Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields:
Camp Anza
(Arlington Staging Area; includes Camp Anza Prisoner of War Branch Camp)
 
 
Camp Anza History
by Robert B. Roberts
 
This World War II staging area for the Los Angeles Port of Embakation, the located six miles southwest of Riverside and about 55 miles east of Los Angeles. The Army purchased, from private parties, the property for Camp Anza in 1942 and 1943. with construction beginning on July 3, 1942, and completed on February 15, 1943. It was activated on December 2, 1942, as Headquarters, Arlington Staging Area, but was redesignated Camp Anza on December 12, 1942. On November 5, 1942, it was activated as a reception center, and was redesignated Special Training Center on September 9, 1943. Camp Anza was deactivated March 31, 1946.
 
 
Camp Anza History
City of Riverside
 
Camp Anza was a former World War II military camp located in the city of Riverside. During World War II, Camp Anza was a significant army facility, with over 600,000 military personnel processed in the course of three years. As such, hundreds of wood army barracks were quickly constructed to serve the housing needs of the many soldiers. Additionally, other buildings, such as a headquarters building, recreation facility, chapel and a laundry facility were also constructed within the camp boundaries. The Camp became a home to the soldiers during the duration of their stay. Not only did the army provide food and shelter for the men, but the camp was also a lively and active facility with such amenities as its own newspaper, sports teams and live entertainment by popular celebrities such as Bob Hope and Jack Benny. Both performed in the camp’s 2,000 seat outdoor theater.
 
The former Camp Anza is roughly bounded by the Santa Ana River to the north, Van Buren Blvd to the east, Crest Avenue to the west, and the southern boundary was approximately ½ mile north of California Ave. The Camp buildings were constructed in a concentrated area that was bounded by Arlington Ave. to the north, Van Buren Blvd to the east, Crest Ave to the west and what was then 7th Street (now Philbin Ave) to the south.
 
The Camp was activated on December 2, 1942, and two days later it was officially named Camp Anza. The name came from the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza who had passed through the area in 1774-75 and established the San Francisco Presidio in 1776. The first soldiers went through the Camp the following January.
 
The purpose of the new Camp was to have a staging area for soldiers who were waiting to be deployed and sail out of the Los Angeles Port of Embarkation (LAPE), which was a designated point of embarkation for soldiers who were sent off to fight in the Pacific. Newly arriving troops entered the “showdown” building for inspection of packs and also for immunizations, training in the use in gas masks, filling out wills, making a declaration of personal property and some even received “abandoned ship training” at Hole Lake. The average amount of time a soldier would spend at the Camp was eight to ten days.
 
The first buildings constructed at Camp Anza consisted of barracks to house the soldiers, a hospital, two mess halls, an athletic field and a chapel located at the intersection of what was then “J” and 4th Streets (now Chapel Street and Cypress Ave). The housing units consisted of two separate sets of barracks arranged in rows of five or six and both sets surrounded a centrally located mess hall. The chapel, also known as the Post Chapel, was officially dedicated on December 6, 1942 and still stands today.
 
As a military camp, Camp Anza also provided services and recreation for the soldiers while they were waiting to be processed. At the heart of this was the Service Club established in December, 1942, which provided services for white soldiers. The club was housed in a building located near “B” and 7th Streets (now Montgomery St. and Philbin Ave). The military was still segregated during World War II; there were black servicemen but they were housed separately and used different facilities. The black Service Club was housed in a building located on “B” Street.
A 2,000 seat outdoor theater and reception center was constructed in 1943; the theater also had standing room for 2,000 people. The theater, located on the east side of the Camp near Van Buren Ave., was dedicated in June of 1943 with bandleader Tommy Dorsey on hand for the dedication. Bob Hope, Jack Benny and Eddie Cantor were one of the first groups of entertainers to perform at the Camp.
 
Following the end of the war in August, 1945, Camp Anza became a debarkation center for soldiers returning from the Pacific. In the ensuing months, the Camp saw the largest amount of soldiers come through the facility since its opening. In November, 1945 alone, the Camp processed 72,000 soldiers.
 
On February 1, 1946, it was announced that Camp Anza would be closed. The Port of Los Angeles also ceased to function as a point of debarkation, and deactivation of the Camp was scheduled to be completed by April 30, 1946. By the end of February, the laundry facility was closed and the last patient was admitted at the Camp hospital.
 
In July, 1947, Camp Anza was offered for sale at auction by the War Assets Administration. During the war, the government had invested nearly $5,500,000 in the Camp. In 1948 Philip H. Philbin Jr. purchased the property for just more than $510,000. Philbin immediately sold many of the barracks and subdivided the land while retaining the basic street layout of the Camp. Seven of the barracks were sold to six local schools. The Camp Anza subdivision was formed (unofficially known as Anza Village) and the streets received their current names.
 
 
 
Army Units Permanently Assigned to Camp Anza
 

 Data Source

Date(s)

 Unit(s)
 Army of the United States Station List  1 June 1943
Staging Area, Los Angeles Port of Embarkation (ASF) 
229th Military Police Company (Zone of the Interior) (ASF)
1941st Service Command Unit (Station Complement) (ASF)
 Army of the United States Station List  7 April 1945
Staging Area, Los Angeles Port of Embarkation (ASF)
8th Italian Quartermaster Service Company (ASF)
385th Army Service Forces Band (ASF)
Detachment, 9206th Transportation Corps Technical Service Unit (Los Angeles Port of Embarkation (ASF)
22nd Army Air Forces Base Unit (Army Air Forces Command Group, Non-Divisional Unit) (AAF)
 Army of the United States Station List 7 April 1946 Detachment (Prisoner of War Branch Camp), 1957th Service Command Unit (Camp Haan) (ASF)
ASF - Army Service Forces units AAF - Army Air Forces units
 
 
 
Camp Anza Prisoner of War Branch Camp
 
A temporary branch camp that existed from late 1945 until the camp was deactivated. This branch camp was subordinate to the Camp Haan Prisoner of War Camp.
 
