The Desert Training Center/California-Arizona Maneuver Area, 1942-1944
The Desert Training Center (DTC) was established in the California desert at the outbreak of World War II as a place to ready troops for the coming invasion of North Africa. It soon expanded to include more than 18,000 square miles of desert in southern California and southwestern Arizona, and, in 1943, it was renamed the California-Arizona Maneuver Area (C-AMA). It was a massive facility, holding numerous divisional camps of 15,000 men each, airfields, supply depots, railroad sidings, hospitals, ranges, and maneuver areas. It was also ephemeral, with few permanent structures, and it was entirely abandoned at the end of the war. This report includes a detailed historical context for this unique facility, prepared by military historian Matt C. Bischoff. The historical context is accompanied by descriptions of the remaining property types associated with the DTC/C-AMA and commentary on the significance of these resources. Included are details on the administrative history of the facility, the daily lives of the men stationed there, and the weapons, vehicles, and equipment used. The report is richly illustrated with historical and modern photographs, maps, and drawings, all of which help the reader gain an intimate sense of what took place in this portion of the desert Southwest more than a half century ago.
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