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Page 9 text:
p 1 HE NAVAL TRAINING CENTER, San Diego,
1 il had its inception in 1916 when Mr. William
1 i , Kettner, Congressman from the Eleventh Con-
- 1 gressional District of California and spokesman
for the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, interested the
Honorable Franklin D. Roosevelt, then Assistant Secretary
of the Navy, in establishing a naval training activity on
the shores of San Diego Bay. Due to the Nation's entry
into World War I, further development of this plan was
postponed until 1919, when Congress authorized accept-
ance by the Navy of the present site of the Training Center.
The original grant consisted of 135 acres of highland
donated by the San Diego Chamber of Commerce and 142
acres of tideland given by the City of San Diego. Con-
struction work began in 1921, and on 1 june 1923 the
U. S. Naval Training Station, San Diego, was placed in
commission under the command of Captain C later Rear
Admiralj David F. Sellers, U. S. Navy.
At the time of its commissioning in 1923 the station
bore little resemblance to its present size or arrangement.
At that time Camp Paul Jones housed the entire population
of the station and the maximum recruit strength was 1,500.
The period of recruit training was then sixteen weeks. The
shore line of San Diego Bay extended considerably further
inland than at present, and the land now occupied by
Preble Field, the North Athletic Area and Camp Farragut
was entirely under water. The present Reception Center
was then the Administration Building, and the recruit
parade ground was located on the present site of the Public
Works garage. During the 1920's the Recruit Receiving
and Outgoing Units were housed in the Detention Unit,
known as Camp Ingram, which consisted of a group of
walled tents adjacent to the south boundary of Camp Paul
Jones. Until Camp Lawrence was completed in 1936, re-
cruits spent their first three weeks of training under canvas
in this Detention Unit. '
In 1939 a construction program was commenced which
within three years was to increase the capacity of the station
four-fold. This expansion went hand in glove with a large
scale program of harbor improvements by means of which
the channel and anchorages in San Diego Bay were deep-
ened and 130 acres of filled land were added to the eastern
boundaries of the station. By 1941 Camp Luce had been
completed, and the construction of Camps Mahan, Decatur,
and Farragut was already well under way when the Jap-
anese attacked Pearl Harbor. Virtually all this construction
worklwas completed by September, 1942, when the capac-
. 1 . . 1
ity of the station had reached its wartime peak of 33,000
men, 25,000 of whom were recruits. The period of recruit
training during World War II varied between three weeks
and seven weeks.
In April, 1944, the Secretary of the Navy changed the
status of the Training Station to that of a group command
and redesignated it the U. S. Naval Training Center, San
Diego. Under the Center Commander were established
three subordinate commands: The Recruit Training Com-
mand, The Service School Command and the Administra-
The years immediately following World War II saw a
considerable reduction in population of the Training Cen-
ter despite a post-war expansion of the Service Schools, and
by the end of 1949 the population of the Center had
dropped to a twenty-year low of 5,800 men. Six months
later, when the Communists invaded the Republic of Korea,
an immediate expansion of all Naval training activities
took place and by September of 1950 the Center was again
operating at nearly full capacity.
During the early months of the Korean conflict it became
apparent that the demand for trained personnel in the
rapidly growing Pacific Fleet would require further expan-
sion of this training center. Accordingly steps were taken
by the Navy Department to reactivate Camp Elliott, former-
ly a World War II Marine Corps training camp which is
located ten miles north of San Diego on Kearny Mesa. On
15 January 1951 Camp Elliott was placed in commission
as Elliott Annex of the Naval Training Center for the
purpose of conducting the primary phases of recruit train-
ing. In March, 1953, in line with the planned reduction
in size of the Navy, training at Elliott Annex was discon-
tinued and it was placed in an inactive status. During its
CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
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