California-Arizona Maneuver Area
California-Arizona Maneuver Area (1942-1944) - A World War II training area established in 1942 as the Desert Training Center (DTC) in California and Arizona. Renamed the California-Arizona Maneuver Area (CAMA) later in 1942. Closed on 30 Apr 1944.
Established by Major General George S. Patton Jr (Cullum 4795) shortly after the start of World War II and officially opened on 30 Apr 1942 to train U.S. troops in desert warfare. The Desert Training Center came to include eleven divisional camps, a headquarters camp, two support camps, nine camp airfields and three major support airfields. The training area was initially known as the Desert Training Center but was renamed on 20 Oct 1943 as the California-Arizona Maneuver Area. Camp Young (1) was the first camp established and it became the headquarters camp, officially named on 12 May 1942.
General Patton was ordered to find a suitable large-scale site in southeastern California and western Arizona. General Patton and his staff arrived at March Airfield, Riverside, California on 4 Mar 1942 and spent three days evaluating areas in California, Nevada, and Arizona. He settled on an area roughly bounded by Palm Springs CA on the west, Yuma AZ on the south, Prescott AZ on the east, and Searchlight NV on the north. General Patton became the first commander of the Desert Training Center but remained there only until 2 Aug 1942 when he was called to other duties.
This training area was in the southern California and Arizona desert areas and encompassed some 18,000 square miles. The eleven divisional training camps were dispersed enough so that training in one area did not affect other areas. The divisional camps were designed to each contain a full division of troops, some 15,000 men. As each division completed its training cycle and was moved out another division took its place. Over one million troops were trained at the Desert Training Center and the California-Arizona Maneuver Area in its short two-year history.
As the war entered a new phase in 1944, the camps were closed and training was discontinued on 30 Apr 1944.