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The 11th, 10th, and the 28th Cavalry, Camp Seeley, Camp Morena and Camp Lockett

The Cavalry at Camp Lockett

By Meredith Vezina

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Defending the Border

Extracted from The Journal of San Diego History, Winter-Spring 1993, Volume 39, Number 1-2

(Source: The Journal of San Diego History, Winter Spring, 1993)

11th Cavalry: Sid Stark with his horse, El Campo, Camp Lockett 1942. Image Source: DLIFLC & POM Archives

In the summer of 1940, the United States began preparations for war, President Franklin D. Roosevelt demonstrated America’s increasing concern over world events by announcing that the United States would extend military aid to all countries resisting aggression, and, simultaneously, would make itself strong enough to meet any threat to its own security. As part of the nation’s overall defense plans, the Army was assigned the task of safeguarding the continental United States against invasion. Preparations focused on protecting the country against naval bombardment, air raids, and an assault by ground forces. The Army also coordinated civil defense plans, and guarded vital non-military installations – public works and utilities – whose continued operation was essential to the war effort.

Identifying San Diego as particularly important because of its strategic location, numerous military installations, and rapidly expanding war-related industries, the Army decided to deploy the cavalry along the United States-Mexico border. The troops were stationed at Camp Lockett in Campo, sixty miles southeast of San Diego. Completed in December 1941, Lockett’s construction transformed this small tranquil border town into a bustling military post. There, first white and later black soldiers guarded the region’s communications and transportation links that were vital to San Diego and also prepared to stop an invasion that military strategists feared might come from Mexico.

The black soldiers faced an added dimension to their service in San Diego’s backcountry – the harsh reality of institutional segregation. The history of Camp Lockett in Campo, the last cavalry base built in the United States, encompasses two stories – the defense of the border and how the Army struggled internally with the issue of race relations.

From 1941 to 1944, the troops at Lockett patrolled the border from the Otay Lakes area, north and east of Chula Vista, to El Centro in the Imperial Valley. They also protected San Diego’s water supplies, and provided security for the railroad that served as the city’s only direct link to the manufacturing centers in the eastern part of the country.

Beginning in 1941, until it was reassigned to North Africa in June of 1942, the 11th Cavalry regiment performed these tasks. The 11th was almost immediately replaced at Lockett by the 4th Cavalry Brigade, made up of two regiments of African-American soldiers – the 10th and the 28th. The deployment of thousands of black soldiers, at a time when racial intolerance was the rule rather than the exception, presented numerous logistical and social problems for the Army. At the height of the camp’s activation, approximately 3,500 horse soldiers and hundreds of civilian support personnel occupied Lockett. The camp would eventually expand to more than 500 buildings and cover nearly 7,000 acres.

Several factors influenced the Army’s decision to construct a military facility in Campo. It was the port of entry from Mexico for the San Diego-Arizona Eastern Railroad, which served as the only direct east west line connecting San Diego with the rest of the country. The possibilities of sabotage necessitated the stationing of troops at various tunnels and trestles along the border. In addition, Campo was near Morena and Barrett dams, at that time providing essential supplies of drinking water for San Diego’s growing population. The troops also provide security for electric transformers and relay stations. And probably the key reason was Campo’s proximity to the international border – approximately one mile. In the event of an enemy invasion through Mexico, the cavalry could act as a first line of defense until reinforcements were brought in. The Army argued that if the country was invaded by Japan, the enemy might land an invasion force in Baja California, move north and attack the United States through the interior.

There can be little doubt that Camp Lockett was strategically important to the nation’s overall defense plans. In addition, the horse soldiers stationed there played a significant role in protecting resources vital to San Diego’s war effort.

In the midsummer of 1940, the Army dispatched Lt. Gen. John L. DeWitt to Campo with orders to conduct preliminary survey and report on the feasibility of locating a military facility in the area. As the commanding officer of the 9th Corps Area Headquarters in San Francisco, the general was responsible for the camp’s construction.

The Army was interested initially in 702 acres of land in Campo. Of this, Ellsworth Statler – heir to the Statler Hilton Hotels – owned about 510 acres. Most of the remaining property was located on a ranch owned and operated by local residents F. J. and Isabell Ferguson. At that time, Statler was the principal property holder in Campo, controlling nearly 1,600 acres including most of the town. Statler’s buildings played an essential role in the camp’s early development because the structures were used to house employees of the architect-engineer and the constructing quartermaster. The workers took over the entire downtown area, which consisted of a two-story house, probably the old mansion built by the early pioneer Gaskill Brothers, and “four cottages and an old hotel.” Several additional buildings were later constructed in the area. Water became an important issue in the early planning stages of the camp. To meets its needs, the Army petitioned the San Diego City Council for permission to utilize Morena Reservoir located approximately six miles northwest of Campo. On 5 October 1940, the city council approved the application on the condition that the “expense of installing and operating the necessary pipeline, meter, pumps, and treatment facilities shall be borne by the government which is to pay the same rate for the water as do other agencies.

The Army and the city were both pleased with the agreement. Upon completion of the pipeline between Morena and Campo, the military’s water problems would be solved, and the city would benefit because the Army would provide “valuable protection” to the reservoir.

On 11 October 1940, the Army announced that the men and officers of the 11th United States Cavalry stationed at the Presidio at Monterey, California would be assigned to new camps at Seeley, California, in the Imperial Valley and at Lake Morena five miles northwest of Campo. Both camps were intended as temporary facilities until the construction of Camp Lockett was completed.

The 11th Cavalry was first organized at Fort Myer, Virginia on 11 March 1901 The regiment’s early service record includes campaigns in the Philippines, Cuba, and – in response to Poncho Villa’s raid on Columbus, New Mexico in March of 1916 – the 11th joined General Pershing’s Punitive Expedition into Mexico. On 19 July 1919, the regiment moved to the Presidio of Monterey, California.

On 15 November 1940, 450 officers and men of the 11th Cavalry, accompanied by 730 horses, began the move from Monterey to Seeley and Morena. All the troops traveled by train with part of the regiment disembarking at the Seeley station with the remainder of the troops getting off at the depot in Campo.

By the end of November, the temporary tent camps had taken form. According to eyewitness account, the camps resembled a “sea of tents with a orderly tent at the end of each two rows. Constructed on wooden platforms, the sides of the tents could be rolled up to allow for better air circulation. Six men were assigned to each tent.”

On 26 November 1940, the Los Angeles Times printed a story about the camp at Morena, and the Army’s decision to use cavalry to protect the border and provide security for San Diego’s reservoirs. “Mechanized Army Still Relies On Horses: Cavalry Squadron Will Be Brought To Full Strength for Patrol of Dams,” the paper announced in both headlines. On the same day a feature story in the Tribune-Sun said that “eastern San Diego county may well be a battle ground for a full scale invasion of the United States should the western hemisphere be violated via Mexico.

