Camp Evans (1941-1993) - A World War II U.S. Army Camp established in 1941 near Belmar, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Named Camp Evans after Colonel Paul Wesley Evans. Used as a Signal Corps research, development and production facility. Primary center for the development of World War II radar equipment. Re-designated Evans Signal Laboratory on 6 Apr 1945. Abandoned as a military post in 1993. Also known as U.S. Army Signal Corps Laboratory.
Pre WWII Activities
Before World War I, the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America established the Belmar Receiving Station on the future site of Camp Evans. In April 1917, at the start of U.S. involvement in World War I, the U.S. Navy commandeered Belmar Station and it became a unit of their Trans-Atlantic Communication System. After World War I, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) acquired the station but closed it in 1924.
The site was then sold to the Monmouth Pleasure Club Association (reportedly comprised of New Jersey Ku Klux Klan members). In the late 1930s, the site was purchased by King’s College, a Christian liberal arts school. The site was purchased by the U.S. Army Signal Corps in 1941
Established in 1941 by the U.S. Army Signal Corps as an electronics development, testing, and production facility, and continued in that general capacity until 1993.
Central to Camp Evans operations was a large complex made up of two, H-shaped buildings located between Second and Fourth streets. The two single-story buildings were connected by a long covered brick corridor and were primarily built for the production of early military radar sets.
During the War Camp Evans was responsible for several classes of radar systems used in the defense of the homeland. Primary among these were systems for aircraft detection and interception, systems for surface craft detection and fire control, and systems for Anti-Aircraft fire control including searchlight aiming. These systems were deployed in the U.S. as an aircraft warning system by the Aircraft Warning Service, as a Harbor Defense system by the Coast Artillery and as an anti-aircraft gun directing system at critical locations. Ruggedized mobile versions were provided for tactical operations overseas.
At the end of World War II, Camp Evans contained some 134 buildings and structures on a 217-acre campus and was designated the Signal Corps Engineering Laboratory. In 1962, it was placed under the Army Materiel Command and it became the home of the Army Electronics Command. In 1977, it became the home of the Army Electronics and Communications Command.
In 1993 U.S. Army cost reductions caused the closure of Camp Evans. The last function left in 1999.
Now a public and private use area, part of which is now the Camp Evans Historic District with some of the original WWII buildings remaining.