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Unknown WW2 era Army camp near Pearblossom around the Palmdale/ Lancaster area


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#1 P-59A

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 10:19 PM

I work construction and travel from time to time. I was working in the area of Palmdale Calif. a few years back. I stopped at a mom and pop shop to grab a bite to eat off the 138 and walked to another mom and pop place to look around while my food was being cooked. The elderly woman at the register and I started talking about the area. I look for aircraft crash sites and was wondering if she remembered anything. Turns out her grandmother moved to the area in 1918 and the woman I was talking to had lived her whole life in that neck of the woods. She had info on a plane that crashed behind her grade school in the 1940's. She drew me a map to that then asked if I was interested in looking at "Patton's camp". I told her Patton's play ground was in the Mojave dessert starting around Indio and covered a large area. She told me when she was a girl the soldiers would come into her grandmothers store to buy things and play with her dog and they had a camp not far away and it was called "Patton's camp". One of the story's she told me was one of the tanks was destroyed by fire and the soldiers bull dozed a pit and pushed the tank into it. She also told me when the soldiers left the area they took her dog. She drew me a map to the site and indeed it had the foot print of an army encampment. The foot paths were lined with rocks and gray gravel used to walk on. The outlines of dozens of tents sites were marked out with rocks. The sites of the outhouses were marked out. I found a number of spent 1943 dated 30-06 shells in groups of 5 in the desert out side of the camp site. I have searched and searched for any information on this site. She seems to remember the camp only being there a year or so. Does anyone know anything about this?



#2 Piper Cub

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 03:52 PM

Interesting, I never heard anything about that before but it doesn't surprise me. There's been a lot of military activity in this area that was either accidentally or intentionally poorly documented  due to security concerns but I wouldn't think that would really apply to this situation. Any chance you remember the approximate cross streets?



#3 P-59A

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 04:09 PM

Interesting, I never heard anything about that before but it doesn't surprise me. There's been a lot of military activity in this area that was either accidentally or intentionally poorly documented  due to security concerns but I wouldn't think that would really apply to this situation. Any chance you remember the approximate cross streets?

The map she drew was based on based on physical land marks that she explained and I had to look for. It was the same for the plane crash map she drew. I lived in the Mojave for a while back in the day and that is a common way to give directions. I don't think it was any kind of secret. The soldiers went to her Grandmothers store. Everyone knew they were there. At the time no one lived there to speak of. It was a small desert community out in the middle of hells half acre.


Edited by P-59A, 13 August 2017 - 04:13 PM.


#4 patches

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 07:33 AM

Wound this be the Desert Training Center?

 

https://en.wikipedia...Training_Center



#5 Dave

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 07:42 AM

Do you remember which side of Hwy 14 the camp was on? The 138 goes for miles and miles on both sides (I can see about ~20 miles of it from my office window right now, in fact...) 



#6 P-59A

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 11:09 AM

Do you remember which side of Hwy 14 the camp was on? The 138 goes for miles and miles on both sides (I can see about ~20 miles of it from my office window right now, in fact...) 

LOL! It's on the flats away from the hills.



#7 P-59A

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 11:13 AM

Wound this be the Desert Training Center?

 

https://en.wikipedia...Training_Center

No sir, The desert training center is maybe 100 miles or so south of this site.



#8 patches

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 05:46 PM

No sir, The desert training center is maybe 100 miles or so south of this site.

Is that right, hmm, that's interesting then, my first guess was the Desert Tng Cntr.



#9 P-59A

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 08:16 PM

Is that right, hmm, that's interesting then, my first guess was the Desert Tng Cntr.

Like I said the lady called it "Patton's camp" she stated at least one tank was known to have been there (the one she said burned and was buried in the desert). Her memory was spot on when it came to finding the camp. In talking to her she struck me as solid in her thoughts. She had sent her grandson to the site a year or so before and he found a dog tag. I have no doubt I was at an Army camp. The same stone lined walkways and places were tents had been can be found in Patton's play ground. The desert is very good at preserving things like this. I have seen this foot print before. Maybe when they were establishing the desert training center they had remote sites beyond what we know as Patton's play ground to test radio's or something like that, I don't know. When the weather cools I will be heading back.


Edited by P-59A, 15 August 2017 - 08:18 PM.


#10 P-59A

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 08:21 PM

Do you remember which side of Hwy 14 the camp was on? The 138 goes for miles and miles on both sides (I can see about ~20 miles of it from my office window right now, in fact...) 

It's North of the 138. In the area of Pearblossom. A google earth search doesn't see anything. I looked to see what I could see from google and didn't see much. It's foot print blends in with the terrain and decades of people doing whatever it is people do in the middle of no place obscures everything into one big high desert hodge podge. I was hoping to see anything that looked like a filled in pit and found nothing.