The decision to deploy horse soldiers instead of mechanized units along the border was made – in part – because of the extremely rugged terrain. Soldiers on horseback could patrol the hills and gorges, places inaccessible even to jeeps. As the newspaper put it, “Along the Mexican border and in the area surrounding the dams impounding San Diego county water supply system, the cavalry – the horse cavalry – is the only Army unit able to function effectively in a period of national emergency.”

Initially, the camp at Morena consisted of the 11th Cavalry’s Second Squadron, a complement of approximately 250 soldiers. But with the possibility of war, the squadron was bolstered with the addition of a third troop.

While at Morena, the squadron quickly assumed its duties. On horseback or – in some cases – with lightly armored jeeps, the troops scouted the area along the Mexican border. Reconnaissance missions were also mounted, primarily to determine the possible routes the enemy might use through canyons and mountain passes.

For example, on 26 August 1941, 1st.Lt. James D. Green led a reconnaissance mission to the Otay Lakes area near Dulzura. In his report dated 12 September 1941 Green wrote:

“The defense of this locality is complicated by gently rolling hills to the west which afford easy travel for mechanized forces of Infantry or Cavalry. The defense must be strong and reinforced by .50 caliber machine guns for anti-tank protection as well as by motor and heavy machine guns.

Green also recommended that in the event of an enemy attack, the bridge just north of Highway 94 and Otay Lake Road be destroyed and that American troops take up position on the south side of the lake.

11th Cavalry: 11th Cavalry: Sid Stark, hayshed in the background, El Campo, (Camp Lockett) 1942. Image Source: DLIFLC & POM Archives

The squadron stationed at Seeley performed similar duties along the border. Due to the intense desert heat throughout most of the year, the men operated on a “tropical schedule,” which meant that often the missions were carried out in the very early morning beginning at 4:00 A.M. According to Col. Harold M. Rayner, the 11th’s commanding officer, “The afternoons were devoted to swimming instruction, parades, and the well known border siestas.

In addition to reconnaissance missions, war games – at least on paper – were played against Mexican troops. Various scenarios were envisioned in which the 11th was charged with defending the border. For example, in one conflict, tow thousand Mexican troops crossed into the United States and took up positions along Highway 80 between Ocotillo and El Centro. The 11th had to stop the enemy from advancing any further north.

By far, the biggest training operation occurred on 21 July at 6:00 P.M., when the 11th Cavalry set out on a march from Seeley to Live Oak Springs, approximately ten miles east of Campo. Describing the 11th’s departure from Seeley, Capt. H. J. Rosenberg noted:

“The evening sun, still merciless at 6:00 P.M., shone on the burnished surfaces of six scout cars bristling with machine guns, on 684 mounted troopers with pistols and rifles, on thirty officers, on three motorcycles armed with sub-machine guns, on pack horses bearing machine guns, mortars and special weapons, on seventeen trucks, a semi-trailer truck, a sedan, a pick-up, two side cars, and two reconnaissance cars.

Known as the Live Oak Spring maneuver, the march through the desert and into the mountains was led by Col. Rayner. After reaching Mountain Springs, the regiment made its way through Devils Canyon. According to Rosenberg, the path was so narrow that the “men leading packhorses with a short halter shanks had to lean backwards in their saddles. “By noon, the regiment reached Jacumba where it spent a day and a half resting for the final assault on Live Oak Springs.

By the time the troops arrived at their destination, advance parties had already established “picket lines and kitchen posts.” A mountain stream had been diverted by a serious of dams into a water trough for horses.

Although the squadron’s 40-mile trek from Seeley to Live Oak Springs brought the horses soldiers less than twenty miles from Campo. They would have to return to their desert camp because Lockett was far from completion. In fact, a labor dispute brought construction in a grinding halt.

Because of San Diego’s booming defense industry, nearly all-skilled civilian workers at Lockett were imported from Los Angeles, in addition, the lack of adequate housing in Campo forced contractors to pay higher wages. Nevertheless, the government was willing to incur the higher cost because it considered Lockett vital; “emergency construction” was the way official put it.

Although the Army may have considered the project important, the fact that the United States was not yet at war meant that civilian workers could legally strike. On 23 July 1941, the San Diego Building and Trade Council argued that the men working in Campo were entitled to “free room and board in addition to their daily or hourly wages.” Over the next three weeks, threats were made to “interfere with the progress and the construction of the Cantonment and Sewage Disposal Plant.

Finally, on 18 August 1941, the workers at Campo went on strike against the George A. Fuller Company, the project’s general contractor. According to J. D. Kaufman, the company’s general superintendent, he was surprised by the strike because union and company officials were still in negotiations, and the camp was already about 75 percent complete. But at 7:00 A.M. picket lines went up around the construction site, and county deputy sheriffs were called in to maintain order. But the strike was short-lived because on the following day the men returned to work and the dispute was sent to a “board of review” for arbitration.

Obligated to complete the camp’s construction by 1 December 1941, the Fuller Company – in an attempt to expedite the project - erected its own saw mill and lumber yard near the railroad tracks where materials were precut and delivered by trucks to various sites.

Some time in September or early October of 1941, the Second Squadron of the 11th Cavalry stationed at Morena was moved into its new home at Camp Lockett in Campo. Although the Campo facility was still under construction, it can reasonably be assumed that the barracks and mess halls were ready for occupation. Plans called for the construction of 132 buildings to accommodate 1,568 men and 1,668 horses.

Over the next eight to ten weeks, construction continued at an intense pace. Administration buildings, stables, and warehouses were routinely completed. The earlier decision to utilize the existing civilian structures in Campo was drastically altered when it became obvious that the buildings were not suitable for their intended use. The Army, therefore, authorized additional expenditures for a new post exchange and recreation building. Sometime in early December, the construction of Camp Lockett was completed at a cost of 1,937,619.98 dollars.

According to an 11th Cavalry soldier still stationed at Seeley, December 7th was a “sunny day, and the usual number of officers and enlisted men were on 1-day passes to El Centro and San Diego.” The rest of the troops were busy packing for the move to Lockett when at 12:37 P.M. the camp received a radio message about Pearl Harbor from the 11th Naval District in San Diego.

Eeeeeeeeeooooooow, went the fire sirens at El Centro, signaling all our men to report back to camp. So did the highway patrols. In less time than it takes to say “Japs over Honolulu” the camp was functioning on a wartime basis. The rest of Sunday passed swiftly. At the request of railroad officials, troops were dispatched to guard strategically important tunnels and bridges. The guards along the Mexican border were “doubted and redoubled.

Rumors about an impending invasion were circulating throughout the camp. One report said that “a certain coastal section of Mexico not too far from Seeley was believed to be the center of Japanese activity. In another report, “Hundreds of Japanese and Axis bombers, long rumored to be in Mexico, had received word to soar from Sonora to San Francisco, dropping their Blitzkriegettes as they flew, and that various Pacific coast cities had already received their share of gas bombings.

