Historic California Posts, Stations and Airfields
Camp Cactus
(Santa Catalina Island Radar Site B-41/J-41)
Camp Cactus during World War II (Catalina Island Museum)

Camp Cactus consisted of approximately 3.5 acres and the area was acquired by leasehold or license from the Wrigley family in 1941.

The camp was constructed during 1941-1942 and opened in 1942. The camp was used to house military personnel that operated island radar sites and was protected by artillery and antiaircraft guns during World War II. The original camp consisted of approximately 20 wood structures housing 500 men. The buildings were constructed of wood and only two buildings, housing the latrine/showers and the motor pool, had concrete floors. In addition to these two buildings there was a mess/dining hall and headquarters buildings, all other buildings appear to have been barracks and support. Additional structures on site were two sheet metal aboveground water tanks.

In 1945 the camp was closed. Over the years the wooden structures have badly deteriorated and in 1975 local islanders began removing the buildings for fire wood. Currently there are only five buildings standing at the camp which is now part of the Santa Catalina Island Conservancy.

Source: US Army Corps of Engineers

To learn more about Camp Cactus and the Army on Santa Catalina Island during World War II, CLICK HERE

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