On 10 April 1942, the War Department acquired 100.00 acres of land through four separate leaseholds (Lease No. W04-193-ENG-914, 915, 74, and 506) from private individuals.
The site was used by the Army as a1,000 bed hospital for the California Arizona Maneuver Area (Desert Training Center). The hospital was built by the 1st Battalion, 369th Engineer Regiment between 1942 and 1943. The hospital was operated by the 297th Field Hospital. Records of the 369th Engineer's show that they built the following at the Banning General Hospital site:
Use Quantity Wards 34 Male Officers Quarters 4 Nurses Quarters 6 Enlisted Mens Barracks 13 Clinic and Surgical Building 1 Administration 1 Laboratory 1 Patient Receiving and Evacuation 1 Infirmary 1 Bath and Disinfection 1 Mess Halls 3 Recreation Building 4 Post Exchange 1 Morgue 1 Guard House 1 Fire Station 1 Engineer Shop 1 Laundry 1 Latrines 7 Pump House 1 12,000-gallon Water Tower 1
On 26 May 1944, Banning General Hospital
was no longer required by the War Department and declared surplus.
A letter dated 13 June 1944 was issued by the Head of Real Estate
Division, Bureau of Yards and Docks, Navy Department requesting
that jurisdiction of the installation be transferred to that department.
On 6 July 1944, transfer was made of the Banning General Hospital
lease from the Army to the Navy Department for use as a Naval
convalescent hospital. In 1948 the Navy declared the site as surplus.
All structures were removed from the site by the Government. The
land was returned to the original owners. Currently, the site
has been developed into several residential homes, a mobile home
park with 397 individual homes, an apartment complex, a church,
and a fire station. As such, the site is currently subdivided
into numerous lots and owned by more than 400 private individuals.
Source: Los Angeles District, US Army Corps of Engineers and History of the 369th Engineer regiment