Throughout the day the squadron at Seeley coordinated defense plans with the troops at Lockett. “Map containing areas that the cavalry was defending according to Defense Plan Number 0 were rushed back from Camp Lockett. Other maps were quickly made on improvised drafting tables and rushed to other army headquarters.

The tension mounted throughout the day. Radio reports “whipped the troops into a fine frenzy of sabotage suspicions.” The guards at the border were “redoubled,” and San Diego railroad officials asked for “protection of certain strategically located tunnels, bridges and gorges.” By the end of the day “almost every important dam, Highway Bridge, and railroad bridge” had guards.

Less than two days later and in keeping with their pre-war schedule the 11th Cavalry, led by Lt. Col. Frederick Herr, who had replaced Colonel Rayner as commander, left Seeley for their new home in Campo on 9 December at 11:05 A.M. The ride out of the desert and into the mountains was a wet one particularly during the second night. “It came down in sheets, oversize, double bed sheets,” one soldier recalled. “Horses neighed in terror and drenched men talked about taking off their boots and swimming out of the flooded valley.

On 10 December at 10:30 P.M., the first column of soldiers reached the gates of Lockett. “The camp was in a blackout. Wet, frightened horses were slowly, inch by inch led into strange dark stables, tied, unbridled, unsaddled and rubbed down.” After spending sixteen hours in the saddle that day and completing a three-day march in two, the men looked forward to spending their first night at Lockett in “real beds under a real roof,” comforts unknown since they had left the Presidio of Monterey.

War brought an abrupt tightening of security procedures throughout the camp, a situation that had an immediate effect on Ben Wyly. As track supervisor for the San Diego-Arizona Railroad, Wyly lived in a small house near the Campo Depot within the borders of Camp Lockett. He was in charge of maintaining the line between Campo and El Centro. Using a small-motorized car called a speeder, Wyly checked the track every day for vandalism or storm damage.

For Wyle, the war created new challenges. “Before the war, four trains, two freight and two passenger, passed by each day. But when the war started, there were five and six troop trains every day. There were extra freight trains too. All the equipment was covered, but you could tell they were guns and boats headed for San Diego, “ said Wyly.

When Wyly got the news about the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was fifteen miles east of Campo in Hipass hunting quail and visiting his parents. “After I got back to Lockett, the security was so tight they wouldn’t let me in. I got mad and told the guards that I lived inside and needed to call my boss in San Diego for instruction. After a couple of hours Col. Cheney (the camp’s commanding officer) called the guards and told them to let me in. After that, they gave me a picture and a plastic holder for identification.”

Throughout the war, Wyly ferried soldiers by rail to a guard post at tunnel No. 4. One end of the tunnel was in Mexico, and the other was in the United States. Mexican troops guarded their side, and American soldiers protected their territory. “Every day at 3:20 P.M., I brought six men down and six men back from tunnel No. 4.

Because of the dramatic increase in the number of trains during the war, Wyly was given permission to employ soldiers as track laborers. But according to Wyly, the soldiers were more trouble than they were worth.

“The men worked mostly weekends when they were off duty. They got paid straight time on Saturday and time and half on Sundays. I had to pay everyone who showed up. On Saturdays there might be two or three men, but on Sundays there were more than fifty. They weren’t any good at laying track, so I’d try to hide from them by reporting the wrong place to meet me at. If they could find me through, I’d have to pay them.

As it became apparent in the days following Pearl Harbor that a Japanese invasion was not imminent, security on the West Coast relaxed. By the third week in December, as the strength and location of Japanese forces became known, fears of an attack subsided. Although troops continued to regularly patrol and guard the dams, bridges, and power transformers, life at Lockett quickly became more routine, less intense than those first few days of war.

Training exercises and special events – for example, riding and shooting competitions between troops – were common. Soldiers received day and weekend passes for bus trips to San Diego and Los Angeles. And, as at any large Army post, prostitution flourished.

The Army had a negative view of prostitution, stemming not from moral grounds but rather from medical concerns. The spread of venereal disease in the military was a national problem. So much so, that in March of 1941, the Committee on Military Affairs in the House of the Representatives opened hearings on proposed legislation to prohibit prostitution within a reasonable distance of military establishments.

At a Washington D.C. press conference in October, the Public Health Service admitted, “Some localities were not able to cope with the problem,” and that if the government had its way concerning prostitution around military posts, it would: “examine all prostitutes; place them in a big institution with a big wall around it; exam all customers, and give them prophylactics.”

From the onset Lockett’s construction, prostitution was evident. There was at least one house approximately half a mile east of the camp servicing the soldiers and, perhaps some of the local residents. There were also several small one-room shacks or cribs in the vicinity. Day and night, an almost steady stream of soldiers could be seen walking along the railroad tracks enroute to the well-known establishments.

11th Cavalry: Sid Stark at “F” Troop stables on “Scotty”, El Campo, (Camp Lockett) 1942. Image Source: DLIFLC & POM Archives

After only seven months at Camp Lockett, the 11th Cavalry was transferred to Fort Benning, George, a decision that reflected the Army’s need for more motorized and armored units. According to instructions received from headquarters, Southern California Section, Western Defense Command at Pasadena, California, on 24 June 1942, the 11th Cavalry would be relieved of its duties at Lockett by the 4th Cavalry Brigade.

Just prior to the 11th Cavalry’s departure, Brig. Gen. Thoburn K. Brown and an advance party of the 4th Cavalry Brigade arrived at Camp Lockett. In effect, the 4th Cavalry Brigade was to act as the new base unit for the Headquarters Southern Land Frontier Sector (SLFS), which moved into Lockett by convoy from Phoenix, Arizona, on 30 June 1942. Sometime in early July, the SLFS was followed by its 4th Cavalry Brigade with the 10th Cavalry regiment. Moved incrementally aboard trains, they were transferred to Camp Lockett from Camp Funston, Fort Riley, Kansas.

The 10th Cavalry regiment was organized as an all-black unit in 1866. In 1861, at the beginning of the American Civil War, free “Negroes” and escaped slaves flocked to enlist in the Union Army. They were summarily rejected; in many ways, northern white people were as prejudiced as their southern counterparts. By 1863, however, black soldiers were serving in the Union Army, not because of any change of attitude towards blacks but rather from the government’s realization that since many more men were going to died in battle, they might as well be “Negro.” Consequently, black soldiers were organized in segregated units.

By the war’s end, 180,000 black men served in the Union Army – 33,380 were killed. As part of an Army experiment, two regiments of black soldiers, the 9th and 10th Cavalries, were organized in 1866. Because black soldiers were prohibited from rising beyond the rank of sergeant, the regiments were led by white officers. For more than two decades, the 10th was employed to fight the Indians in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. The were known as Buffalo Soldiers, a name bestowed on them by their Indian adversaries who found similarities between the troopers hair and buffalo fur. The 10th would later play a role in several other campaigns. In 1898, during the Spanish-American War, the 10th fought alongside the First United States Volunteer Cavalry as it charged up Kettle Hill under the leadership of Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt. In 1916, the Buffalo Soldiers crossed the border into Mexico as part of the Mexican Punitive Expedition under Gen. John Pershing. During World War I the 10th Cavalry, in response to gunfire, again crossed the border and seized territory around Nogales.

