California-Arizona Maneuver Area

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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.

Desert Training Center Map.


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.

California-Arizona Maneuver Area Commanders List (edit list)
Assumed Relieved Rank Name Cullum Notes
1942-04-01 1942-08-05 Major General Patton Jr., George S. 4795 I Armored Corps
1942-11-09 1943-03-29 Major General Walker, Walton H. 5090 II Armored Corps
1942-08-02 1942-11 Major General Gillem Jr., Alvan C. N/A IV Armored Corps
1943-03-29 1943-07-26 Major General White, Charles H. 4614 IX Corps
1943-07-23 1943-11-13 Major General Haislip, Wade H. 5054 XV Corps
1943-11-13 1944-01-17 Major General Patch, Jr., Alexander M. 5187 IV Corps
1944-01-17 1944-04 Major General Anderson, Jonathon W. N/A X Corps
U.S. Naval Academy 1911
Dates are formatted in yyyy-mm-dd to sort correctly.
The Cullum Number is the graduation order from the United States Military Academy by year and class rank and links to a page for the officer on the website version of the Cullum Register. Listings without a Cullum Number indicate that the person was not a graduate of the United States Military Academy.

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.

California-Arizona Maneuver Area (CAMA) Camps & Airfields
Camp Near State GPS Airfield GPS Notes
Young Desert Center CA 33.66989,
Shavers 33.66482,
Headquarters Camp
Divisional Camp
Desert Center Desert Center CA 33.71463,
Desert Center 33.74778,
Note 1
Coxcomb Desert Center CA 33.91402,
Coxcomb 33.92261,
Divisional Camp
Iron Mountain Freda CA 34.10072,
Iron Mountain 34.10186,
Divisional Camp
Granite Freda CA 34.06653,
Iron Mountain 34.10072},
Divisional Camp
Essex Needles CA 34.79238,
Essex 34.77151,
Divisional Camp
Clipper Needles CA 34.79689,
Essex 34.77151,
Divisional Camp
Hyder Hyder AZ 33.02111,
Divisional Camp
Horn Dateland AZ 32.92679,
Dateland 32.81512,
Divisional Camp
Pilot Knob Pilot Knob CA 32.75819,
Divisional Camp
Laguna Yuma AZ 32.84513,
Laguna 32.86697,
Divisional Camp
Bouse Bouse AZ 34.03058,
Divisional Camp
Goffs Goffs CA 34.9208,
Goffs 34.93658,
Ammunition & Supplies
Rice Freda CA 34.07882,
Rice 34.06482,
Divisional Camp
Ibis Needles CA 34.97033,
Ibis 34.97611,
Divisional Camp
Blythe CA Blythe 33.62141,
Major Airfield
Thermal CA Thermal 33.62673,
Major Airfield
Needles CA Needles 34.7628,
Major Airfield
1. Camp Desert Center housed an Evacuation Hospital, an Observers camp, Ammunition Depot, the 18th Ordnance Battalion, and a quartermaster truck company. Sometimes listed as a divisional Camp.


  • 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,, 2016, 252 pages.
  • Lynch, Kennedy and Wooley, Patton's Desert Training Center, Council on America's Military Past, Fort Myer, 1984, Pdf


Fortification ID:

  • AZ0032 - California-Arizona Maneuver Area

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