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General Patton Memorial Museum

2 Chiriaco Road, Chiriaco Summit, California 92201 | (760) 227–3483
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2 Reviews
Type: Museums & Monuments
Ages: Ages 13 — adult
Cost: $
Hours of operation: 9:30am-4:30pm

Children younger than 12 admitted free.

2 Reviews for General Patton Memorial Museum

March 22 2015
0 families found this helpful
"Worth the Stop"

Blink and you'll miss it, but that would be a shame. This museum looks like a gas stop from the freeway, but those in the know, should purpose to spend some time here, learning about Patton, our military, and what combat training used to look like.
Active duty can enter for free, and children are just a $1 to gain entrance (all other adults are $5). The museum itself holds memorabilia such a war propaganda posters, uniforms from WW2, and "sweetheart pillows" that servicemen would send to their loved ones back home. They have added info on our more recent wars as well in little sections, but the majority of info and artifacts pertain to WW2.
Outside, greeting visitors as they walk in is a giant statue of Patton and his dog Willie. In the side yard are tanks, jeeps, and other training vehicles that your kids can (not climb) but get up and personal with to see the workings-on of this massive machines.
There are also a few memorabilia walls in the front of the museum, where people can purchase bricks or names on plaques that bear the name of service members from the past. A recent addition is the wall of "Defenders of Freedom." Here, for $15 a name, military, firefighters, police officers, etc. can have their names included as an honor for their service.
When my family and I were driving to AZ from CA for spring training, I planned ahead and had my husband (who is retiring from the USAF after 20 years of service), honored by surprising him with his name on the wall as we looked around at the museum. I couldn't think of a better retirement gift than that!
For military history buffs and those who just enjoy perusing times past, this museum is worth the stop.

December 23 2010
0 families found this helpful
"Fun with the Family"

Thirty miles east of Indio and 70 miles from the Arizona state line on Interstate 10 is a museum not to be missed. Exit at Chiriaco Summit and look for the American flag. You are at what was once the entrance to Camp Young, the famous Desert Training Center.
This is the site chosen by Maj. Gen. George Smith Patton Jr. in March 1942 as a training center for desert warfare. Nearly one million American service people trained here. Patton commanded the camps for four months, departing in August 1942 to lead Operation Torch, the allied assault on German-held North Africa. The camp closed on April 30, 1944.
The museum has an excellent twenty-six-minute video, plus exhibits. Many of the artifacts were donated by servicepeople. There are armored tanks on display, along with memorials and a small outdoor chapel.
The General Patton Museum was established through the tireless efforts of Margit Chiriaco Rusche and the Bureau of Land Management. Margit recalls seeing the tanks from her front yard as a five-year-old, when the Desert Training Center was in full swing. Be sure to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the charming coffee shop, where comfortable booths have looked out on the desert since 1933. Margit bakes the best chocolate cake, slathered with chocolate frosting and walnuts, for miles!
On the menu is the DTC (Desert Training Center) burger, made with Spam (kids, ask your grandparents about that!). There are also corn dogs with chips and lots of sandwiches kids will enjoy. The Traveler’s Special breakfast costs $5.25, and that includes two each of pancakes, eggs, sausage patties, and bacon. It’s worth driving out to Chiriaco Summit for this breakfast bargain! On the weekend, enjoy the carne asada and on Wednesday don’t miss Grandma Ruth’s pot roast—a family recipe.

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