Last updated: 5/15/2019
301 C Street
Yuma, AZ 85365
301 C Street
Yuma Proving Ground
Yuma, AZ 85365
Yuma Proving Ground Visiting Hours
|Tuesday - Friday||10 AM - 4 PM|
Visitors to the Yuma Proving Ground Heritage Center will obtain a day pass from the Visitor Control Center located at the Brooks Vehicle Park. The Visitor Control Center is approximately one-half mile from the Big Guns on Imperial Dam Road. All visitors will show proof of insurance, drivers license and vehicle registration to obtain the day pass Tuesday through Thursday. Upon receiving the day pass the visitor(s) will then drive to the Howard Gate and provide the security officer the pass. On Fridays the Visitor Control Center is closed however, a day pass can be obtained from the security officer at the Howard Gate.
The Yuma Proving Ground Heritage Center and Museum is part of the US Army's museum system therefore, there are no fees or charges to the public.
Craig Vonilten, Volunteer
The Yuma Proving Ground Heritage Center and Museum depicts the history of Yuma Proving Ground. The Museum tells the history chronologically from 1942 to 9-11. As the visitor goes through the museum they will begin with the Desert Training Center moving on to the Yuma Test Branch, Camp Seeley, the Yuma Test Station, and Yuma Proving Ground. Across from the Yuma Test Station is a room which tells the history of the Liberation of the Concentration Camps, and the American Army Units that liberated those camps. The Tests of the 50's and 60's is located at the end of the center hallway. Down the hall from the 50's and 60's is a room on Munitions,the room is in Tribute to the Victims of 9-11. As the visitor leaves the Museum the hallway and last room was established in Commemoration and Recognition of the Vietnam Veteran.
The U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground Heritage Center has been established to depict the military history of Yuma Proving Ground from its inception in 1942 as Camp Laguna to Yuma Test Branch, Yuma Test Station and the present day Yuma Proving Ground with its role in the development of the "21st Century Soldier." The purpose of the Heritage Center is to identify, collect, research and preserve historically significant properties and maintain them as usable resources for scholars and other interested individuals. The Heritage Center will instill and maintain visitor interest, further community relations and enhance esprit de corps among YPG's military and civilian workforce. It will also provide educational services to include programs, classes, audiovisuals, exhibits, and publications for the military and civilian populations.
In 1942, MG George Patton was directed to find a training area for the U.S. Army. He established the Desert Training Center (DTC) with his headquarters at Camp Young. The DTC would stretch from about Pomona California to the Colorado and from Yuma, Arizona to Searchlight, Nevada. There were numerous camps established, Young, Coxcomb, Rice, Pilot Knob, Granite, and Camp Essex which replaced Camp Clipper which was washed away by flash flood. In 1943 MG Walton Walker was directed to expand the training area into Arizona. The expansion added Camps Laguna, Hyder and Horn. Camp Bouse was not added because it had a different mission. The expansion into Arizona created the California-Arizona Maneuver Area.(CAMA) By the war's end the CAMA stretched from about Pomona California to the outskirts of Phoenix. Approximately 250 miles by 350 miles. During the period 1942 to 1944 about 1 million men received there training in the South West.
The collections cover number of areas ranging from, WW2 uniforms, to cameras, computers, and munitions. A number of vehicles are on display at Brooks Park. The galleries contain items from specific time periods along with photos.
The research material is being constantly updated. The material ranging from maps,to photos and old Technical Publications.
We do not have a library as such.
The Heritage Center is significantly involved in community outreach, with lectures, programs, classes, and exhibits. The galleries are designed to enhance both the active duty and the general public's knowledge of history. Training of the military is a vital role for the Museum.
The community outreach program is well known to the Yuma community. Within the scope of the outreach program we have an exhibit in Yuma at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot. Sometime during the year, generally in the spring, we provide for public viewing copies of Army Art done by soldiers on active duty. Also, as part of our community outreach the Curator conducts public speaking engagements on a myriad of topics, ranging from the Holocaust to Camels in the Southwest.
Tours are guided through the galleries. We have a small theater which we use to play videos or conduct classes in.
We have a number of programs that can be designed to meet the needs. of an educator.
The Yuma Proving Ground Heritage Center and Museum is governed by federal law through The U.S. Army Center of Military History.
We publish a brochure once a year for the public which is provided to the Yuma Visitors Bureau.
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