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Camp Anza
Camp Anza 1945.jpg
US Army Camp Camp Anza in 1945
Location Riverside, California
Area 1,240 acres
Built 1942
Architect US Army
Camp Anza 1945 cooking training
Camp Anza in 1945 US Army cooking training

Camp Anza was a United States Army installation, in what is now Riverside, California, during World War II. Construction began on July 3, 1942, and was completed on February 15, 1943. The Camp was named after Juan Bautista de Anza, an early explorer who camped near the site in 1774. The US Army purchased the 1,240-acre site from the Willits J. Hole Ranch (1910-1942), a barley and wheat farm. Before 1910 the land was part of Rancho La Sierra (1797-1910).

The post was activated on December 2, 1942, initially designated as Arlington Staging Area and Arlington Special Training Center, and renamed Camp Anza on December 12, 1942. Camp Anza was a large Army base with 512 buildings housing 20,000 Troops. Over 600,000 Troops were processed over the three years of use. The camp had over a hundred wood barracks. Also Built were: headquarters, recreation rooms, chapel, laundry building, Southern Pacific Railroad station, library, Fire station, newspaper print room (Anza Zip), 2,000 seat outdoor theater, water storage tower, motor pool, heating plant, and mess halls. Bob Hope, Jack Benny and Eddie Cantor often entertained Troops there. The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope, a radio shows was broadcast from the camp one night. Most Troops at the camp were shipped out at the Los Angeles Port of Embarkation at Camp Ross. Before departing Troops had immunizations, gas masks training, complete a will, rope ladder climbing training, recorded personal property, and at Hole Lake abandoned ship training. Possessing took eight to ten days before shipping out to the Pacific War. On August, 1945 returning Troops started to arrive at Camp Anza. To serve the Troops the Camp also had an Army Camp hospital. The 8th Italian Quartermaster Service Company, one of many Italian Service Units worked at Camp Anza. Camp Anza was deactivated on March 31, 1946.

Philip H. Philbin Jr. in In 1948 purchased the camp for $510,000. Philbin sold off much of the camp. Sx local schools starting using the former camp. The street layout of the Camp kept. A housing subdivision called Anza Village and Arlanza Neighborhood was built on the land. Today there remains: a few barracks, chapel, the headquarters, laundry facility, officer's club and warehouse, all reused building. The city has a Historical Resources Inventory of the buildings.

Units stationed at the camp:

  • 229th Military Police Company (Zone of the Interior) (ASF)
  • 1941st Service Command Unit (Station Complement) (ASF)
  • 8th Italian Quartermaster Service Company (ASF)
  • 385th Army Service Forces Band (ASF)
  • Detachment, 9206th Transportation Corps Technical Service Unit (Los Angeles Port of Embarkation (ASF)
  • 22nd Army Air Forces Base Unit (Army Air Forces Command Group, Non-Divisional Unit) (AAF)
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