Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Camp Goffs
(Goffs Army Ammuntion Depot, Goffs Rifle Range, Goffs Army Air Field)
Tanks being loaded at the Goffs railhead, 1942.
At the outbreak of WW2, the town of Goffs was a small railroad station located on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe mainline, and adjacent to a 1930s alignment of US Route 66.
The Camp Goffs Campsite was established in 1942. It was part of the 12 million acre Desert Training Center/California-Arizona Maneuver Area established to train the armored forces of General George Patton.
Unlike other, more substantial camps of the CAMA, Camp Goffs was a small, improvised field encampment. It consisted primarily of the Goffs Railhead, with a surrounding encampment, the Goffs Army Ammunition Depot #4, and the Goffs Rifle Range. The prewar Goffs civil airfield was apparently reused as a military field, as a 1998 Army Corps of Engineers report on Camp Goffs includes the statement that "Goffs also had a 1,500' x 150' sand/gravel landing strip about two miles to the east (Army Ground Forces 1943)."
Apparently, the Goffs airfield was expanded at some later date, as the 1975 USGS topo map depicts the airfield as having two 4,700' runways, along with what appears to be depicted as an unusually large ramp area which covers most of the area in between the two runways. The entire CAMA was declared surplus in 1944. The Goffs airfield was not depicted at all on the 1944 Los Angeles Sectional Chart. Like many of the other former CAMA airfields, Goffs Army Air Field is not depicted at all (even as an abandoned airfield) on 2002 aeronautical charts.
The Camp Goffs Airfield site is located on the north side of an unnamed road, two miles northeast of the town of Goffs.
Source: Abandoned and Little Known Airfields
US Army Corps of Engineers History
LOCATION: Camp Goffs consists of a railhead, ammunition storage area, and campsite all located in an undeveloped region of San Bernardino County, California, approximately 35 miles west of Needles, California. The railhead area is roughly located in the southern half of T10N, R18E, Section 26 San Bernardino Meridian. An ammunition storage area is located three miles
south of Goffs, near the base of Goffs Butte in T9N, R18E, section 10. The exact location of Goffs Campsite cannot be determined, but it could lie on either side of the railroad, east of the former railhead area. Another area associated with the campsite is located about 1 mile east of Goffs, but its exact whereabouts could not be determined.

In January 1942, the success of the German Army in North Africa led the U.S. War Department to focus U.S. Army training in areas with a desert terrain and environment. On 5 February 1942, the Chief of Staff, General Headquarters, approved of a Desert Training center and designated Major General George S. Patton as the Center's Commanding General. The total maneuver area encompassed 12 million acres in Southern California and Western Arizona, making it the largest training area in the U.S. Close to one million troops trained in the area between 1942 and 1944.

Within the organization of the Desert Training Center, Camp Goffs is not listed as one of the divisional camps. However, according to local historian and land owner, Dennis Casebier, the entire 7th Infantry Division, consisting of 15,000 troops, trained at this location. In 1942, the War Department acquired, through five leases, approximately 426 acres for Goffs Campsite. The lease documents and maps of the site could not be located; however, they were numbered:
The boundaries of the site, the dates of these acquisitions, and the names of the lessors could not be determined. However, it is likely that leases were secured from the Department of the
Interior and a variety of private parties, including the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company. The site was established in 1942 in association with the activities of the Desert Training Center and-provided a railhead, ammunition storage area, and a campsite. The only map of the site indicates the location and boundaries of the railhead. The railhead diverted freight from the passing track of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway onto a leased area measuring 200 feet by 1,320 feet, and containing 990 feet of track. An additional 2,675 feet of track, which branched off.the leased railhead, were constructed by the government. This railhead area supported two sheds and two warehouses, each providing 3,840 square feet of floor space.

The ammunition storage area, located three miles to the south of Goffs, near the base of Goffs Butte, supported ten ammunition storage igloos.

