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
Male Officers Quarters
Enlisted Mens Barracks
Clinic and Surgical Building
Patient Receiving and Evacuation
Bath and Disinfection
12,000-gallon Water Tower
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
of Banning General Hospital Matt Bishoff, State Historian III,
California Department of Parks and Recreation
Several facilities existed in Banning,
which was located immediately outside the DTC/C-AMA. Installations
included a general hospital (with 1,000 beds), a landing strip,
an aid station, and a range.
On 28 July the 369th Engineer Regiment
was ordered to establish a camp at Banning, California, and to
construct a one thousand bed General Hospital about three miles
west of the city. The move would involve only the First Battalion
due to the fact that Companies D, E, and F were at Bouse, Spadra,
and Pomona, respectively. The move was effected on 6 August 1943.
It was estimated that the task of construction including buildings,
roadways and pipelines would take about three months and a schedule
of preparations was prepared on that basis. Companies A, B. and
C were assigned areas of the hospital site and each company was
responsible for the completion of its own area.
With four major projects going the problem
of supply was tremendous. Lt. Prohaska, Regimental Supply Officer,
and Lt. Huensch, Construction Supply Officer, did a commendable
job in procuring, accounting for, and distributing supplies and
materials to the various project sites. Their untiring efforts
were instrumental in the final success of those projects.
While the hospital at Banning had a very
high priority, nevertheless, the practice of being responsible
for miscellaneous small tasks continued. These are too numerous
to mention individually but they involved general construction
of buildings, roads, and railroads. The original completion date
for the hospital was moved up to 9 October 1943. The tempo of
the work necessarily had to increase, by 20 September the first
units of the 297th General Hospital arrived from Temple, Texas,
which was to operate the hospital. The construction of the doctors
and nurses quarters was rushed to completion. As the deadline
date approached, Company F and Company E
returned from their completed jobs at Pomona and Spadra and these
companies were utilized to the fullest in meeting the date set
for completion. By 9 October all major construction was finished.
Several weeks were spent by small detachments in finishing and
policing. By 15 October the hospital was in operation.
The desert work day schedule was 0700
The site is located in the city of Banning,
4 miles east of the city of Beaumont, in Riverside County, California.
It is bounded by Wilson Street to the north, Jacinto View Road
to the south, Omar Street to the west, and Sunset Avenue to the