Camp Ibis

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Camp Ibis (1942-1944) - A World War II desert training camp established in 1942 near Needles in San Bernardino County, California. Camp Ibis was named after the Ibis Railyard. Abandoned in 1944.

Camp Ibis Marker at Main Entrance Road.

History

Camp Ibis Rock Outlined Paths at the Center of the Camp.

Established in 1942 as one of thirteen temporary World War II training camps in the southern California and Arizona desert areas. These training camps formed what was initially known as the Desert Training Center and then as the California-Arizona Maneuver Area after 20 Oct 1943. As the war entered a new phase in 1944, the camps were closed and training discontinued on 30 Apr 1944.

Camp Ibis Plan, Original Configuration Overlaid with Modern Roads. Monument exists in the center of the road but the information kiosk does not.


Camp Ibis was constructed between 8 Nov 1942 and 28 Mar 1943. The 4th U.S. Armored Division, under Major General John S. Wood, was at Camp Ibis until June 1943. The 9th U.S. Armored Division, commanded by Major General John W. Leonard occupied it next. Troops trained at Camp Ibis in desert survival, gunnery, and armored vehicle tactics.

Temporary facilities constructed on the site include 28 enlisted men's shower buildings, 14 officer's shower buildings, 173 latrines, 234 various pyramided wood tent frames, and a 50,000 gallon wooden elevated storage tank. Water for the site was provided by deep well pumps. The only permanent structure constructed on the site was one 50,000 gallon concrete reservoir.

At least 23 firing ranges were provided on the site. The ranges accommodated a variety of pistols, rifles, machine guns and tank guns.

Camp Ibis Army Airfield

The U.S. Army built an airfield at Camp Ibis to support the training operations. The airfield had a single 4,500' north/south runway located on the west side and adjacent to what is now U.S. Hwy 95 about 13 miles northwest of Needles, California.

Closure

Camp Ibis was declared surplus on 16 Mar 1944 and 5,760 acres were transferred from the War Department to the Department of the Interior. Leased land was returned to the various owners.

Post War

Restricted use of the land continued after the war while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) supervised cleanup of the hazardous material and the removal of temporary facilities. A 1951 USACE & BLM letter recommended that 20,640 acres, including 3,840 acres of the Camp site be restricted to surface use only. Another 11,520 acres was certified clear.

Current Status

Camp Ibis Marker Text.

Surface remains only, the outline of the camp road structure and the airstrip can be see from satellite views. A roadside marker has been placed on the east side of U.S. HWY 95 at the main entrance to the camp. The kiosk indicated in the Draft Interpretive Plan below is not at the location indicated.

The central road to the camp center circle (M to C on the map below) is drivable by ordinary cars, some of the other roads may require high clearance vehicles.



Location: On U.S. Hwy 95 thirteen miles north of Needles, San Bernardino County, California.

Maps & Images

Lat: 34.97417 Long: -114.82611

See Also:

Sources:

  • Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 71.
  • Desert Training Center California-Arizona Manuever Area - Interpretive Plan (sic), Draft, U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, California Desert District, Riverside California, 1985, 78 pages, Pdf or Pdf.
  • Bischoff, Matt, Preparing for Combat Overseas: Patton's Desert Training Center, Lulu.com, 2016, 252 pages..
  • Lynch, Kennedy and Wooley, Patton's Desert Training Center, Council on America's Military Past, Fort Myer, 1984, Pdf.

Links:

Visited: 15, 23 Feb 2017


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