Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Probably the least know of the several
camps that made up the California Arizona Maneuver Area (CAMA).
What is known is that the 5th Armored Division was housed there
while training at CAMA and that there was a large quartermaster
depot there. In 1944 Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, Director of the
"Manhattan (Atomic Bomb) Project" visited the town
Rice and examined the nearby Tularosa Basin as a possible site
for the testing of the first atomic devices. Oppenheimer subsequently
chose the White Sands area of New Mexico.
Source: World War II Sites
in the United States: A Tour Guide and Directory by Richard E.
of Engineers History
The Army acquired 1,920 acres in 1942
by means unknown from the Department of Interior, Bureau of Land
The site, known as Camp Rice, was part of the Desert Training
Center/California-Arizona Maneuver Area (DTC/CAMA), a complex
of camps and training sites used by the Army during World War
II. Very little information is available for Camp Rice. It was
used as a camp site early in the development of DTC/CAMA, from
approximately August to October 1942, by the 5th ArmoredDivision. The site may have also been used for camp purposes
briefly by the 6th Armored Division in early 1943. Aircraft technicians
from nearby Rice Army Air Field may
have also used it for a tent camp after the armored divisions
departed. Camp Rice improvements currently evident consist of
dirt roads oriented in a typical CAMA camp layout.
Although little information is available
regarding Army facilities or activities at Camp Rice, its typical
CAMA layout suggests motor pool, kitchen, and administrative
areas were once present. There may also have been one or more
ranges located directly to the south of the site as was common
for CAMA camps.
The Army retransferred the 1,920-acre site to the BLM by means
unknown. No documentation is available for disposal of this property
which is expected to have occurred sometime between 1943 and
the late 1940s, following the end of World War II. Currently
the camp is an historical site owned by the BLM. There are no
improvements on the property with the exception of dirt roads
and rock-lined paths.
Source: Los Angeles District,
US Army Corps of Engineers
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