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Military Installations in Los Angeles County
Past & Present

The first military base established in Los Angeles County was a temporary base established in San Pedro in 1846 by U.S. Navy Commodore Robert F. Stockton, commanding the U.S. Frigate Congress. Stockton landed at San Pedro and put ashore U.S. Marines and naval personnel to capture San Pedro and then march on to capture the Pueblo Los Angeles. Later determining that San Pedro was not then the ideal base for a naval vessel, Stockton moved his base to San Diego.

Installation Location Service Branch Established Status
Fort Moore 1 Los Angeles U.S. Army 1847 Closed 1848
Drum Barracks 2 Wilmington U.S. Army 1861 Closed 1871
Fort MacArthur 3 San Pedro U.S. Army/ Air Force 1914 Operating2
Submarine Base, San Pedro 4 San Pedro U.S. Navy 1917 Closed 1929
San Clemente Island Naval Test Site 5 San Clemente Island U.S. Navy 1934 Operating
Edwards Air Force Base 6 Los Angeles & Kern Counties U.S. Air Force 1938 * Operating
Naval Air Station San Pedro (Reeves Field) 7 San Pedro (Terminal Island) U.S. Navy 1938 Closed 1947
Long Beach Naval Shipyard 8 Long Beach (Terminal Island) U.S. Navy 1940 Closed 1997
Long Beach Naval Station 9 Long Beach (Terminal Island) U.S. Navy 1941 Closed 1997
Naval Hospital, Long Beach 10 Long Beach U.S. Navy 1967 Closed 1994
Los Angeles Air Force Base 11 El Segundo U.S. Air Force 1962 Operating

* Expanded from Kern County into Los Angeles County during 1940s.

(1) First established as a rudimentary fortification in 1846 by U.S. Marines trying to fend off Mexican resistance, permanent fortifications were later constructed by the Morman Battalion and dedicated July 4, 1847. Construction was never completed. Named for U.S. Army Captain Benjamin D. Moore, who was killed on December 6, 1846, with 21 other Americans at the Battle of San Pasqual in San Diego County.

(2) Headquarters of the U.S. Army in Southern California and the Territory of Arizona during the American Civil War. It garrisoned 7,000 troops as a Union military presence amidst significant Confederacy sympathies in California. It It was named for Lt. Col. Richard Coulter Drum, Adjutant General of the Department of the Pacific in San Francisco.

(3) Established as an Army mustering and training center during World War I and later for coastal defense artillery, followed by anti-aircraft missile units. In 1982, it was transferred to the U.S. Air Force for administration and housing. It was named for Spanish-American War commander Lt. General Arthur MacArthur, father of WWII General of the Army Douglas MacArthur.

(4) After submarines and tenders had operated from temporary facilities at San Pedro wharfs since 1913, a permanent base was established in 1917 as the first U.S. submarine base on the West Coast, complete with a submarine training school. Surface ships also operated from the base during the 1920s.

(5) Established for ship-to-shore artillery training and later, during World War II, for amphibious landing training. Currently includes live-fire and missile test ranges, an auxiliary naval airfield and Navy SEAL training facilities.

(6) Established as a bombing range and later as a test and research center for high-performance aircraft. Also served as the landing site for NASA space shuttles. First named Muroc Air Force Base, it was later renamed for U.S. Air Force Captain Glen W. Edwards, killed when a YB-49 "Flying Wing" he piloted crashed on June 5, 1948.

(7) Served as an air facility for retrofitting naval surveillance aircraft and aerial coastal patrol.

(8) Served as dry docks for overhaul and maintenance of naval surface vessels. Featured "Herman the German," transferred to Long Beach after capture from Germany in War World War II and one of the largest floating cranes during much of its time.

(9) Adjacent to the Naval Shipyard and originally named Roosevelt Base (for President Franklin D. Roosevelt), it served as a logistical and home base for naval vessels (including the battleships). Housing complexes for military families were also operated in Palos Verdes and San Pedro.

(10) Served as a key medical center for personnel medically evacuated from the Pacific.

(11) Headquarters of Space and Missile Systems Center of the U.S. Air Force Space Command.

Los Angeles Air Force Base is currently the only active duty military installation in Los Angeles County.

After an trying out camels for several years at Fort Tejon in Kern County, the U.S. Army gave up their experiment. The Army turned over 31 of the beasts to a Captain Hancock in Los Angeles in 1861 after which there is no further record. Thus ended the U.S. Army Camel Corps.