Following World War I, the 10th Cavalry spent the next twelve years performing routine training and garrison duty along the Arizona border. From 1931 to 1941, the regiment was detailed to various posts in Kansas, Virginia, and New York. In 1941, the unit reassembled at For Leavenworth, Kansas. The following year, under command of Col. Waldemar A. Flack, the 10th Cavalry was dispatched to Camp Lockett.

Finding suitable camps for the stationing of black troops was a problem for the War Department. In stationing of black troops, the army had to consider the number of white troops at the facility, the proximity of civilian centers capable of providing “separate” facilities for troopers with passes, and the attitude of the nearby civilian community to the presence of black soldiers.

Many communities strongly objected to the stationing of black troops. In 1942, the War Department received numerous complaints from across the country. The people of Mississippi requested that “Negro officers” be stationed outside the state. Rapid City, South Dakota, was concerned that the “town could not offer the proper entertainment facilities for negro troops.” Upon learning that an all white unit of a coastal artillery station at nearby Fort Mason was being shipped overseas and replaced with an all black unit, the citizens of Morehead City, North Carolina, asked their congressional representative to intercede. In the spring of 1942, a meeting of southern governors convened at Hot Springs, Arkansas. They offered the Army two recommendations:

“That no negro military police be used around southern airports or anywhere else that might make it necessary for them to direct or control white soldiers and that southern negros be kept south and northern negros be kept north.”

When the 2nd Cavalry Division – of which the 9th and 10th Cavalries (4th Cavalry Brigade) were part of – became all black, the Army decided to break up the brigade by sending the 9th Cavalry to Fort Clark, Texas and the 10th Cavalry to Lockett. As a result both camps had to be significantly expanded to accommodate the troops and horses.

Since San Diego was the closest urban center to Campo, Lockett offered obvious advantages. With the arrival of both the Southern Land Frontier Sector and the 4th Cavalry Brigade, expansion of Lockett’s facilities was essential. Beginning in 1941 with the camp’s construction, the Army continued to acquire more property beyond the 702 acres initially procured. Utilized primarily for staging and maneuvering activities, the Army acquired 2,358 acres of public land from the Department of the Interior and 4,047 acres from private landowners. In total, the military controlled over 7,107 acres of land in Campo Valley. The facility extended five miles from east and west and nearly miles north and south.

At Lockett, the 10th Cavalry performed the same duties as their predecessors – patrol the border, guarding the dams, and providing security for the trains. In addition, in late December of 1942, the 10th Cavalry participated in war games against the 140th Infantry. Headquartered during the war in San Diego, the infantry soldiers maneuvered against the cavalry in the mountains at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. According to J. Hal Gambrell, who was a white officer with the 10th, the infantry was no match for the horse soldiers.

“The cavalry worked around the hills keeping out of sight and spotted some infantrymen in an open field. The cavalry worked its way down through the forest, spread out in a line, drew pistols and charged. Needless to say a rout ensued with several hundred horses bearing down on the infantry and all pandemonium broke loose. The cavalry camped for the night and the following morning a force march of 44 miles back to Camp Lockett.”

Back in the fall of 1942, the Army decided to bring the 4th Brigade to full wartime strength by locating a second black regiment, the 28th Cavalry, at Lockett. In response, construction crews were called on again to build new roads and install utilities west of the original camp on leased property owned by the Leach and Ortega families. The lease agreement between the Army and local residents, initially signed on 15 October 1942, permitted the government to renew the contact every year until six months following the end of the war.

To accommodate the increase of personnel stationed at Lockett, the Army had new barracks, warehouses, mess halls, and stables quickly erected. Many of the same contractors involved in the initial phases of construction performed the work. They also built a new stockade in anticipation of the expected increase in disciplinary problems, a direct correlation to the greater number of troops.

To further consolidate its control over Camp Lockett, the Army persuaded the San Diego County Board of Supervisors to relinquish control of County Road 767, which connected Highway 94 with the Mexican border.

According to the newspaper, the county agreed to vacate the road because ”the surrounding property has been purchased by the government.” Of particular interest, the Army made public its long-range intention “that Camp Lockett will be maintained as a permanent post after victory.”

Even though the Army acquired control of the road, William H. Woolman, Deputy Collector of Customs, announced that the customs house in Campo would continue to operate. Woolman declared “it is possible that a new vehicular traffic route will have to be opened from the customs station to Jacumba, but this necessarily will be a post-war project.” For the time being, the road connecting Campo to Mexico was permanently closed. Approximately twelve miles west of Campo, Tecate was now the closest border crossing.

In order to bring the 4th Brigade to full strength, the 28th Cavalry was activated at Camp Lockett on 25 February 1943. Under the command of Col. Edwin M. Burnett, 28th Cavalry.

“Secured its manpower primarily from Eastern and Midwestern reception centers. 300 men came from the 2nd Service Command: New Jersey, Delaware, and New York. 170 men were received from the 3rd Service Command: Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. 600 men were received from the 5th Service Command: Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, and Kentucky. 327 men were received from the 6th Service Command: Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The colonel greeted his new troops on 26 March 1943, and their basic training started on the 29th of March.”

To provide the troops with mounts, Colonel Burnett personally picked 369 horses from Fort Bliss, Texas. An additional 1,080 horse came from the Remount Station at Fort Robinson, Nebraska.

The cadre for the new regiment came from the 10th Cavalry. Presumably, the more experienced and better-trained men who came over from the 10th would be able to help the new recruits coming in from the induction centers.

But cadres for new African-American units often created problems because there were not enough well trained black soldiers to meet the Army’s needs. Before the country began mobilizing for the war, only four regular all black regiments – two cavalry and two infantry – existed. Despite the fact that the regular units were supposed to be comprised of older well-disciplined troops, these regiments were in need of training themselves. Although the 10th Cavalry was classified as a combat regiment, the soldiers in the unit were actually used as service troops at various posts throughout the country. Consequently, the regiment was not well trained and ill-equipped to give up its best men.

In turn the newly formed units often complained that the cadres could not meet their needs because there were too few, and they were not as well trained as could be expected. As a result, the “life-blood” of the old regiments was being drained, and both the new and the old units received inadequate training.

This situation was exacerbated at Lockett because there was a break down in the chain of command, and racism appears to be at the root of the problem. According to Charles Barrett, who was a white officer with the 28th Cavalry, there were significant problems with training the new regiment at Lockett. “There were some black agitators, and they were turning the privates against the 10th’s blacks noncommissioned officers.” Barrett said that the agitators were telling the new recruits not to listen to the black sergeants, “Col. Burnett wasn’t doing anything about it, he wasn’t standing behind the cadre.” Barrett said the Colonel undermined the cadre from the 10th because “Burnett” didn’t care if the new recruits listened to the black cadre as long as they were following orders from the white officers.

