Monday, April 8, 2013

Camp Laguna Turned Boys Into Desert Men-- Part 1

From the Dec. 18, 2011, Yuma (Az) Sun by Chuck Wullenjohn.

Tens of thousands of US servicemen trained at the Camp Laguna US Army Desert Training Center in the harsh Arizona desert, now the US Army Yuma Proving Grounds.  These men lived in canvas tents and made forced marches to prepare for service in North Africa.

The mostly-drafted recruits arrived on the Southern Pacific Railroad and took a 25-mile to the camp.  For many, it was their first experience with a desert environment.

From the account of Howard Hardrath of Co. C, 313th Inf. Regt, 79th Division who arrived July 14, 1943 and departed December 5th.  He reported they were acclimated the first ten days, rarely let out of their tents and then just for night marches.

"Even in the evening it was hot.  Later, they had both night and day forced marches "(and believe me, forced marches are no joy). 

One time, his unit was out of camp for a full month during a maneuver during which they underwent "water training-- one quart of water per day."  He said they really suffered from that.

Rough Training in the Desert.  --GreGen

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