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Guide to the Orrell Anza Borrego Desert Collection MS 213
MS 213  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Processing Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Separated Materials

  • Title: Orrell Anza Borrego Desert Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 213
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 1.0 Linear feet (2 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1940-1993
    Abstract: The collection consists of documents related to Fred Lewis Orrell’s research of military activity in the Anza-Borrego Desert area and Southern California during World War II.
    creator: Orrell, Fred Lewis

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Lauren Rasmussen on June 21, 2012.
    Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

    Preferred Citation

    Orrell Anza Borrego Desert Collection, MS 213, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    Fred Lewis Orrell was an amateur historian who, under the auspices of the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association, studied the presence of the United States military in the Borrego Desert area during World War II. He conducted his research in the early 1990s, hoping to “identify the units participating, describe their activities, relate these to the major artifacts left behind, and determine the manner in which they obtained access to the Park lands.” Orrell’s studies focused primarily on the Anza-Borrego Park area, especially the Desert Training Center at Camp Young, but encompassed other parts of Southern California as well, including San Diego. Run by General George S. Patton, the Desert Training Center (DTC) was the main training facility for combat troops during the 1942-1943 North African campaign. The DTC spanned from Pomona, California all the way to Yuma, Arizona. In 1943, after the end of the conflict in North Africa, the DTC’s name was changed to the California-Arizona Maneuver Area. The end result of Orrell’s work was a report on the subject for the educational programs of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of correspondence, research notes, and maps related to Orrell’s research of military activity in the Anza-Borrego Desert area and Southern California during World War II. Orrell corresponded with military officers, veterans, historians, archivists, and librarians to conduct his research. The research materials make up the bulk of the collection and include Orrell’s personal notes, unclassified military documents, book and journal excerpts, newspaper clippings, and maps. The materials correspond to either a particular military installation, military organization, or a relevant military subject.


    The collection is arranged into four series:
    Series I: Orrell Project Correspondence and Research
    Series II: Military Camps and Bases
    Series III: Military Facilities
    Series IV: Military Groups and Subjects
    Items within each series are arranged by subject.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Accession number 990623.

    Separated Materials

    Maps previously separated to the SDHC Map Collection:
    1) USGS: Clark Lake 1959, rev. 1974, 7.5' Series
    2) Geological Map, Central Mining Area, Calcite Mines, June 1964
    3) U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Cleveland National Forest (south half), California, San Bernadino Meridian, 1965

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Marine Corps Recruit Depot (San Diego, Calif.).
    Orrell, Fred Lewis
    Patton, George S. (George Smith), 1885-1945
    United States -- Armed Forces.
    United States. Army. Corps of Engineers.
    United States. Army. Infantry Division, 104th.
    United States. Army. Western Defense Command.
    United States. Army.
    United States. Marine Corps.
    United States. Navy.
    United States. War Dept. Quartermaster Corps.
    Air bases
    Anza-Borrego Desert (Calif.)
    Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Calif.)
    Borrego Maneuver Area (Calif.)
    Borrego Military Wash (Calif.)
    Borrego Springs (Calif.)
    California -- History
    California, Southern
    Camp Callan (Calif.)
    Camp Dunlap-Niland (Calif.)
    Camp Elliot (Calif.)
    Camp Lockett (Campo, Calif.)
    Camp Young (Calif.)
    Carrizo Impact Area (Calif.)
    Desert Training Center and California-Arizona Maneuver Area (Calif. and Ariz.)
    El Centro (Calif.)
    History -- Research
    Military history
    Naval history
    Ocotillo (Calif.)
    Salton Sea (Calif.)
    San Diego (Calif.)
    World War, 1939-1945