The problem between the cadre and the enlisted men in the 28th may have stemmed – in part – from the fact that most of the new recruits who had made it through high school were better educated than many of the old-timers who had little formal education. According to David Allen who served with the 10th Cavalry and – until recently – was the historian for the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry Association, problems in command also occurred because some white officers resented the fact that they were attached to black units. “They felt that being in a black regiment might hamper their careers,” said Allen.

Although there were only about 300 white soldiers stationed at Lockett compared to approximately 3,500 black troops, segregation was strictly enforced, particularly when it came to leisure activities. Although blacks and whites went to the same movie house on the base, there was separate seating. At the post hospital, white soldiers – regardless of their rank – were assigned to private rooms separated from the black troops. There was a hospitality house on the base for visiting girlfriends or wives, but it was for “whites only.”

Some of the black women who visited the troops stayed on the nearby Campo Indian Reservation while others stayed in an improvised house just off base. According to Fred Jones, who was a corporal with the 28th Cavalry, “the house was built by black soldiers and made of discarded bulldozer crates. We tied them together, and the wives wallpapered the inside and put up curtains.

Off the base, the same rules of behavior applied. “We always hung out in the negro section of San Diego. We never thought about going anywhere else in the city. The U.S.O. was off limits to us,” said Jones who also remembered how difficult transportation was to come by. “We tried to hitch a ride at the gate, and sometimes an Army truck would take us to town.” But coming back to the base was a bigger problem for the black soldiers because “We weren’t allowed in the same train car as the whites, so we’d congregate at the depot in San Diego until there were enough of us, and they’d (railroad officials) put a separate car on the end of the train for us.”

Jones said that the men seldom, if ever, attempted to frequent bars or restaurants in the Campo area. “You just knew not to go into places you weren’t welcome. Consequently, the whites living in the small towns that dot the backcountry had very little contact with the black soldiers. In one rare documented case, a group of black soldiers were refused service at a restaurant in Jacumba approximately thirty miles east of Lockett. According to Liz Svensson, and Alpine resident who witnessed the event:

“I was driving on Old Highway 80 from El Centro to San Diego. I stopped in Jacumba at a small restaurant for a cup of coffee. While I was there a group of men (black soldiers) came in for coffee, and they were refused service because of their color. Their sergeant told the man behind the counter who these men were, and where they were stationed (Camp Lockett). He asked him to serve them. The answer was that the coffee would be a dollar 1.50 each, and he (counter man) would break the cups when they had finished.”

The 28th Cavalry had its first dismounted regimental retreat parade on 21 May 1943. With the Drum and Bugle Corps providing the field music, Col. Edward J. Drinkert, executive officer of the 28th, reviewed the troops. During basic training, a regiment field day was organized on 11 June 1943. The program consisted of ten events, including baseball, volleyball, track events, platoon drills, and obstacle races. The victor was Weapons Troop, which scored forty-three points out of a possible hundred. Second was Troop C with thirty-five.

The 28th Cavalry finished basic training at Lockett on 26 June 1943. After passing an inspection by a team from the 4th Cavalry Brigade, the regiment was allowed to proceed with the 10th Cavalry. On Saturday, 24 July 1943, Brigadier Gen. Brown called for a full mounted review of the troops. This was the first mounted review for the 28th Cavalry. It was also the first time that the brigade had acted as a single unit. Reportedly, the review was a success.

Although the troops received extensive training in the art of soldiering, they were not prepared for fighting fires, a job they were often called upon to perform. According to Col William L. Hastie, who was stationed with the 10th Cavalry at Lockett as a second lieutenant, “God knows most of us didn’t love fighting fires, but we often found ourselves doing it on weekends when we had other things we would rather do.

In September and October of 1943, four major fires ravaged 25,100 acres of the backcountry. On 9 September, the Indian Creek Fire destroyed 4,100 acres. On 22 September, two fires erupted; the Potrero fire burned 4,000 acres, the Viejas fire 1,000 acres. The biggest and most devastating fire began on 2 October. Known as the Barrett-Cottonwood-Morena Fire, it destroyed 16,000 acres over a five-day period.

Troops from Lockett were called on to fight the fire. In addition, marines from a small training facility in Pine Valley were trucked in. While fighting the blaze in Hauser Canyon several miles northwest of Campo, five of the marines burned to death when they were overtaken by the fast-moving fire. The following day on 3 October, Cpl. Lawrence Carter was also killed by the fire in Hauser Canyon. According to Hastie, Carter became separated from the main body of soldiers fighting the fire. When the corporal found himself surrounded by the fire, he attempted to escape by running up a hill. He was unable to outrun the blaze.

In January of 1944, the 10th Cavalry’s commanding officer, Colonel Falck, was replaced by Colonel Henry C. Hine Jr. Before he left Lockett, Colonel Falck issued a memorandum to: “All units, 10th Cavalry.” The one page letter, “published for the information of all ranks,” was an attempt by the colonel to reassure his men. In his remarks, the colonel expressed disappointment that the regiment would probably never be called on to fight as a single unit. He told the troops that he hoped that the regiment would be given an opportunity to “play an effective part before the war is over.” But added that “The object and destiny of this unit is still doubtful.” Nevertheless he exhorted the troops to continue to take pride in their work. “This is your Regiment and it’s a good one.”

In 1943 the deployment of American-African troops to overseas posts became an acute problem for the Army. Most theater commanders refused to take black troops, although in some area there were clear shortages of combat troops. As a result, the percentage of black soldiers overseas was “considerably less than proportionate to their over-all strength in the Army.

The differences in the rate of deployment of black and white troops in overseas operations produced outrage in the “negro” press. The Crisis, a black journal, argued that “There has been considerable talk that our men were not being trained to fight.” It believed that the Army was only going through the motions, and that when the time came, black units would never be used in combat.

Regarding the two black regiments at Lockett, the press was right because the Army decided to convert the 2nd Cavalry Division, of which the 4th Cavalry Brigade was a part, into service units. This decision came in spite of the fact that the Army considered the division “disciplined and enthusiastic” – combat ready. Jones remembered the disappointment many of the men experienced. “When we left Lockett, we thought that we were being shipped overseas to fight. None of the men – maybe with the exception of the older troopers – thought we would be put into service units.

With the war confined to the European and the Pacific theaters, the Southern Land Frontier Sector had already been deactivated at Lockett. On 10 February 1944, the 28th Cavalry departed Lockett aboard three trains headed for Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia.

The following day, the 10th Cavalry left Lockett. By March, both units were in Algeria.

When they broke up the regiment some of the men were in tears, said Jones. According to Barrett, “The Army was not being honest with these men, and the decision was just poor judgment on their Army’s part. They should have found a way to integrate them from the very beginning.

Officially, the Army denied that its decision to break up the regiments was racially motivated. But according to Judge William H. Hastie, appointed by the Secretary of War as a liaison between black civilians and the military. “The truth of the matter is that these original combat units have been the problem children of the Army for more than two years, not because they were incompetent, but because no one wanted them.

