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Page 4 text:
U. S. NAVAL TRAINING CEN'TER
San Diego, California
OUNTLESS GENERATIONS 0f seafaring men
have come to regard the anchor as a symbol of
their profession and a mark of security to the ships on
which they serve. By the Romans the anchor was regarded
as a symbol of wealth and commerce, while the Greeks
gave to it the significance of hope and steadiness, a mean-
ing that persists in religion and heraldry today. The
symbolism of the Greeks was carried on by the early
Christians with a meaning of steadfastness, hope and
Here, too, in recruit training, the anchor has special
significance, not only as the symbol of the recruit,s new
life and surroundings but also as the steadfast symbol of
the security in his new career that his recruit training
will give him.
In the pages that follow, the daily life of a recruit
is traced from his initial arrival at the Naval Training
Center until his graduation some ten weeks later.
Page 3 text:
Page 5 text:
HE NAVAL TRAINING CENTER, San Diego, had
its inception in 1916 when Mr. William Kettner, Con-
gressman from the Eleventh Congressional District of
California and spokesman for the San Diego Chamber
of Commerce, interested the Honorable Franklin D. Roose-
velt, then Assistant Secretary of the Navy, in establishing
a naval training activity on the shores of San Diego Bay.
Due to the Nation7s entry into World War I, further
development of this plan was postponed until 1919, when
Congress authorized acceptance by the Navy 0f 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. Construction 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
tlater Rear Admirall David F. Sellers, U. 5. 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 Far-
ragut was entirely under water. The recruit parade ground
was located on the present site of the Public Works garage.
During the 192075 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, recruits 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 deepened and 130 acres of tilled 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 Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Virtually
all this construction work was completed by September,
1942, when the capacity 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 estab-
lished three subordinate commands: The Recruit Training
Command, The Service School Command and the Admin-
The years immediately following World War II saw a
considerable reduction in population of the Training
Center 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.
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