|Click here to see the results of our
Forensic Genealogy Quiz Survey.
|Quiz #39 Results - December 9, 2005
|Latitude: 33 degrees 39 minutes 41.5 seconds
Longitude: -115 degrees 43 minutes 21.3 seconds
Statue is facing southwest.
|Many thanks to Bob McKenna for the submission of this photograph.
|1) Where is this facility located and what is its name?
2) What activities took place here to support the war effort during World War II?
3) At what time of day was the picture taken - Morning or Afternoon?
|Special Note - Forgive our error!
When Bob McKenna sent in this great photo, I misread his information and thought the
statue was facing to the north instead of Bob when he took the photograph. It should
be the other way around. The statue has to be facing to the south to make the shadows
fall as they do in the picture. Since the statue is located in the northern hemisphere (and
north of the Tropic of Cancer at 23° 26' 22" north of the Equator), the sun must shine
from the south and the shadows should point to the north. More info below.
1) Chiriaco, CA. It's the George S. Patton Memorial Museum.
2) It is located at the Desert Training Center which was established in WWII as
for the purpose of training men and machines for action under the harsh
conditions of the North African deserts.
3. In the afternoon
How to find a location using latitude and longitude:
There are several places on the web where you can enter latitude and longitude to get
an aerial map of a location. Here are two well known sites:
1. Click on large orange Map icon at the top of the page.
2. Click on Map Lat/Long below the search box.
3. You can enter coordinates in degrees, minutes, seconds or in degrees in decimal
33o 39' 41.5'' = 33.6615o
-115o 43' 21.3'' = -115.7226
(Note I don't have the degree sign available in this program, so I have to use a small
circle to mean "degrees".)
1. You have to download and install the Google Earth software (it's free).
2. The installation will place an icon on your desk top.
3. Click on the icon to open the program.
4. Type in the coordinates in the "Fly To" box in the upper left corner.
With Google Earth, you can zoom in and see the shadow of the statue.
(Many thanks to John Chulick for pointing this out.)
Click on thumbnail to see larger image. Location is marked by a star.
|General George S. Patton Memorial Museum &
The Desert Training Center
Chiraco Summit on I-10 30 miles east of Indio, CA
General George S. Patton Memorial
Museum was established to honor the
late General George S. Patton and the
thousands of men who served with him
at the Desert Training Center and
overseas. The museum, is located off
Interstate 10, about 30 miles east of Indio
at Chiriaco Summit, which was the
entrance to Camp Young, command post
for the DTC during World War II. The
site was donated by Joseph Chiriaco, one
of the first area residents General Patton
met when he arrived to set up the center.
Exhibits display memorabilia from the life and career of General Patton. The exhibit
halls include the many and varied aspects of military life with particular focus on the
Desert Training Center and soldiers of World War II. Information concerning Southern
California water development and the building of the Colorado Aqueduct can be found
as well as Natural Science exhibits which show rocks, minerals and fossils of the
region and plants and animal life of the desert and mountains.
Read more about the museum by visiting
On February 5, 1942, Lt. General Lesley J. McNair, Chief of Staff, General
Headquarters, gave his approval to a plan developed to stop Germany's advance in
Northern Africa. He designated Major General George S. Patton, Jr. to establish The
Desert Training Center for the purpose of training men and machines for action
under the harsh conditions of the African deserts.
With staff officers, he flew over a vast expanse of sand and brush weeds in Southern
California and portions of Arizona and Nevada. Later, he covered much of the area on
foot and on horseback. He decided this was the place to build a force for desert
combat. The area selected by General Patton in the California and Arizona deserts
encompassed approximately 18,000 square miles, making it the largest military
installation and maneuver area in the world.
He described it as this: "The training area is the best I have ever seen . . . it is desolate
and remote . . . large enough for any kind of training exercises."
The first troops to arrive at the Desert Training Center described it as "The place God
forgot." It was eventually to become the training ground for more than a million troops
in seven armored divisions and thirteen infantry divisions.