Edited by P-59A, 15 August 2017 - 08:29 PM.


#11 TheMariner

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:06 PM

You should go and metal detect it! Sounds like a great spot possibly unhit! Being in the desert you could turn up some really high quality relics! 



#12 P-59A

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:22 PM

You should go and metal detect it! Sounds like a great spot possibly unhit! Being in the desert you could turn up some really high quality relics! 

That was my thought too. I just picked up a very nice seldom used Minelab SD2200 off a co-worker I want to try out. This place has not been hit, no trash, no holes, nothing. I found the tent encampment site used during the construction of an Army Air Base in the Mojave built during WW2. I found coins, collar disks and assorted items. The site is about 20 acres and I only hit three rows of tent areas.


Edited by P-59A, 15 August 2017 - 09:29 PM.


#13 P-59A

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:40 PM

The 1943 dated 30-06 brass found outside this camp was a good find for not having a metal detector at the time. One of the guys I work with had a dad who was into looking for old military sites in the Mojave. Using an old school metal detector the found two mason jars with money, watch's and rings buried in the outer edges of were tents had been. My sister has a friend who has a 4x4 and he runs out of Blythe. He has found two fixed bail helmets and gas cans that fell off of vehicles during WW2. All in ok condition.



#14 patches

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 06:30 AM

Like I said the lady called it "Patton's camp" she stated at least one tank was known to have been there (the one she said burned and was buried in the desert). Her memory was spot on when it came to finding the camp. In talking to her she struck me as solid in her thoughts. She had sent her grandson to the site a year or so before and he found a dog tag. I have no doubt I was at an Army camp. The same stone lined walkways and places were tents had been can be found in Patton's play ground. The desert is very good at preserving things like this. I have seen this foot print before. Maybe when they were establishing the desert training center they had remote sites beyond what we know as Patton's play ground to test radio's or something like that, I don't know. When the weather cools I will be heading back.

Right, wouldn't think it had much to do with Georgy right?. I don't know, trying to think, perhaps it was this site, a briefly opened rifle range for the LA based Army units, you know guys from Ft MacArthur, Bolsa Chica?



#15 P-59A

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 01:51 PM

Right, wouldn't think it had much to do with Georgy right?. I don't know, trying to think, perhaps it was this site, a briefly opened rifle range for the LA based Army units, you know guys from Ft MacArthur, Bolsa Chica?

I haven't heard of Gregory before. I was goggle earth searching a broader area and saw a bombing circle a few miles away next to a water canal. I had no idea that was there. I don't know if they are connected, but they are both WW2 era. Another anomaly in the greater area looks like bomb craters in a very boxed in a large rectangle shape. Could be dump trucks off loading dirt...hard to say. I feel a trip coming soon.


Edited by P-59A, 16 August 2017 - 01:55 PM.


#16 patches

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 04:44 PM

I haven't heard of Gregory before. I was goggle earth searching a broader area and saw a bombing circle a few miles away next to a water canal. I had no idea that was there. I don't know if they are connected, but they are both WW2 era. Another anomaly in the greater area looks like bomb craters in a very boxed in a large rectangle shape. Could be dump trucks off loading dirt...hard to say. I feel a trip coming soon.

That's Georgy, you know Georgy Patton  :lol: 



#17 P-59A

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 05:07 PM

That's Georgy, you know Georgy Patton  :lol: 

I hate getting old!!!  :dry: I kid you not I looked at your spelling to make sure I spelled Gregory correctly.  :blink:



#18 P-59A

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 07:37 PM

I went back on Friday.

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#19 P-59A

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 07:39 PM

I found a 1940 nickel a glass button and glass tube plus an unknown.

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#20 P-59A

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 07:51 PM

Latrine.

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#21 P-59A

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 07:59 PM

30-06 brass

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#22 P-59A

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 08:12 PM

Thanks to a buddy I think I know what this place was. Ready? It was a weigh station for convoys going to the desert training center from central California. From central California to this place at 45 miles an hour is a days ride. From this place to the desert training center is another days ride. The tents were set up as a military hotel and the latrine is next to the area convoys parked. I showed my buddy photo's of this area, I couldn't figure it out.  He had seen the same type disturbed ground from his time in the Army. It was a large convoy parking assembly area. As soon as he said it I knew he was correct. Everything the old lady told me dove tailed perfectly and it explain's the limited use. After early 43 it wasn't needed any more. The convoys avoided the populated L.A. area by taking the more direct route behind the mountains.



#23 P-59A

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 04:29 AM

trash pit

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#24 Dave

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 04:33 AM

That's pretty awesome! Wish I still worked out there!



#25 artur95

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 08:14 AM

Great detective work!




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