Another area was devoted to the actual campsite. The exact location and boundaries of this campsite could not be determined, but photographic evidence, personal interviews, and investigation of the site indicates that the campsite was located on either side of the railroad, to the east from the railhead area. This campsite supported three administration buildings each encompassing 6,000 square feet. There is no record that any other temporary or permanent facilities were constructed on the site. There is no indication that firing ranges were located on the site but they could have been. Real estate information indicates that another building was placed one mile east of Goffs. However, there is no evidence which indicates how this building was used.

By March 1943, the North Africa Campaign was in its final stages and the primary mission of the DTC changed. By the middle of 1943, the troops who originally came for desert training maneuvers, were now deployed worldwide. Therefore, to reflect that change in mission, the name of the Center was changed to the California-Arizona Maneuver Area (CAMA). The CAMA was to serve as a Theater of Operations to train combat troops, service units and staffs under conditions similar to those which might be
encountered overseas. The CAMA was enlarged to include both a Communications Zone and Combat Zone, approximately 350 miles wide and 250 miles long.

Toward the end of 1943, the need for service units for overseas duty increased dramatically, leaving little or no support for the CAMA. Without service unit support, commanders made the decision in January of 1944 to suspend operation of the CAMA. The entire CAMA was declared surplus on 30 March 1944 and the Army formally announced that the CAMA was to be closed by 1 May 1944.

Camp Goffs was declared surplus on 16 March 1944. Consequently, the five leases were terminated between 2 June and 4 December 1944. Since none-of these leases could be found, it
is unknown whether or not reconstruction or restoration clauses pertain to any site.

Because the boundaries of the site are unknown, not all of the current property owners can be determined with certainty. However, current owners include Dennis Casebier, the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company, and the u.S. Department of the Interior - Bureau of Land Management. No structures that would be attributable to War Department activities are visible on the site, but several foundations, roadways and rock alignments remain.

The tracks and buildings associated with the railhead have all been removed. However, the rail alignment leading from the main tracks, can still be discerned. Railroad ties, spikes, and connecting hardware are still scattered along the former railhead route. From a distance, the former locations of the warehouses and sheds can also be identified.

Aerial photographs, taken during military use of the site area, indicate that the encampment area was located on either side of the main railroad tracks. A portion of the camp north of the tracks is on property now privately owned. During a site survey, owner pointed out to the Corps of Engineer represenatives a number of empty fuel drums, scattered ration cans, broken bottles, and rubbish still on his property. The landowner escorted Corps represenatives to adjacent public lands on either side of the railroad upon which were rock alignments and asphalt pads typically associated with the other Desert Training Center camps. The roadway network was barely visible and entirely impassable.
Source: Los Angeles District, US Army Corps of Engineers
Army Units Assigned to Camp Goffs

 Data Source


 Army of the United States Station List  1 June 1943
51st Evacuation Hospital (AGF)
83rd Ordnance Battalion (AGF)
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment
336th Ordnance Motor Transport Supply Company (AGF)
337th Ordnance Motor Transport Company ( (AGF)
530th OrdnanceHeavy Maintenance Company (Tank) (AGF)
3409th Ordnance Automotive Maintenance Company (AGF)
Company C, 207th Quartermaster Gasoline Supply Battalion (AGF)
Company F, 473rd Quartermaster Truck Regiment (AGF)
Company C, 537th Quartermaster Service Battalion (Colored) (AGF)
554th Quartermaster Railhead Company (AGF)
Detachment, 615th Ordnance Ammunition Company (AGF)
2 Platoons, Company A, 694th Quartermaster Laundry Battalion (AGF)
AAF - Army Air Forces units | AGF - Army Ground Forces | ASF - Army Service Forces units |WDC - Western Defense Command
Camp Goffs Army Air Field
Remains of Camp Goffs Army Air Field
Camp Goffs Army Air Field was an airfield operated under the Army Ground Forces (AGF), not the Army Air Forces. Its mission was to support AGF units training at the Desert Training Center/California Arizon Maneuver Area. It consisted of a single, 1,700 foot dirt runway.
The 107th Cavalry Regiment at Camp Goffs, 1942
Search our Site!
Search the Web Search California Military History Online
View My Stats
Visitors since 8 December 1998
Questions and comments concerning this site should be directed to the Webmaster
Updated 3 July 2017