General Patton arrived and The Desert Training Center became operational in early April
1942. Four days later, he and the troops took their first desert march. Within 15 days,
all units at the center had been on a desert march. Within 23 days, he had conducted 13
tactical exercises, including some with two nights in the desert...
Read more about The Desert Training Center by visiting
Mary Fraser, one of our champion photo-sleuths, sent in several interesting links with
information and stories about War Dogs.
From http://www.petcem.com/dogs_of_war.htm, http://www.war-dogs.com/ and http:
Someone once wrote that dogs have been used in the field of battle "almost since the
beginning of wars, which date is only a few days later than the beginning of time".
The United States began training dogs for combat shortly after Pearl Harbor. A civilian
volunteer group called Dogs for Defense set up a reception and training center in Fort
Royal, Virginia. This group was later to be come officially recognized by the military
when it was incorporated into the Quartermaster Corps as the unofficially named "K-9
Corps." At the height of World War II more than ten thousand dogs from the United
States, plus thousands of Red Cross dogs from many nations were in action and the
history of courageous service and unstinting valor by dogs in battle continued through
the war in Vietnam.
Before being sent overseas, dogs were stationed in army camps where they received an
intensive twelve-week training period, usually as sentry and patrol "soldiers." Out of the
thousands who were "signed up" for duty, seven breeds were found to be most suitable
- Belgian shepherds, German shepherds, collies, Airedales, Dobermans, giant
schnauzers and Rottweilers.
"There'd be a lot more than 50,000 names on the Vietnam Wall without these dogs, and
I don't think the average American even knows the role they played." - Dr. John
Kubisz, a veterinarian serving with the 764th Veterinary detachment in Vietnam.
American families have donated thousands of their loving dogs to help save American
lives. Many dogs were rescued from the death rows of animal shelters and given a
second chance to live and work. At the end of WWII, the surviving War Dogs were
returned to U.S. soil, hailed as American heroes, and given military service medals and
military discharge certificates. Many were repatriated with the families that donated
them, while others were released in the custody of their handlers to live out the rest of
their lives in peace.
Our country’s War Dogs were not mascots; they were highly trained and proficient
four-footed Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, Sailors and Coast Guards. These intelligent
animals performed dangerous jobs such as Scout, Sentry, Tracker, Mine & Booby
Trap, Tunnel, Water Patrol, Coast Guard, Search & Rescue, Drug and Explosive
There are several monuments to War Dogs, notably at March Air Force Base, CA, Fort
Benning, GA and on the Island of Guam. There is also a movement to establish a War
Dog Memorial in Washington D.C. The Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in Hartsdale, NY holds
the graves of over 2,000 war dogs. It is the place of a well-known War Dog Memorial.
|Why the Photo Was Taken in the Afternoon
During the summer months, the sun appears higher in the sky than in the winter
months. The highest the sun gets is 23 deg 26 min 22 sec above the equator (at which
time it appears directly overhead for people living on the Tropic of Cancer in the
Northern Hemisphere). The lowest the sun gets is 23 deg 26 min 22 sec below the
equator (at which time it appears overhead for people living on the Tropic of Capricorn
in the Southern Hemisphere). Since the statue of General Patton is located at 33 deg 29
min 41.5 sec north of the equator, the sun will always shine on the statue from the
Independent of the north-south movement of the sun during the year, the sun also
moves from east to west in the course of a day. In the morning when the sun is in the
southeastern sky, the shadow will appear to the northwest of the statue. In the evening,
when the sun is in the southwestern sky, the shadow will in the northeast of the statue.
The only way the shadows can appear as they do in the picture if the statue is in the
northern hemisphere is for the statue to be facing west into the sun, with its shadows
falling to the northeast. The picture was taken in the afternoon or early evening.
|Congratulations to our winners! 'Ten Hut!
Gus Janssen Don Schulteis
Stan Read Gary Lee
John Chulick Joel Amos Gordon
Mary South Suzan Farris
Linda Palmer Phil Bolian
Jim Turner Susan Edminster
Margaret Waterman Ellis Nienhaus
Mary Fraser Carol Epp
Debbie Anderson Rick MacKinney
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