Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Camp Rice
(Rice Divisional Camp)
Probably the least know of the several camps that made up the California Arizona Maneuver Area (CAMA). What is known is that the 5th Armored Division was housed there while training at CAMA and that there was a large quartermaster depot there. In 1944 Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, Director of the "Manhattan (Atomic Bomb) Project" visited the town Rice and examined the nearby Tularosa Basin as a possible site for the testing of the first atomic devices. Oppenheimer subsequently chose the White Sands area of New Mexico.
Source: World War II Sites in the United States: A Tour Guide and Directory by Richard E. Osbourne
Corps of Engineers History
The Army acquired 1,920 acres in 1942 by means unknown from the Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

The site, known as Camp Rice, was part of the Desert Training Center/California-Arizona Maneuver Area (DTC/CAMA), a complex of camps and training sites used by the Army during World War II. Very little information is available for Camp Rice. It was used as a camp site early in the development of DTC/CAMA, from approximately August to October 1942, by the 5th Armored Division. The site may have also been used for camp purposes briefly by the 6th Armored Division in early 1943. Aircraft technicians from nearby Rice Army Air Field may have also used it for a tent camp after the armored divisions departed. Camp Rice improvements currently evident consist of dirt roads oriented in a typical CAMA camp layout.
Although little information is available regarding Army facilities or activities at Camp Rice, its typical CAMA layout suggests motor pool, kitchen, and administrative areas were once present. There may also have been one or more ranges located directly to the south of the site as was common for CAMA camps.

The Army retransferred the 1,920-acre site to the BLM by means unknown. No documentation is available for disposal of this property which is expected to have occurred sometime between 1943 and the late 1940s, following the end of World War II. Currently the camp is an historical site owned by the BLM. There are no improvements on the property with the exception of dirt roads and rock-lined paths.
Source: Los Angeles District, US Army Corps of Engineers
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Updated 10 August 2017