Camp Horn, Arizona

In early 1943, Camp Horn was constructed by the 369th Engineer Regiment as an infantry divisional training camp capable of supporting 15,000 soldiers. The 369th built 160 double tent frame kitchens; 190 latrines; 35 shower facilities; graded 50 miles of dirt/ gravel roads; 8 miles of water lines, rifle/ artillery ranges, and set up thousands of 6-man tents.

 It was build 10 miles north of Dateland along the Southern Pacific railroad and named after the siding of Horn that it passed through. The large divisional camp was rectangular in shape, approximately 4 miles long and 1 mile wide, organized with rock-lined roads and walkways. Like many of the other camps, Camp Horn had no permanent structures and only consisted of tents and light wood-frame temporary structures. The camp was occupied by the 81st and 104th Infantry Divisions. Besides the sea of tents the men lived in, there were showers, mess halls, latrines and dispensaries. The camp had its water supply drawn from a few deep wells and stored in large concrete reservoirs. The camp also had a 4,000 foot long airstrip. In February, 1944, the 104th Infantry departed Camp Horn. Before they left, they policed the area and removed all tents and temporary structures.

Today, agricultural farming has destroyed the vast majority of Camp Horn. Only a small section of rock-lined roads and walkways can be seen. There is a large pyramidal monument at the old entrance to the camp honoring seven soldiers of the 81st Infantry Division who died during training.

Divisions that trained at Camp Horn:

-81st Infantry Division, July-November 1943

-104th Infantry Division, November 1943-February 1944


When the 81st "Wildcat" Infantry Division arrived at Camp Horn in July, 1943, the day temperatures had been over 110 degrees for 45 days. After leaving Camp Horn, the division was sent to the South Pacific where they were heavily involved in the island fighting. They fought on Palau and Peleliu, and when the war ended they were fighting on Leyte. After the Japanese surrender, the 81st moved to Japan where they performed occupational duties.

 


The 104th "Timberwolves" Infantry Division first saw action in Belgium in October, 1944, in the Hurtgen Forest offensive. The division captured many towns on the Belgium-German border and finally helped captured Aachen in October. The division held off the German counteroffensive in the Battle of the Bulge, and resumed its attack of capturing towns. In early March, the 104th entered Cologne, and in March, crossed the Rhine River at the Remagen bridgehead and participated in the trapping of enemy troops in the Ruhr Pocket. After crossing the Weser River in April, the division engaged in heavy fighting before meeting up with Russian troops in Pretzsch on April 26th.

 

     
A soldier with the 369th Engineer Regiment at Camp Horn.  Same soldier. The tents where the men lived. When the summer heat was 125 degrees, their version of air conditioning was to roll up the sides of the tents and hope for a breeze. Note the rock-lined walkways.
   

 

   
A soldier at Camp Horn.  Each tent was home for six men.
 

 

     
An infantry soldier at Camp Horn aiming his M1903 Springfield.  A 10 foot high stone marker at the entrance to old Camp Horn. Note the background mountains line up with the 1943 photo to the left. Most of what was Camp Horn is now agricultural fields as seen in the bacjground. A close up of the memorial to the 7 men who died while training at Camp Horn.
 

 

   
The parallel rock lines were tent entrences.  An overgrown walkway. 
 

 

   
Gravel road with a rock circle that was likely a flagpole or unit marker.  An old bottle cap and rusted Army spoon.
 

 

   
An old rusted razor blade.  A rock-lined gravel street.
 

 

   
The concentric rock formation was probably a flagpole or unit headquarters. An old star made of rocks has been partially washed away.

 

   
Looking down the overgrown 5,000 foot long runway. It was hard-packed and covered with gravel.  Remnants of a unit insignia covered with decades of sand.
 

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