Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Camp Wawona
Located at Yosemite National Park's Camp Wawona, this campground became a sub-installation of Camp Pinedale's Western Signal Aviation Unit Training Center (WSAUTC) in the Spring of 1944. The following are extracts of the WSAUTC's official history.
A Basic Military Training Section was officially opened at Camp Wawona in the Yosemite area on 3 May 1945. Instruction of basic military training was provided for completion of previous partial training , individuals without such training, and for special training of groups.
First Lieutenant Carl P. Nelson was designated as officer in charge. With 13 instructors and four non-commissioned administrative personnel the training program was started for fifty enlisted men. At the end of the month a total of 171 enlisted men had been given basic training. Five classes were sent to the camp in May, two of which were graduated that month
Small arms firing for qualification was conducted at the Mount Campbell Rifle Range. During the month 271 men fired the M-1 Thompson Sub-Machine Gun; 432 fired the M-1 Carbine and 22 men fired the M1911A1 .45 caliber Pistol.
Increased facilities for practical training of students were provided at the Basic Military Training Center at Camp Wawona in communication operations.
A fixed radio station was set up at the Specialist Refresher School for communication with Camp Wawona to give working experience for radio operators, radio mechanics and message center clerks. Student message center clerks and cryptographic technicians were supplied by the Administrative Refresher Section for two week periods of duty at the camp. A teletype installation was made between the camp and Refresher Training Headquarters by the Telephone and Telegraph Refresher School for training students while providing administrative communication.

The following is a chronology of events in the early days of Camp Wawona:
As a result of a conference on 19 March 1945 the Electronics section of the Electronics and Engineman School was set up separately at Camp Wawona. The first classes were begun on 21 May 1945. The school courses were divided into three phases for Radar Repairmen, Reporting Equipment (953).
On 15 April 1945 Captain Robert V. Lucas became officer in charge of the school.

In April 1945 the school laid a sixty mile cable line from Camp Pinedale to Camp Wawona..The line provided one teletype channel and one talking circuit.
On 18 April 1945 First Lieutenant L. C. M .. Clevenger arrived at Camp Wawona to make the necessary preparations for the first class in advanced military training. It started on 23 April 1945, and was designed specifically for skilled technicians who had had no basic training. Advanced courses in basic subjects, such as scouting and patrolling, field sanitation, first aid, and map reading were offered During May 1945 a great many cadres or teams were moved to and from: camps under control of WSAUTC, as follows:
Camp Wawona, which had been operated by the WSAUTC during the Sumner months for training purposes for several seasons as a military training site, continued in operation during the 1945 summer season with an increased mission.
On 19 June 1945, Squadron I, 462nd Army Air Forces Base Unit (Signal Aviation Training) was organized and assigned to the Camp Wawona location, effective 21 June 1945. Captain Robert V. Lucas was appointed as commanding officer of the squadron, in continuation of his service there in supervision of the Ground Individual Training Division (GITD) Electronics School which had been established in May 1945.
On 14 July 1945, the Electronics School classes were suspended and transferred to Camp Pinedale and Camp Sequoia. The Advanced Military Training classes at that location. The operation of Camp Wawona was a function of the WSAUTC GITD on the operation of classes for individual instruction. The organization and operation of Camp Wawona increased the facilities for individual instruction of the general organization of WSAUTC, in preparation for increased personnel which was expected from the operation of the redeployment program.
This installation did not appear in the 31 December 1945 War Department Inventory of Owned, Sponsored or Leased Facilities
Source: Camp Pinedale Records, US Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB
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Updated 10 August 2017