HISTORY


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WW II BASES, CAMPS, AND FORTS (39 K)


Camp Haan, Riverside, California

Introduction
CAMP VIEW (16 K)   Camp Haan was located on 1500 acres of California scrub on the west side of Interstate 215 just outside of Riverside, California, across the highway from the Army Air Corps' March Field. The camp was named after World War I and Spanish-American War veteran Army Major General William Haan. Construction began in November 1940 and the camp was opened in January 1941 as a Coast Artillery antiaircraft (AA) training facility. By October of 1941, the Camp had 353 buildings, 2,459 floor tents, six post exchanges, five chapels, a hospital, 18 miles of sewers, and 28 miles of streets. Firing practice found a natural home in the nearby Mojave desert. By 1942, the Camp was serving as an Army Service Force Depot and a prisoner of war camp in addition to its AA duties. After serving briefly as a separation center, Camp Haan was closed on August 31, 1946. The buildings were sold for surplus and the property returned to the Air Corps. Today much of the land that was Camp Haan has been used by the Air Force for a cemetery, housing, a golf course, and for the headquarters of the 15th Air Force. A few concrete foundations remain in the northern section of the old camp. Like most camps of the era, it was temporary. It was built in a hurry and was dismanted just as fast. But it was a big city while it lasted.

   The March Air Force Museum maintains a display on Camp Haan. For an AAA veteran's view of training at Haan, read about life at the camp in Bob Gallagher's WW II Experiences.

AERIAL PHOTO (20 K)
Aerial photo of Camp Haan. Interstate 215 separates
March Field (upper left) from Haan (center).


Camp Haan History
TRAINING (6 K)   "We drilled endlessly on the flats of Camp Haan and crawled about on knees and elbows, and slept in washes ... we dug many gun pits and sat in them all night tracking March Field planes with our searchlights, radar, and gun barrels."

   Those words were written by a young AAA recruit at Haan in 1942 and pretty much sums up life at the camp during WW II.

   In anticipation of war, the camp had been hastily constructed between late October 1940 and January 1941 ... MORE INFORMATION COMING SOON ...

LOCKING AND LOADING (8 K)

   A handful of "war dogs" were stationed at Camp Haan in California, participating in a local sentry program for the Coast Artillery (Want More Information?).

Camp Haan Photo Gallery
HUTS (18 K)

Six-man wooden huts with latrine in background.
Photo Robert F. Gallagher.

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MESS HALL (16 K)

Camp mess hall at left. Photo Robert F. Gallagher.

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WAREHOUSES (39 K)

Camp warehouses in Oct. 1941.

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NEW ARRIVALS (25 K)

AA brigades from the Minnesota National Guard arrive at Haan in January 1941, dressed for the Minnesota winter. They were the first troops at the camp, and immediately discarded their heavy overcoats on the warm day.

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PX (21 K)

One of many branches of the Post Exchange.

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CAMP STREET (21 K)

A typical camp street.

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1942-1945

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