Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
(Camp Haan Quartermaster
Depot, Camp Haan Prisoner of War Camp)
of Engineers History 1
Developed in November 1940 as a Coast
Artillery Antiaircraft Replacement Training Center on property
adjacent to March Army Air Field, Camp Haan was opened in January
1941.The military reservation, a trapezoidal area about four
miles long and three miles wide, comprised some 8,058 acres,
and was named in honor of Major General William George Haan,
Coast Artillery Corps, who had a very distinguished Army career
during World War I and was awarded a number of American and foreign
At first it was mostly a tent camp, but
permanent wooden barracks and other buildings were added. By
October of 1941, the Camp had 353 buildings, 2,459 floor tents,
6 exchanges, 5 chapels, a hospital, 18 miles of sewers, and 28
miles of streets. By November 1941 most of the men who trained
here had been assigned to coastal defenses in the Los Angeles
and San Francisco Bay area. When the attack came on Pearl Harbor
a month later, and fears of an invasion of the U.S. west coast
were at their height, it would have been these men who would
have been our first line of defense had it happened.
In March 1942 Camp Haan was reorganized
as an Army Service Depot and in late 1942 a prisoner of war camp
was built here for 1,200 Italian Prisoners of War. The PWs worked
at Camp Haan and in the surrounding citrus orchards. In April
1945, German POWs arrived at Haan to replace the Italians. Later
in the war Camp Haan had an 800-bed debarkation hospital which
received wounded coming in from the Pacific theaters of operation.
The Southwest Branch, U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, was also authorized
for activation at this post.
At its peak, Camp Haan had a population
of 80,000 people. After the war the camp became a separation
center and on August 31, 1946 was closed. Many of the wooden
buildings were sold and moved to other locations and the land
was divided. Parcels went to March Field and to create the Riverside
National Cemetery on Van Buren Boulevard.
Land was also used for a housing development, Arnold Heights,
named after General of the Army, "Hap" Arnold. Some
of the land remains unused and a number of building foundations,
streets and sidewalks can be seen from State Route 215.
Engineers of History 2
Camp Haan was developed in November 1940
as a Coast artillery anti-aircraft training center and opened
in January 1941. The camp was adjacent to March Field. Camp Haan
was originally built to handle 15,000 soldiers but by October
1941, groups of 80,000 soldiers were obtaining basic training
at the camp. At that point in time the camp had over 350 buildings,
2,450 floor tents, 6 post exchanges, 5 chapels, a hospital, 18
miles of sewers, and 28 miles of streets.
The 78th , 65th, 215th , 216th , and 217th Coast Artillery Brigades
were trained at Camp Haan. After training, the brigades were
transferred to Los Angeles, San Francisco, the Aleutian Islands
and other Pacific areas. Anti-aircraft training was conducted
on land transferred to the Department of the Air Force for use
as March Air Force Base (AFB) .
In early 1942 the camp was designated as a prisoner of war camp
in addition to its anti-aircraft training mission. On 20 September
1945, Camp Haan was designated as a separation point for soldiers
on completion of their tour of duty with the U.S. Army.
Camp Haan was declared surplus on 20 January 1947. By 1949, 5,610
acres of the site were either reassigned or transferred to March
AFB. U.S. Army terminated leases and permits comprising the remainder
of the Camp Haan site which totaled 2,212.38 acres. Approximately
1,325 acres of this terminated acreage supports a variety of
residential uses, ranging from large lot to standard subdivision
development. The remaining terminated acreage is devoted to orange
groves, other agricultural uses, and open fields.
by Justin Ruhge
Camp Haan was an Army antiaircraft artillery
camp. The Camp was named in honor of Major General William George
Haan, born October 4, 1863 at Crownpoint, Indiana. He graduated
from West Point Army Military Academy in 1889. He led American
Forces in the Spanish American War in the Philippines and World
War I in Europe where he received many decorations. He died at
Washington D.C. in 1929.
The Camp was located on 1,500 acres in the Perris Valley and
stretched for three miles along Highway 395 (15-E) opposite what
was then called March Field. The site encompassed part of the
ill-fated Alessandro Tract of the late 1880s. Construction of
the Camp began in October 1940. Camp Haan Post Office, a classified
branch of the Riverside Post Office, was in existence from January
15, 1941 to June 15, 1947. In 1945, Camp Haan was made part of
March Air Force Base and for a time was known as West March.
Then the Camp buildings were sold and dismantled and a portion
of the land was used for Arnold Heights, a housing development
for Air Force families that was built in 1945. Part of the site
is now Riverside National Cemetery.
Quartermaster Depot (Classification)
A subpost of Mira Loma Quartermaster Depot
(later Mira Loma Air Force Station) in San Bernardino, this activity
is recorded in the List of Military Posts Camps and Stations
in the Continental United States as of 6 November 1945.