Camp Bouse

Located in Butler Valley approximately 20 Miles from the small railroad town of Bouse was the military camp that shared the town's name. Camp Bouse was occupied from August 1943-April 1944 by the 9th and 10th Tank Groups. Camp Bouse was unique in the sense that while part of the Desert Training Center, it was conducting very secret activities pertaing to the Canal Defense Light (CDL). The CDL was a 13 million candlepower carbon arc lamp mounted on U.S. M3 tanks that was intended to produce a beam of light so bright that it would confuse, disorient and temporary blind enemy troops in the advancing U.S. path. Due to the secrecy of the training, the units at Camp Bouse did not participate in maneuvers with outfits from the other divisional camps. Ultimately, the CDL did not perfom as well as inteded in the field, and it was felt that the lights could give the tank's position away and  make it an easy target for the enemy's powerful anti-tank guns.

In August 1943, the 369th Engineer Battalion began constructing Camp Bouse. Among other features, a well was dug and water lines laid, concrete pads and sidewalks for the hospital and headquarters buildings were poured, numerous roads and tent areas were graded, and a 500,000 gallon reservoir built. The camp remained open for 8 months and was closed in April, 1944 when the 9th Tank Group left for Europe.


Locals from the town of Bouse have made markers at the cold camp. 9th Tank Group soldiers made this insignia.


Concrete pad and sidewalk from the headquarters building. Another sidewalk heading towards and unknown location.


A company street at Camp Bouse with the Buckskin Mountains in the background. Same view of the Buckskins from the old camp over 70 years later.


Walkways and tent areas A unit insignia covered by seven decades of sand.

Men from the 369th Engineer Battalion at Camp Bouse. Headquarters symbol for the 748th Tank Battalion


AThe 500,000 gallon reservoir Another view of the large reservoir.

"T.B. Sept, 1943" is scratched into the side of the reservoir. Rock insignia for the camp chapel


A sign identifying the concrete pad behind. The remnants of the 526th Armored IB headquarters building

This name and date are scrated into the 526th AIB pad- "Hansen 12/3/1943" Further down the Company Street was 554th Ordinance rock insignia

The 554th HM Ordinance insignia  

"Alabama" "New York"


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