Reflecting on his final days at Lockett, Lt. James H. Willis expressed what many of the cavalrymen must have felt, regardless of their race or rank: “In preparation for the move, the horses were turned over to caretakers and we lost our identities as cavalrymen. Perhaps more important was the fact that the era of the horse soldier had comes to an end.

With the cavalry gone, the Army placed Lockett into caretaker status, and a small complement of soldiers maintained the facility. Sometime in April 1944, the Army decided to redesign Lockett into a Class I facility for eventual use as an army convalescent hospital, the first such Army Services Forces facility in the United States. The Army announced the establishment of the hospital on 1 August 1944. On 5 August, the facility was named Mitchell Convalescent Hospital in honor of Silas Weir Mitchell, an Army surgeon during the Civil War. The hospital operated until 1946 when the Army closed the facility and returned the property to civilian use.

Camp Lockett is undoubtedly an important and interesting chapter of San Diego’s history for several reasons. Most obvious is the fact that – throughout the war – the cavalry performed its important missions, patrolling the Southern California border and protecting resources vital to San Diego’s war effort. During the months before the United States entered the war, the soldiers scouted the mountains and made defensive plans in the event of a full-scale enemy invasion coming through Mexico. And in those first tense days after Pearl Harbor, the cavalry made sure that the trains and trucks kept moving, the electric relay stations remained operable, and the city’s fresh water supplies continued flowing. The history of Camp Lockett is also an important addition to San Diego’s African-American heritage. Like their white counterparts, the black horse soldiers did what was asked of them. But unlike the white soldiers, they were forced to endure numerous obstacles to serving their country. Even so, they performed with distinction. Ironically, coming at a time when Americans were fighting on two fronts to combat racist ideologies, the events at Camp Lockett clearly demonstrate the inherent bigotry with in our own military during World War II – no doubt a microcosm of civilian life.

Yet perhaps Camp Lockett’s most enduring legacy is the fact that it was the last horse cavalry base built in the United States, and that the events played out there between 1941 to 1944 represent the end of a long and distinguished era in American history. Machines had taken over. It was time for the horse soldier to dismount, and the final chapter was played out in San Diego’s own backyard.


Greg Westen brought this archive video to my attention. Greg’s father, W.C. WESTEN M.D. was second in command of the 9th CAVALRY MEDICAL DEPARTMENT; circa 1942-1943. He was stationed at Fort Clark in Brackettville, Texas.

The 9th, 10th and the 28th black cavalry regiments made up the 4th Cav Brigade. In the clip, strangely they still wear the 2nd Cavalry Division patch according to Sam Mathew Cox.

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Archive footage 10th and 28th Black Cavalry Regiment at Camp Lockett

Note: Greg, the video footage of Camp Lockett that you put on the defending the border page says it is from 1941, it was made in April and May of 1943. Rich had copies of the original film at the Stone store museum; I have no idea if it is still there anymore after his passing. – Timothy Jordan.


My name is Tim Jordan, our group here in San Diego, does the living history of the 11th cavalry from camp Seeley, Camp Morena and Camp Lockett in Campo. We have been doing this since 2002.

Our group does living history for the other two San Diego area Army posts of the past, Fort Rosecrans for the NPS, and Camp Callan that was located off the 101 in Torrey Pines. It is sad to think that after training over 800,000 men for WW2, the only thing left of Camp Callan is a few rusted out gun mounts and some old foundations, there is no Plaque, just a big golf course, no mention of the Army at all...very sad.

We will be coming up to Fort Ord to help you guys out at your next Warhorse Day.

See you then.

Timothy Jordan.

Note: We are very excited about Tim and their group coming up to help us out. Tim has been sharing some great pictures of Camp Lockett and has given me permission to share them with you. – Greg Krenzelok.

Camp Lockett photos. Greg, this is the old G-Troop Stable Corral area. The fences are all gone, but the concrete Watering Troughs are still there, and you can see where the three G Troop Stable Building were located, along with the Hay Barn and Blacksmith shop. Of the six rows of troop stables, A-C and E-G, only two of the B Troop Stable Buildings, and 2 of the C Troop Stable buildings are left standing in that area. Of the Support troop Stables, there is only the HQ Troop Stable Building now in private hands along with the only remaining Hay Barn. The HQ Troop Stable has only had a metal roof added, the rest of the building is original to include the original stalls and feed bins, the stall numbers are still visible, as well as an 11th Cavalry HQ Troop sign. - Tim

Another old photo, doing the 4th Cavalry circa 1885 at the old Miramar Stables, circa 2000, those were some fun days. I sure miss that Stable. I sure miss my old Quarter Horse Rusty, he was spooky but a good horse if you like to rear up and play the Lone Ranger, people thought I was showing off, no I was not he did it on his own. Rusty 1983-2002. RIP

Old Fort Mac days 2008, Fred riding Laddie, and Steve riding Valentino.

Here is a good shot of Old Fort Mac days 2008, Jeff Warner standing, Gil Whitley on Valentino, Fred Hewett in the Background and there is Adam.

Greg, here is a shot of the lower G Troop Corral area across from the Railroad Depot. You can see one of the concrete watering troughs behind our trailer, and it still functions. Off to the top left side of the photo is the remaining Stable Buildings, the C and B Troop Stables. All of the Troop Stable corrals were lined up from the A Troop down to the G troop corral in the photo.

Greg, here is a photo of the foundations from one of the other Buildings, I think this was the Main Veterinary Office, with an adjoining Ward. Note the large Steel Pickett Line posts still standing between the buildings, the building in the rear in this photo is the other only Veterinary Building still standing, it was the Main Surgical Building where they operated.

Here is a photo of the foundations where the other two Veterinary Wards used to stand. To the left out of the photo is more Steel Pickett Line poles still standing.

Camp Lockett, Type C-6 Veterinary Clinic Surgical in 1941. Series 700-272 Drawing and building Number T-631. The only other example of a Type C-6 building that I have been able in find in the country. Mountain Empire Historical Society, Campo, California.Note: the horse in the doorway. Special thanks to the late Rich Borstadt, Curator of the Mountain Empire Historical Society.

Building T-631, Type C-6 Veterinary Clinic Surgical as it looks today at Camp Lockett. Mountain Empire Historical Society, Campo, California. Special thanks to the late Rich Borstadt, Curator of the Mountain Empire Historical Society.

U.S. Army Veterinarians operating on a horse in Building T-631 (Type C-6 Veterinary Clinic) at Camp Lockett in the 1940's. Note: the special elevating operating table that was installed in the C-6 clinic is being used to operate on the horse. Mountain Empire Historical Society, Campo, California. Special thanks to the late Rich Borstadt, Curator of the Mountain Empire Historical Society.

