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Vandenberg AFB in Santa Barbara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Camp Cooke Memorial

1941 - 1946

 
 
Camp Cooke Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, October 20, 2010
1. Camp Cooke Memorial
Four markers are seen mounted on a rock base at the left.
Inscription.
First Marker:
5th Armored Division
"Victory"
Activated Ft. Knox, KY - 1 October 1941 VAFB (then Camp Cooke) February 1942 - March 1943 Desert & Tennessee Maneuvers - 1942 & 1943 Deployed to E.T.O. February 1944 Landed Utah Beach, Normandy 25 July 1944
Normandy * Northern France * Rhineland * Ardennes-Alsace * Central Europe
First Allied Division to enter Germany 11 September 1944. At War's end was closest unit to Berlin on the Elbe River
Dedicated to all the brave men of the 5th A.D. in World War II

Second Marker:
6th Armored Division
"The Super Sixth"
Activated Ft. Knox, KY - 15 February 1942 Camp Chaffee, Ark. - Louisiana Maneuvers Camp Young - California Desert Camp Cooke (VAFB), Calif. Landed Utah Beach 18 July 1944
Normandy * Northern France * Rhineland * Ardennes-Alsace * Central Europe
Last Combat Death 24 April 1945
Dedicated to the 1,274 men of the 6th Armored Division who gave their lives in World War II, the 4,378 wounded and 52 missing in action.

Third Marker:
11th Armored Division
"Thunderbolts"
Activated Camp Polk, LA - 15 August 1942 Louisiana Manuevers Camp Barkley, Abilene, TX Camp Ibis - California Desert Camp
Camp Cooke Memorial - First Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, October 20, 2010
2. Camp Cooke Memorial - First Marker
5th Armored Division
"Victory"
Cooke (VAFB), CA Landed France December 10, 1944
Ardennes-Alsace * Rhineland * Central Europe
Dedicated to the men of the 11th Armored Division who died or were wounded during World War II.

Fourth Marker:
In deep appreciation for the untiring efforts of
Colonel James A. McDonough, USAR Ret
5th Armored Division Association
and
Colonel William A. Hamberg, USA Ret
5th Armored Division Association
in making this memorial a reality on Vandenberg Air Force Base
October 1991

 
Erected 1991.
 
Location. 34° 44.185′ N, 120° 32.056′ W. Marker is in Vandenberg AFB, California, in Santa Barbara County. Marker is at the intersection of California Boulevard and Nebraska Avenue, on the right when traveling north on California Boulevard. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lompoc CA 93437, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 40th Infantry Division Korean War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); The Curtis P-40 (approx. 0.2 miles away); USAF Medal of Honor Recipients (approx. half a mile away); American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Historic Aerospace Site
Camp Cooke Memorial - Second Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, October 20, 2010
3. Camp Cooke Memorial - Second Marker
6th Armored Division
"The Super Sixth"
(approx. half a mile away); Space Launch Complex 10 (approx. 5.4 miles away); La Purisima Mission ← 3 Miles (approx. 5.9 miles away); Ronald W. Reagan Missile Defense Site (approx. 6 miles away); First Successful Cement Job (approx. 7.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Vandenberg AFB.
 
Regarding Camp Cooke Memorial. During World War II, the 5th, 6th, 11th, 13th, and 20th, Armored Divisions, the 86th, and 97th, Infantry Divisions, and the 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiment trained at Cooke. Also at Cooke were an assortment of antiaircraft artillery, combat engineer, ordnance, and hospital units. More than 400 separate and distinct outfits passed through Camp Cooke.
 
Also see . . .  Started as an Army Camp. Vandenberg's military service started in 1941 as an Army training center called Camp Cooke. It was built as part of America's effort to strengthen its military defenses in preparation for a war that the federal government feared was coming in light of tragic events occurring in Europe and the Far East where Nazi Germany and its ally Japan were overrunning one
Camp Cooke Memorial - Third Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, October 20, 2010
4. Camp Cooke Memorial - Third Marker
11th Armored Division
"Thunderbolts"
country after another. (Submitted on December 15, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Camp Cooke and Vandenberg AFB
This is an excellent record of the World War II memorial at present-day Vandenberg AFB from its previous use as Camp Cooke.

You may be interested to know that in April 2014, the first book written about Camp Cooke and Vandenberg AFB will be published by McFarland & Company. Written by Jeffrey E. Geiger, the book is titled "Camp Cooke and Vandenberg Air Force Base, 1941-1966: From Armor and Infantry Training to Space and Missile Launches." You can read a summary of the book on the publisher's web page, www.mcfarlandpub.com
    — Submitted February 23, 2014.

 
Categories. MilitaryWar, World II
 
Camp Cooke Memorial - Fourth Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, October 20, 2010
5. Camp Cooke Memorial - Fourth Marker
M48 Patton Tank image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, October 20, 2010
6. M48 Patton Tank
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. This page has been viewed 813 times since then and 47 times this year. Last updated on , by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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