California State Military Department
The California State Military Museum
A United States Army Museum Activity
Preserving California's Military Heritage
Historic California Posts, Camp, Stations and Airfields:
Camp McQuaide
 
The California National Guard training site for the 250th Coast Artillery Regiment was established in Capitola in 1926. The camp was located near the Santa Cruz-Capitola Airport (now occupied by Capitola and New Brighton Middle Schools) and basically used as a summer camp by the 250th for a two week maneuver each year. Capitola's residents objected to the firing of guns during maneuvers so, in 1938, the camp was relocated to another site.
 
The new location was 400 acres of newly purchased land off the coast near San Andreas Road. It was at this site that the camp was dedicated and named in memory of the deceased, Major Joseph P. McQuaide, who had been the Chaplain of the 1st California Infantry and the 250th Coast Artillery for many years. Major, then Father McQuaide, was ordained in 1892, and served with the First California Volunteers in the Philippines and the Boxer rebellion in China. Father McQuaide rejoined the National Guard of California in 1917 and was assigned as Post Chaplain at Fort Winfield Scott, San Francisco. He went overseas, to France, with the 62nd Coast Artillery. Chaplain McQuaide died March 29, 1924.
 
Following the expansion of the Army in 1940, the camp was developed as a Coast Artillery Replacement Training Center. In 1943, the post was converted to the West Coast Processing Center, the official stockade for all the stateside Army AWOLs and other troublemakers. After World War II, the site was considered surplus and decommissioned. In 1948 the empty camp was considered for a local junior college but lacked countywide support. It was subsequently purchased by the Seventh-Day Adventists who founded the Monterey Bay Academy.
 
A member of the 250th Coast Artillery at Camp McQuaide, circa 1941
 
Corps of Engineers History
 
The 250th Coast Artillery Regiment (250th) of the California National Guard held summer training camps at Capitola, California between 1926 and 1938, at which time the Regiment began meeting at a former National Guard summer camp site located six miles west of Watsonville, California. In 1938, this camp was officially dedicated in memory of Major Joseph P. McQuaide, Chaplain of the 250th for many years. Camp McQuaide was a coast artillery training center (the Coast Artillery Seacoast Replacement Training Center) and the Headquarters of the 250th. During coastal defense training, the camp's two stationary Panama Mounts and several tractor-drawn, 155mm M1917 GPF seacoast guns would fire at target barges off the coast. The camp also had five firing ranges which were used to train Army personnel in the proper use of hand guns, rifles, and anti-aircraft guns. By 1942, the War Department had acquired 1,032.3 acres
in the vicinity, although the camp's boundaries only encompassed 407.8 acres and the remaining 624 acres were never developed. During the early 1940s, Camp McQuaide supported a community of 1,900 officers and enlisted men. The improvements at the camp, which included roads, utility distribution systems, 36 permanent buildings and 354 wood framed tents called hutments, were constructed by the Department of Defense (DoD) between 1938 and 1942. The camp's utility systems included an on-site sewage treatment system, an incinerator, and a potable water system with three ground water wells. A hospital with 100 beds and a fire station that housed three fire engines were also located at the camp.

After the threat of coastal invasion was substantially reduced as a result of the Battle of Midway, the camp was convened into disciplinary barracks housing U.S. Army prisoners and guards in 1943. In July of 1946 there were 1,700 prisoners at the camp of which 600 attempted to escape by setting fire to the camp. The fire destroyed 36 temporary hutments but no prisoners were reported to have escaped or been hurt. This escape attempt spurred the closure of the prison camp. During 1946, 380.5 leased acres and 244.0 permit acres were terminated. The War
Assets Administration (WAA) assumed accountability for the remaining 407.8 acres of which 300.0 acres were quitclaimed to the Central California Conference Association of Seventh-Day Adventists (CCCASDA) in 1947. The CCCASDA converted the camp into a boarding school which is now the Monterey Bay Academy (MBA). The Academy has a work-study program for high-school-age students and houses both students and faculty members. The campus comprises an active dairy farm, commercial laundry, a small agricultural farm, and several private
industries, all of which hire students from the high school for labor. General Services Administration (GSA), as the WAA had come to be known, appears to have transferred the remaining 107.8 leased acres to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sometime after 21 May, 1981.
 
US Army Center of Military History Data Cards
 
Coast Artillery Replacement Training Center (Seacoast)
 
Special Training Unit
 
West Coast Processing Center
 
Pacific Coast Branch, United States Disciplinary Barracks
 
Aerial Views of Camp McQuaide
     
 Cantonement Area, Camp McQuaide circa 1941   Cantonement Area, Camp McQuaide, circa 1946
 
Legend
Item No.  Description

 1
 Hospital

 2
 Chapel

 3
 Parade Ground

 4
 Post Headquarters, still standing as of 2011.

 5
 Fire Station, still standing as of 2011.

 6
 Warehouses and shop, still standing as of 2011

 7
Post Theater, still standing as of 2011

 8
Barracks and Mess Halls.

 9
Flag Pole
 
Army Units Assigned to Camp Haan

 Data Source

Date(s)

 Unit(s)
  7 December 1941 
250th Coast Artillery Regiment (155mm Gun, Tractor Drawn) (less 1st Battalion)
Corps Area Support Unit 1958 (Station Complement)
 Army of the United States Station List  1 June 1943
Band (Coast Artillery Replacement Training Center) (AGF)
Coast Artillery Seacoast Replacement Training Center (AGF)
Headquarters and Headquarters Battery
Coast Artillery Officer Replacement Pool
101st through 104th Coast Artillery Training Battalions
1958th Service Command Unit (Station Complement) (ASF)
 Army of the United States Station List 7 April 1945
439th Army Service Forces Band (ASF)
West Coast Processing Center (ASF)
1958th Service Command Unit (Station Complement) (ASF)
 Army of the United States Station List 7 May 1946
1958th Service Command Unit (Pacific Coast Branch, United States Disciplinary Barracks) (ASF)
AAF - Army Air Forces units AGF - Army Ground Forces ASF - Army Service Forces units WDC - Western Defense Command

Updated 2 July 2014

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