General Patton’s Troops at Roy’s Cafe? Well not exactly, but many people that live in the Mojave Desert drive portions of old Route 66 through Amboy California en route to Laughlin or Las Vegas Nevada. Most Mojave Desert residents have heard the General Patton legends about training his troops in the desert during World War II, many of these training areas were near Route 66 in California.
At the time the War Department realized the necessity that troops had to be well trained under harsh conditions to withstand the rigors of battle over rough terrain and in inhospitable climates, thus, the Desert Training Center, California-Arizona Maneuver Area (DTC-CAMA) was created in 1942. This was the largest military training ground in the history of the military. To learn more about the DTC-CAMA the following websites have much information as well as directions to their museum that is located 30 miles east of Indio California on Interstate 10.
Back to the story of General Patton and Amboy. To the east of Amboy are the remains of many of these WWII training camps, some were rather large and others were small camps. Seventeen miles east of Amboy are the remains of one of those training camps, it is one of the smaller ones. In all of my research could not find a definitive name for this camp but it may have been a branch of Camp Essex. There is a pullout and kiosk that marks this site today, this site was also a rest stop during the Route 66 heyday. Most of the remains of this camp are in the form of rocks laid out in squares and rows , most likely to mark pathways and decorate around the tents, these rocks have laid out in this manner mostly undisturbed for over fifty years. Most of this site is relatively close to the road but you still must be careful to watch out for snakes and to be sure to have plenty of water. The accompanying pictures match the numbers on the overview place-marks, if you would like the original Google Earth .kmz file with coordinates contact me and I will email it to you. Look closely at the details in the pictures, I hope you enjoy this tour of one of General Patton’s smaller camps. To answer the question as to whether General Patton ever visited Roy’s Cafe, no one can be sure but I am sure that there are still stories circulating the desert on this subject just waiting to be heard
Take It Easy – Mojave
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