Camp Pilot Knob, California

The smallest of the DTC divisional camps, Pilot Knob was located approximately five miles northwest of Yuma in the far southeastern corner of California's Imperial County. Construction of the camp began in January of 1943 and was completed by April. The entire camp consisted of 4,000 acres, but the living area was restricted to approximately 700 acres in the southern portion of the camp close to the railroad tracks.  The northern portion of the camp had four live-fire gun ranges and infiltration courses. The only structures were pyramidal wood frame tents, latrines and showers. It is unknown which units were stationed at Camp Pilot Knob, but records indicate the 85th Infantry Division, 54th Evacuation Hospital, and 36th and 44th Reconnaissance Squadrons were there.  The camp was closed in June of 1944.

The camp is located on both sides of Interstate 8, just off of Sidewinder Road.

Custer DivisionThe 85th Infantry Division "Custer Division" was stationed at Camp Pilot Knob from June-August of 1943, before moving to Camp Coxcomb where it stayed until September. In April of 1944, the 85th saw action in Italy when the division found the Germans near the Gustav Line. Fighting took the division to Anzio where it helped to open the beachhead, and then drove towards Rome where it entered the city in June, 1944. The division spent the remainder of the war fighting northwards and ended in Belluno when the Germans surrendered.


A monument marker for Camp Pilot Knob. A close-up of the plaque.


Trash/ debris at the old camp. A pile of rusted cans.


A rock formation; perhaps a unit marker. Another view


One of the main camp roads. Tent areas.


Tents once stood in the rock-lined squares. Two tent locations.


Rock-lined street with tent entry. An old tobacco can.


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