Patton 8

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.

http://www.desertusa.com/mag99/feb/stories/paton.html

http://www.generalpattonmuseum.com/

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

Patton Site Overview

You might also be interested in these stories:

General George S. Patton Museum
George S. Patton Memorial Museum and Chiriaco Summit, CA Airport
Amboy – Lava Land

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For the purposes of this blog I call myself Mojave because of my love for the Mojave Desert. I have lived in the Yucca Valley area of the Hi-Desert since 1976, I have always loved our Mojave Desert. My appreciation for the Mojave has grown even more over the years. I am a Career & Technical Education teacher and coordinator at the high school level as well as a part-time college instructor. I also served on the Town of Yucca Valley Planning Commission for 5 years and am a current Town Councilman. In my spare time I enjoy researching desert facts, exploring the desert, geocaching and enjoying the many animals that keep my wife and I very busy.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Chiriaco Summit was Shaver’s Summit before WW II. For many years following WW II there were very large bi-lingual bill boards warning the public about un-exploded munitions scattered around the desert. Having lived at Hayfield Pump Lift from 1937 into 1939 – in first permanent house built; I remember before Patton and other units. After Patton deployed there was another group. Were outside Boulder City 1943. The road from Desert Center to Parker area was contracted by the MWD. The reservoir at Hayfield only existed for a few days in early 1939. Never held water and was dry except for very seldom rain. It was designed as a pumping forebay for the aqueduct but never held water. To test the system water was pumped directly from the channel. Still is – since 1939. Thanks to Mabel M Rockwell – who designed the pumps at Hayfield.

  2. I’m trying to find the location of a mobile home park that I think was named something like Pad City, because it contained some left-over pads from the days of the Patton Desert training center. It wasn’t a commercial park, just a bunch of campers and mobile homes gathered in one spot. I called the Needles Highway Patrol Office, but they didn’t know what I was talking about.

    I recall going through there many years ago while prospecting parts of the Mojave, mainly in the Lanfair Valley and Mitchell Caverns area.

    Nowadays, as my memory fades, I just can’t recall where the place is. I know it had a website at one time, but couldn’t find anything on Google.

    Can you help me find this place, please?

  3. The person asking about the “Pad Cities” may be referring to the remains of Camp Clipper or Camp Ibis.

    More detailed information and directions can be found in Southern California SUV Trails Volume II (Eastern Mojave).

  4. Thank you for the link. I checked it out and Camp Danby is about 10 miles to the east. This site is right off of Route 66 and was probably a satellite camp of one of the larger ones. Thanks for the input and the info, I might go check out Camp Danby..

  5. Thanks for the info about “Slab City”. I guess my name of “Pad City” was incorrect. I’m slow getting back to you as my health is failing and I only recently got back to using the computer. Thanks again for your response.

  6. I just happened to stop at this very spot yesterday for a leg stretch and was curious about the history which brought me here. I’m wondering about the long lines of rocks that seem to form paths to nowhere. I would be interested in getting the .kmz file if it’s still available after all this time.

    thanks

  7. Hi,
    In a comment on May 19, 2010, J.L. wrote about bill boards warning the public about un-exploded munitions. In 1976 a friend and I saw several of those signs in the area of the 29 Palms HYW(#62) and the Rice Road (#177) junction. The signs are gone now, but I’d like to find the dirt roads that led from them. If anyone can pin-piont that for me I would appreciate it.
    Thanks
    TJH321

  8. Very well done.
    My husband and I have been following Patton’s camps from Yuma on up for many years.
    We love the ‘take photos – take memories – but leave everything as it should be’ approach.
    Also in this area there is evidence that the same training grounds were used during the Vietnam era. (i.e. ration cans, plastic spoons, etc.)
    We throughly enjoy your blog and look forward to all editions.

  9. I am sorry Jeff, I JUST saw your comment. I was looking for the KMZ file but could not find it, I will keep looking. I assume the pathways led to different areas of the camp. Also with updated Google Earth photos you can now see much more details at the site. Thanks for the comment and sorry for the delay.

  10. Trevor, I have not been at the border of MCAGCC lately and have not heard about any signs being removed. Sorry I could not help.

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