Rice Divisional Camp
Desert Training Center
California - Arizona Maneuver Area
Camp Rice was established at this site in the spring of
1742. It was one of twelve such camps built in the
southwestern deserts to harden and train United States
troops for service on the battlefields of World War II.
The Desert Training Center was a simulated theatre of
operations that included portions of California,
Arizona and Nevada. The other camps were Young,
Coxcomb, Granite, Iron Mountain, Ibis, Clipper, Pilot
Knob, Laguna, Horn, Hyder and Bouse.
A total of 13 infantry divisons and 7 armored divisions
plus numerous smaller units were trained in this harsh
environment. The training center was in operation for
almost 2 years and was closed early in 1944 when the
last units were shipped overseas. During the brief
period of operation over one million American soldiers
were trained for combat.
The 5th Armored Division, nicknamed "the victory
division", began combat operations in France in July
1944 and quickly gained a reputation for combat
excellence, spearheading the Normandy breakout of
the 3rd Army.
It was the first division to reach the Seine River, first
to enter Belgium, first to reach and liberate
Luxembourg, first to fight on German soil, first to plunge
through the Siegfried line. V-E Day found the 5th Ad
on the Elbe River 45 miles from Berlin.
Campaigns; Normandy, Norther France, Rhieneland,
Ardennes-alsace, Central Europe.
The 5th Armored Division was the 1st unit trained at
This monument is dedicated to all the soldiers that
served here, and especially for those who gave their
lives in battle, ending the Holocaust & defeating the
armed forces of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and
Plaque placed by the Billy Holcomb charter of the
Ancient & Honorable order of E Clampus Vitus, the 5th
Armored Division Association, and in co-operation
with the Bureau of Land Management, Indio Resource
Area and the Vidal Mainenance Station, Caltrans.
May 5th, 1991