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Camp McQuaide is a former United States Army camp located near the city of Watsonville in Santa Cruz County, California, USA. After it was closed, it redeveloped into the Monterey Bay Academy and the airfield was reopened as the Monterey Bay Academy Airport.


In 1926, the 250th Coast Artillery Regiment[1] moved from Santa Cruz, California, to an area just east of the town of Capitola. Its camp was named for Major Joseph P. McQuaide, who was born in 1867 and graduated from Santa Clara University. He served as Chaplain of the California National Guard in the Spanish–American War and World War I, and died March 29, 1924. By 1938, noise from target practice annoyed Capitola residents, so a more remote place was found.[2] 379 acres (1.53 km2) were purchased farther south, on coastal farmland near the town of Watsonville. The Works Progress Administration built San Andreas road to the new site.[3]

A small aircraft landing strip was built so airplanes could drop targets into the ocean. It became the training center of what was then the 250th Coast Artillery regiment. In September 1940, the regiment was called up for duty in Alaska. During World War II it returned for training in 1944, and then was deployed in Italy. The camp was used as a stockade for army deserters.[4] After the end of the war, in 1948, it was converted to the private boarding school Monterey Bay Academy.[5]


  1. ^ "Historic California Posts: Camp McQuaide". The California Military Museum. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  2. ^ "The 63rd Coast Artillery and Camp McQuaide" (PDF). Capitola Sunsets, newsletter of the Capitola Museum. September 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 23, 2011. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  3. ^ Sarah Weston (August 8, 2006). "A Brief Look Back at Camp McQuaide: Moving from Capitola to La Selva Beach, National Guard Maintained Artillery Ranges for 40 Years". The Mid-county Post. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  4. ^ "Historic California Posts: Camp McQuaide". The California Military Museum. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  5. ^ "Monterey Bay Academy Beginnings". MBA web site. Retrieved May 27, 2010.

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