airport was declared surplus on 12 May 1945. The Old Airport was approximately 1-1/2 miles northwest of the Palm Springs AAF. This auxiliary field comprised an area of 160 acres, and there were no government owned buildings at this field (L.A. Division Engineer's Office 1945). The main airfield was declared excess and transferred to the War Assets Administration for disposal in 1946. 

Today the Palm Springs Air Museum beckons with its magnificently restored WWII aircraft.  DTC Sky Trail participants are advised to visit one of the world's largest collections of flying WWII warplanes courtesy of Mr. Robert Pond.

 

Bakersfield AAC Base
A 543.7-acre site was acquired by the US Army during World War II as a sub-base for Haer Field. on 14 December 1941, the 280-acre Kern County Airport was leased from the County of Kern by the US Army. Shortly thereafter, 23.6 acres were leased from the Kern County Union High School District. Through Declarations of Taking, 240.1 acres were acquired by the US Army on 18 January 1943.

The US Army assigned the site to the US Army Air Corps 4th Air Force for use as a military airfield. The site was used to support Hammer Field. Improvements to the airport included construction of living quarters, administration buildings, and repair facilities.

On 15 November 1945, the 543.7-acre site was declared surplus.

 

Needles
The Needles Land Management Area is the site of an airport used by the Army during WWII. The airport was established in 1933 as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and owned by the United States Government. The Needles Municipal Airport was used as an auxiliary field for March Field and primarily for the transport of United States Army officers. Additional land was also acquired for the purpose of extending the existing airport runways. Improvements made to the existing airport by the Army include an administration office, a radio station and a small shed.  

The 800-acres site was located south of the town of Needles, California and was surrounded by land associated with the Needles Divisional Camp maneuver area. According to information collected from interviews with the manager of the Needles Municipal Airport and a local resident, the airport was established in 1933 as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration (WPA) and owned by the United States Government. The existing airport and land was acquired by the War Department during World War II. Additional land was also acquired for the purpose of extending the existing airport runways. The Needles Municipal Airport was used as an auxiliary field for March Field and primarily for the transport of United States Army of officers. 

 

Santa Ana/Fountain Valley
MCAS Helicopter Outlying Field Mile Square
In 1942, the U. S. Department of the Navy obtained by condemnation approximately 640 acres of land in what is now the city of Fountain Valley.  The site was designated as Helicopter Outlying Field (HOLF) Mile Square and was in the custody of the Naval Air Station, Los Alamitos.  There were three 2200 foot runways used for carrier deck qualification practice.

 

Santa Anita Ordinance Training Center


Pomona
Facilities in the Pomona area that were used by theDTC/C-AMA included a station hospital and an ordnance base. The locations of these facilities are currently unknown.

San Bernardino
Numerous facilities were established in the San Bernardino area, including a military police station, communications headquarters, an aid station, and the Base General Depot. 

Spadra
A 750-bed hospital was established at Spadra.  The exact location of this hospital is currently unknown.

Borrego Springs
(includes: Army -Borrego Maneuver Area, Navy - Benson Dry Lake, Navy - Borrego Hotel, Navy - Borrego Military Wash, Navy - Clark's Dry Lake, and Marines Camp Ensign).  The Borrego Springs site was a composite of several sub-sites within or immediately adjacent to the boundaries of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Sub-sites that were formerly utilized by the Army, Navy or Marines include: Borrego Maneuver Area, Benson Dry Lake, Borrego Hotel, Borrego Military Wash, Clark's Dry Lake, and Camp Ensign. Each of these areas are discussed separately below.  The Department of the Army conducted extensive logistical preparations to build roads in the area but reportedly did not use the area as extensively as originally intended. Reported uses of the area by the Army included: force-on-force maneuvers (limited number of excursions) and anti-aircraft training for troops stationed at Camp Callan (San Diego, California). 

Marines - Camp Ensign (just outside the western boundary of the Army's Borrego Maneuver Area) - The Ensign Ranch, known as Camp Ensign, is situated in the western portion of Borrego Springs, California. The intersection of Palm Canyon Drive and Borrego Springs Road defines the northeast corner of the former Camp. In 1943 Marines established a formal base at the Ensign Ranch. No real estate documents were found that identified the amount of acreage the camp consisted of. The historical map indicates that the camp consisted of sections 4, 9, and 16 of T11S, R6E (estimated from maps to be 1920 acres).

Camp Ensign reportedly consisted of a tented area for trainees and an unoccupied dwelling for use as headquarters near the open area where the tents were set up. The facility was used to train large numbers of Marines as truck drivers who were to be readied for combat duty in short order. It is possible that the destination for these drivers after training made practice in desert driving essential.

The area once occupied by Camp Ensign is now a residential area containing residences and large open areas.

 

Parris
The War Department directed that 19,325.74 acres be acquired for the Gavilan Plateau Maneuver Area on 14 July 1943 (War Department, 1943 & U. S. Army Corps Of Engineers, 1949). The date when acquisition was complete and use of the site began was not specifically found but probably occurred in the fall of 1943 The maneuver area was associated with the March Army Air Field, approximately 10 miles away. Troops used the area to "enter, maneuver upon, pass over and bivouac or camp upon" (U. S. Department Of Interior, 1943) on a co-use basis with the farms in the area (War Department 1943).

 

Daggett Army Airfield
Just prior to World War 11, the Civil Aeronautics Administration selected the site as an important civil air field and negotiated a standard agreement (AP-4) with the county of San Bernardino to maintain the air field.  Shortly thereafter, the site was chosen by the War Department as a Modification Center.  On or about 29 May 1942, the government and Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc., entered into a cost-plus-fixed-fee (51.00) contract (No. W-509-ENG-2557), whereby Douglas agreed to do all things necessary and incident to the procurement, furnishing, delivery and installation of equipment, machinery, machine tools, materials, supplies and facilities for proper operation of a Modification Center.  Douglas established the Modification Center and operated it until the middle of 1944, when Army Air Forces deactivated the project.

On 12 November 1942, the Secretary of War and Standard Oil Co.  (San Francisco) entered into an agreement (unnumbered lease to run with lease W868-ENG-4504), whereby Standard Oil agreed to install, operate, and maintain lubricating oil storage and distribution- facilities at the site. In addition, on 20 December 1943, the C M was granted a permit (to run with Lease No. W868- ENG-4505) to use and occupy two parcels of land totaling 11.2 acres at the Modification Center for a radio range and communication building site, together with a right-of-way between the two parcels for establishing and maintaining subsurface cable lines.  The original permit period ended 30 June 1944.  Approximately 65 buildings and 20 other assorted structures were constructed at the facility (headquarters and flight operations buildings, hangars, barracks, sewage treatment plants, warehouses, water wells, water and fuel storage tanks, gasoline station, etc.).  The total cost of government improvements was $53,924,273, with the C M expending an additional $5107,235 for various improvements. Douglas constructed a swimming pool, paint and dope storage shed, and an air hose station for which reimbursement was not made. 

 

[1] The Desert Training Center/California-Arizona Maneuver Area,1942-1944 HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL CONTEXTS; Matt C.  Bischoff

 

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