 
 
US Army Center of Military History Historical Data Card
 
 
 
Other Online Histories
 
Historical Resources Inventory And Context Statement
 
 
Known Units Deployed, Redeployed or Inactivated at Camp Anza
 
7th Ordnance Battalion. Arrived 10 January 1943, departed 19 January 1943
11th Cavalry Group, Mechanized
19th Liaison Squadron. 28 March 1944.
20th Tactical Reconnaisanse Squadron. 11-17 November 1945
20th General Hospital. Arrived 10 January 1943, departed 19 January 1943
21st Quartermaster Regiment (Colored). Arrived 10 January 1943, departed 19 January 1943
37th Infantry Division. Inactivated at Camp Anza 13 December 1945.
129th Infantry Regiment
145th Infantry Regiment
148th Infantry Regiment
Division Artillery
6th Field Artillery Battalion [105mm[
135th Field Artillery Battalion [105mm]
136th Field Artillery Battalion [155mm]
140th Field Artillery Battalion [105mm]
37th Reconnaissance Troop, Mechanized
117th Engineer Combat Battalion
37th Counter-Intelligence Corps Detachment
Headquarters Special Troops
Hqs Company, 37th Infantry Division
Military Police Platoon
737th Ordnance Light Maintenance Company
37th Quartermaster Company
37th Signal Company
38th Infantry Division. Inactivated at Camp Anza 1 November 1945.
149th Infantry Regiment
151st Infantry Regiment
152d Infantry Regiment
Division Artillery
138th Field Artillery Battalion [105mm[
139th Field Artillery Battalion [105mm]
150th Field Artillery Battalion [155mm]
163d Field Artillery Battalion [105mm]
38th Reconnaissance Troop, Mechanized
113th Engineer Combat Battalion
113th Medical Battalion
38th Counter-Intelligence Corps Detachment
Headquarters Special Troops
Hqs Company, 38th Infantry Division
Military Police Platoon
738th Ordnance Light Maintenance Company
38th Quartermaster Company
38th Signal Company
39th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy). 15-27 December 1945. Inactivated 27 December 1945.
60th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy)
61st Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy)
62d Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy)
44th Quartermaster War Dog Platoon. Inactivated at Camp Anza in 1946
45th Troop Carrier Squadron. Inactivated 26 December 1945 at Camp Anza.
48th Evacuation Hospital. Arrived 10 January 1943, departed 19 January 1943
73d Evacuation Hospital. Arrived 10 January 1943, departed 19 January 1943
88th Chemical Mortar Battalion. Inactivated at Camp Anza 29 December 1945.
89th Infantry Division
96th Infantry Division. Inactivated 3 February 1946.
97th Quartermaster Battalion. Inactivated 28 September 1945 at Camp Anza.
98th Airdrome Squadron. November 1943.
98th Chemical Mortar Battalion. Inactivated at Camp Anza 29 December 1945.
111th Infantry Regiment. Inactivated 22 November 1945.
124th Cavalry Regiment
127th Liaison Squadron (Commando) 2-10 November 1944
151st Medical Battalion. Arrived 10 January 1943, departed 19 January 1943
198th Field Artillery Battalion. Inactivated at Camp Anza 21 January 1946.
223d Field Artillery Battalion. Inactivated at Camp Anza 24 December 1945
321st Engineer Combat Battalion. Inactivated 3 February 46 at Camp Anza.
330th Engineer General Service Regiment. Arrived 10 January 1943, departed 19 January 1943
382d Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) 30 December 1945-4 January 1946, inactivated 4 January 1946
420th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy)
464th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy)
872d Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy)
383d Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) Inactivated 3 January 1946.
876th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy)
880th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy)
884th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy)
443d Troop Carrier Group (Medium) 23-26 December 1945, in activated 26 December 1945.
1st Troop Carrier Squadron
2d Troop Carrier Squadron
27th Troop Carrier Squadron
315th Troop Carrier Squadron
478th Quartermaster Regiment. Arrived 10 January 1943, departed 19 January 1943
458th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy). 22-27 December 1945.
459th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy). In activated 21 December 1945 at Camp Anza.
468 Bombardment Group (Very Heavy)
798th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy)
503d Parachute Regimental Combat Team. Inactivated at Camp Anza
503d Parachute Infantry Regiment
462d Parachute Field Artillery Battalion
Company C, 161st Airborne Engineer Battalion
512th Troop Carrier Group. 23-24 December 1945
326th Troop Carrier Squadron
327th Troop Carrier Squadron
328th Troop Carrier Squadron
329th Troop Carrier Squadron
528th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion. Inactivated 26 December 1945 at Camp Anza.
548th Quartermaster Battalion. Inactivated 28 September 1945.
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment
3184th Quartermaster Service Company
3186th Quartermaster Service Company
3187th Quartermaster Service Company
640th Tank Detroyer Battalion. Inactivated 13 January 1946 at Camp Anza
931st Signal Battalion (Aviation)(Separate) 1-15 November 1944
1213th Military Police Company (1943)
 
 
 
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Updated 8 February 2016