U.S. Army Veterinarians working on a horse in Building T-631 (Type C-6 Veterinary Clinic) at Camp Lockett in the 1940's. Veterinarian and assistants at work; equine plasma shot. Note that the horse is secured in a “stock”. Mountain Empire Historical Society, Campo, California. Special thanks to the late Rich Borstadt, Curator of the Mountain Empire Historical Society.

Greg, here is some 1943 new cement graffitti from soldiers who were assigned to the Veterinay Unit. This area is the brick work that was done outside of the Surgical Building during some 1943 building upgrades.

Here is an Oct. 1942 date as well.

More 1943 Graffiti.

Greg, here is a photo of the other remaining Veterinary Hospital building (left). This was one of the wards as there is many stalls and feed bins still in place, and the markings are still there. To the left is the other foundations, and picket line posts. The area behind us in the photo was one of the big Corrals. Some of the original white woof fences are still there, along with two concrete watering troughs. To the right of us in the photo, would have been the K-9 area, and then the G-Troop Stables and Corrals. In front of us is the old Railroad depot.

Here is another photo of the Camp Veterinary area; this is the only remaining Ward left. The Surgery building is just on the other side of the ward. As you can see someone used barn red paint on the building after it became a private ranch.

Here is view of the only remaining ward building from the Camp Lockett Veterinary Hospital. This was taken in late 2006.

Here is another view of the Ward, as you can see it has been painted Barn Red by the private owner. I will send some photos of the Veterinary Hospital in its early days before the Camp closed. I have been going through all of my photo CD's to find all of these photos, both current and past.

Here is another view of the only Ward building still standing, in the photo is Fred Hewett standing by the other side of the buildings sliding door.

Greg, here are some views of the inside of the Ward as it looks today, note the Feed Bins and posts where the stall wall dividers had been, you can see one of the wall dividers to the left.

You can see a corner stall with the divider next to the outside sliding doors. Note the original windows above, and below the Feed Bin.

Veterinary Ward building C-633, Drawing 700-486 at Camp Lockett, Ca in 1941. This is the same type of Veterinary Ward that is Fort Ord. Picture courtesy of the Mountain Empire Historical Society, Campo, California. Special thanks to the late Rich Borstadt, Curator of the Mountain Empire Historical Society.

This is one of the concrete watering troughs in the Veterinary Corral Area.

Here is one of the original Watering Troughs outside the Ward in the Corral area. It is still in its original location.

Here is another view of the corral area near the Camp Veterinary Hospital adjacent with the Railroad Station.

Greg, there is a pile of junk, it all used to be inside the Ward...Stall Dividers and Feed Bins, along with other assorted items from the old Ward.

Camp Lockett circa 1942, 11th Cavalry Stables with a Regimental Horse Show going on below the F and G Troop Stable Corrals.

It is also a nice photo of the F, E, and C Troop stables during a Camp Horse show about July or August 1942. The 10th cavalry is already moving in and some of the 11th is still there awaiting movement out by Railroad. Greg note the large Hay Barns in the back, and the Blacksmith shops on the top of the hill.

The 700 series buildings that they used at Camp Lockett were slightly different from those at Fort Ord. The barracks did not have the overhang above the first floor windows, and the Stables were a different design. Have you seen the remaining Stable Buildings at Camp Lockett, they have been changed through the years for other use, but still look the same. There is about 45 percent of the old Camp buildings still standing, the rest are long gone, or have been moved to other locations in the 50's. One of the old Post Chapel buildings is located in Lakeside, about 40 miles west of the old camp.

Camp Lockett circa 1942, 11th Cavalry B Troop Stables with horses on the picket lines. The Camp Lockett Equestrian Center is already open; it is located on the old 11th Cavalry Parade grounds. They are right across the street from the old Base Hospital that today is being used as a County Youth Authority Camp for Bad Boys. Turn left at the old Trading Post, and you will drive right to it.

Greg, here is shot of the B Troop Stables, note the Watering Troughs in the Corral area. The Pickett lines were just behind us about 25 feet from the building, they are gone now. As you can see the Stable Building has been changed a lot through the years, but it is still there.

Here is a shot of the other side of the B Troop Stables, there were Pickett Lines on that side as well. As you can see, they removed, 4 of the 5 sliding doors when it was used as a school shop building in the 1950's.

Here is a photo circa late July 1942 of the 11th Cavalry departing Camp Lockett via train from the Campo Railroad Station. The stables to the top of the photo are the C Troop Stables, they are still standing.

Here is an 11th Cavalry troop doing a charge in on of the many training areas at the camp.

A photo of a 28th Cavalry officer in a 1943 Horse Show.

Greg, here is a nice photo of members of the 28th Cavalry Machine Gun Troop jumping an obstacle during a training operation at Camp Lockett circa 1943, note the saddle pack with 30. Cal Air Cooled MG and Ammo packs. See the feed bag around the horse neck.

Here is a photo of the 10th Cavalry Officers and Sr. NCO's on Dec 1943. The photo was taken in front of the Regimental HQ's building. Note the 10th Cavalry Mounted Color Guard wore 1860's post Civil War uniforms.

Here is a photo of General Thoburn Brown Commanding Officer of the 4th Cavalry Brigade during a review of the entire brigade. The brigade is made of the 10th and 28th Cavalry Regiments, and supporting Artillery and other Combat Support units.

Another view of the pass in review. It is dated 1943.

Greg, here is a 1943, mounted review of both the 10th and 28th cavalry, the recon jeeps and other vehicles in this frame.

Here is a photo of the 10th Cavalry showing the large portee trucks used to haul the mounts, I am told they carried 8 horses per truck, along with 8 troopers and their tack and gear.

Here is photo of one of the 11th Cavalry members in cowboy shirt for one of their many unit Horse Shows There is a nice photo of the E Troop stables in the background.

The modern 1941 11th Cavalry Barracks circa Feb. 1942. Camp Lockett

Greg, here is what Merritt Bowl looked like in 1942.

Here is a view of the old Outside Theatre called Merritt Bowl, it was used for USO Shows and outside movies. You can see the rows of concrete blocks were the seating was. On the area where the red shed is, was the big giant bowls shaped theatre, it was torn down long ago, you can still see the concrete bus stop benches for the troops to used to the left. The Troop stables are just across the road. To the top lower left is the concrete pad for the lights and projection equipment building.

Camp Lockett stables today.

Current photos of the B and C Troop stables, they have been changed a lot with windows and many of the stables sliding doors are gone. They converted these building into shops for the School System in the 1950's.

Current photos of the Camp Lockett stables, from left to right is the remaining C-Troop stables, and then the B-Troop stables. You can see to the left where the E,F,G troop stables were.

Here is the view looking at the East Garrison from Buglers Rock, as you can see nothing is left except for some old building foundations, and a new housing area of about 125 homes built about 14 years ago, the only ones that will be allowed built in Campo as they control their towns growth a lot.

