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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton facts for kids

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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
Near Oceanside, California in the United States
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Marines hiking at Camp Pendleton during 2014
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MCB Camp Pendleton is located in the United States
MCB Camp Pendleton
MCB Camp Pendleton
Location in the United States
Coordinates 33°12′53.1″N 117°23′15″W / 33.214750°N 117.38750°W / 33.214750; -117.38750
Type Marine Corps base
Area > 125,000 acres (51,000 hectares)
Site information
Owner Department of Defense
Operator US Marine Corps
Controlled by Marine Corps Installations West
Condition Operational
Site history
Built March – September 1942 (1942)
In use 1942 – present
Garrison information
Brigadier General Jason G. Woodworth
Garrison I Marine Expeditionary Force
Airfield information
Airfield For airfield information see Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is the major West Coast base of the United States Marine Corps and is one of the largest Marine Corps bases in the US. It is on the Southern California coast in San Diego County and is bordered by Oceanside to the south, San Clemente and Orange County to the north, Riverside County to the northeast, and Fallbrook to the east.

The base was established in 1942 to train U.S. Marines for service in World War II. By October 1944, Camp Pendleton was declared a "permanent installation," and by 1946 it became the home of the 1st Marine Division. It was named after Major General Joseph Henry Pendleton (1860–1942), who had long advocated setting up a training base for the Marine Corps on the West Coast. Today it is home to myriad Operating Force units, including the I Marine Expeditionary Force and various training commands.


Before World War II

The area that is now known as Camp Pendleton was explored by the Spanish, and many missions were created in the area. The most famous one is Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, which is in modern-day Oceanside (just 1.5 miles south of Camp Pendleton). The area was also owned by farmers, and a successful cattle industry was run by a wealthy British landowner named John (Don Juan) Forster.

In 1914 Pendleton was assigned to Camp Howard, North Island, San Diego. Right away he saw the value of the area's good weather and harbor. He lobbied Congress and Marine Corps Headquarters for a permanent Marine base on the West Coast.

World War II

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President George W. Bush talking to Marines and sailors at Camp Pendleton in December 2004.

In the early 1940's, both the United States Army and United States Marine Corps were looking for a large base. The Army stopped caring about the project. The Marine Corps announced on February 1942 that the Camp Pendleton area would become the largest Marine Corps base in America.. They purchased Rancho Santa Margarita las Flores for $4,239,062. Because the base was at first considered to be a temporary base, the buildings were built to minimum standards. The base was then mainly used for training.

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