The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) (Camp Matthews) Formerly Used Defense Site or FUDS is located in La Jolla, California, approximately 12 miles north of downtown San Diego.
From 1918 to 1964, Camp Matthews was used by the U. S. Marine Corps as a gunnery range. In 1918, the Marine Corps leased land in San Diego County to build a single, eight-target, 600-yard rifle range. By 1919, the Marine Corps was using the land for a campsite, parade ground and field instruction. Between 1924 and 1949, Camp Matthews expanded to include 15 active gunnery ranges and various support buildings. Training activities included instruction in the firing and use of small arms, rifles, machine guns, mortars, rockets and hand grenades.
In 1945, a Navy ammunition truck from Fall Brook Naval Ammunition Depot caught fire outside the gates of Camp Matthews. As the fire increased in intensity, the ammunition began to explode, causing damage to housing at Camp Matthews, Camp Callan and La Jolla. Debris scattered in all directions.
In 1962, Congress directed the Navy to convey the Camp Matthews property to UCSD. The last shots were fired at Camp Matthews in August 1964.
Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is investigating an area of the former camp, known as Range Complex No. 1. The former range consists 5,056 acres. UCSD currently owns a portion of the former range and has developed the area with educational and research facilities, residential housing, athletic fields, the UCSD School of Medicine and Medical Center, Science Research Park, Mesa Housing, Eleanor Roosevelt College, the Chancellor’s Complex and parking. The remaining land has been developed for residential and commercial purposes.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began investigating the former UCSD (Camp Matthews) in 1988 through the FUDS Program. Subsequent investigations have identified munitions and explosives of concern and munitions debris on Range Complex No. 1. Based on these findings and historical information, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be conducting a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study on Range Complex No. 1.