Here is a photo of Buglers Rock; it is a large hill overlooking both East and West garrison of Camp Lockett. In Jan. 1943 the 4th Cavalry brigade of the 2nd Cav Div. formed a second Regiment at Lockett, it would become the all Black 28th Cavalry. They had to get the Barracks and Chow Halls, Stables and other Facilities done within 3 to 6 weeks so they put in Theatre of Operations War type wood barracks unlike the 700 series in the 10th Cavalry area to the west. These barracks were two stories and single story with no inside latrines, each Troop had separate latrine and shower facilities located between each two sets of buildings. None of the east garrison buildings exist today, as they were torn down after the camp closed about 1949. The same area and buildings were used to house Italian POWs starting in March of 1944 after the 28th was shipped overseas to the war zones in the ETO. On Buglers Rock is a memorial that was made by the Italian POW's, it still exists today. Just think that the East garrison Bugler would report to the top of the hill to the large Rock and sound morning reveille, and evening taps.

Here is a photo of the original 11th and 10th cavalry Service men’s Club on the left, to the right is the new Officers Club built in late 1942. If you look you can see the reuse of the 10 foot Metal Picket line posts, it seems they removed most of them and cut them down to make wired sidewalk rails with wires attached. in the background is the Troop area again.

Here is one of the saddle and tack storage areas, there is a lot of original tools and Tack still on the walls.

Here is a photo of the inside of the HQ Troop Stable, as you can see, it is all original to include the feed bins and stalls, just as they left it.

More of the inside of the HQ's Troop stables, more Stall Numbers and original tack with over 70 years worth of dust.

Additional note for above image:
Greg, the tack all belongs to the lady who now owns the stable, it was just all left behind when the 10th Cavalry left in 1944. The original McClellan saddle stands are all still in place as well. We asked her about the old tack, she wants to keep it, we offered to clean and oil it all so it will not rot any more than it is, but she said she appreciated the gesture, but it was unimportant. She does though care about keeping the building up and original. The only thing she did was add a tin roof as it is still housing about 15 horses. The old 11th cavalry sign is original, they just put a 10th Cavalry sign over it. Her late husband had been in the 11th there, so when he bought the property after the war, he just removed the 10th sign. She still has that sigh as well ut away in the shed. -Tim

Greg, you can still see the original stall numbers for the assigned mounts above the feed bins.

Here is a photo of the only remaining intact Stable Building, this one is located up Custer Drive, and was the HQ Troop Stables, the original 11th Cavalry sign is still over the door, even after the 10th cavalry took over the building in Aug of 1942 until they left in Mar 1944.

Greg, here is another view of the last original 11th Cavalry Stable, we showed you the inside photos before. This was the HQ Troop Stable. In the photo is myself, Steve Baffa, and Fred Hewett behind an original 11th Cavalry Sign.

This is the inside of one of the C-Troop stables, it has a concrete floor, that was added in the 1950's.

More of the Troop area, now used for private housing.

Current photo of the 11th, and then 10th Cavalry Regimental HQ's. You can see the stone V around the flag Pole, the Flag Pole is original, but scrappers cut about half of the pole off. You can see more of the Troop area in the rear of the HQ building, those were some of the officers quarters.

This is one of the three Camp Movie Theaters, it is located in the 11th and 10th Cavalry troop area.

Here is a shot of the 11th Cavalry barracks area, under construction in June 1941. Note the 700 series building already completed in left top.

More of the Troop area, many of the barracks have been torn down or moved, but about one half of the building are still there.

Current photos of the 10th and 11th Cavalry troop area.

More photos of the 11th and 10th Cavalry Troop area.

More Camp Lockett buildings, this is the 11th and later the 10th Cavalry troop area.

Circa 1942,this is a photo of the 11th Cavalry Parade ground below the (Regimental CO's House) the Furguson Ranch house. The Camp Lockett Hospital is just about 1/4 mile down the road from the Parade Grounds.

These are photos of the Camp Lockett Hospital, you can see how the wards have the ramps. It is all still there today and very much unchanged as it is being used as a County Youth Authority Bad Boys Camp. Most of the original furniture and bunks are still there.

This is a photo of the Furguson Ranch house, it was used as the 11th, and then the 10th Cavalry Regimental Commanders home. It is still there and now restored, it is right next to the old 11th Cavalry parade grounds, now the Camp Lockett Equine center.

Some photos of the 11th cavalry before they moved onto Camp Lockett, they are still at Camp Seeley about 75 miles east.

Here is an early Camp Seeley photo, about Nov. 1940 of the Recon Scout Troop.

Greg, here is some more old photos from my collection, here are members of the 11th Cavalry guarding the Railroad near the border just after Pearl Harbor, they would have been from the 2nd Squadron that moved onto the new Camp in October 1941 from their temp camp at Camp Morena about 3 miles away. The 1st Squadron and Regimental HQ's rode to Camp Lockett through the mountains from Camp Seeley about 75 miles east on 9/10 Dec. 1941.

Members of HQ Troop 11th Cavalry, from the 2nd squadron at Camp Morena during a training exercise about July 1941.

This is the Camp Lockett construction plaque, it was donated to the Camp Stone Store Museum by Capt Tadlocks family about 5 years ago. At least it was not stolen and sold for scrap after the camp closed in late 1949. I understand that it was removed from the old Main Gate after it was demolished, and then removed and given to the camp construction officer.

Greg, here is a photo of the inside of the Camp Lockett Stone Store Museum. That good old I, sitting there.

Another shot of the museum.

Here is old Fred Hewett in the Stone Store Museum, by one of the Pack Saddles.

Here is one of the historical trains at the Campo Railroad Station adjacent to the Stable Area. Myself and Fred Hewett again.

NOTE: Tim, thanks again for sharing these wonderful pictures, you have taken us on a wonderful journey of Camp Lockett! I feel that you have filled a gap in what I didn't know about Camp Lockett. This has just been incredible. – Greg Krenzelok

Very special thanks to Rich Borstadt who passed away on April 26, 2012. Rich was a great help in my early research of the Fort Ord Station Veterinary Hospital. No one worked harder to preserve the History of Camp Lockett. – Greg Krenzelok

Greg, here is another view of the C Troop Stables, in the photo with me is the late Rich Borstadt. Rich was wealth of knowledge when it came to Camp Lockett, he has been very missed our group.

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11th Cavalry Presidio of Monterey, 1919 to 1940

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76th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Battalion

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Fort Ord U.S. Army Station Veterinary Hospital (Horse) WW2

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Sergeant Leonard Murphy Veterinary Hospital No. 18, A.E.F., WW1


Motto: “Illic est Vires in Numerus” There is Strength in Numbers

“Working Hard to Preserve Our Country’s History wherever it is being lost”

U.S. Army Veterinary Corps Historical Preservation Group is a group of individuals that are concerned about the preservation of the History of the Veterinary Corps, Remount Service and Cavalry or wherever our country’s history is being lost in conjunction with our beloved “Horse and Mule”. There is no cost to join and membership is for life. We believe by uniting together in numbers we will be a more powerful force to be heard. Our membership list is private and only used to contact our members. Email us and become a member.

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