Ron's Log

Ron's Log

Posted on 11/25/2010

Photo taken on February 23, 2007

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California Arizona Maneuver Area
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Camp Rice Plaque (5830)

Camp Rice Plaque (5830) 

Rice Divisional Camp
Camp Rice
Desert Training Center
California-Arizona Maneuver Area

Camp Rice was established at this site in the spring of 1942. It was one of twelve such camps built in the southwestern deserts to harden and train United States troops for service on the battlefields of World War II. The Desert Training Center was a simulated theatre of operations that included portions of California, Arizona and Nevada. The other camps were Young, Coxcomb, Granite, Iron Mountain, Ibis, Clipper, Pilot Knob, Laguna, Horn, Hyder and Bouse.

A total of 13 infantry divisions and 7 armored divisions plus numerous smaller units were trained in this harsh environment. The training center was in operation for almost 2 years and was closed early in 1944 when the last units were shipped overseas. During the brief period of operation over one million American soldiers were trained for combat.

The 5th Armored Division, nicknamed "The Victory Division," began combat operations in France in July 1944 and quickly gained a reputation for combat excellence, spearheading the Normandy breakout of the 3rd Army.

It was the first division to reach the Seine River, first to enter Belgium, first to reach and liberate Luxembourg, first to fight on German soil, first to plunge through the Siegfried Line. V-E Day found the 5th AD on the Elbe River 45 miles from Berlin.

Campaigns: Normandy, northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe.

The 5th Armored Division was the 1st unit trained at Camp Rice.

This monument is dedicated to all the soldiers that served here, and especially for those who gave their lives in battle, ending the Holocaust & defeating the armed forces of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan.

Plaque placed by the Billy Holcomb Chapter of the Ancient & Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus, the 5th Armored Division Association, and in co-operation with the Bureau of Land Management, Indio Resource Area and the Vidal Maintenance Staton, Caltrans.
May 5th, 1991