Photo: Ron Pickinpaugh Oct.1953


The mess hall was the largest structure in the camp, eventually feeding more than 500 men per meal. Stoves were gasoline fired Field Stoves obtained from the Ft. Bliss Surplus yard. Everything was handbuilt including the concrete pad, picnic style wooden tables and the pots and pans area. It was crowded both in the cooking area and the dining area. There was a small Officers' Dining Area in the rear. Everything was cooked and baked at the camp except bread, which was imported from Ft. Bliss. Potable water was hauled in from Carrizozo daily. With its corrugated steel roof, the mess hall looked like a huge low level barn. Early soldiers at the camp used their personal mess kits as there were no facilities for washing plates. Mess kits were cleaned in portable gasoline fired immersion heated barrels located outside.