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Page 9 text:
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 expansion of this training center. Accord-
ingly steps were taken by the Navy Department to reactivate Camp
Elliott, formerly 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 training. In March, 1953, in line with
the planned reduction in size of the Navy, training at Elliott Annex
was discontinued and it was placed in an inactive status. During its
two years of operation, over 150,000 recruits received training there.
Late in 1952 projects were approved to convert some recruit
barracks into classrooms and to extend training facilities by con-
struction of a permanent recruit camp on the undeveloped Training
Center land lying to the south and east of the estuary. The six
converted barracks went into service as recruit classrooms in April,
1953, and construction work on the new camp was completed in 1955.
In late 1964 a new school to train recruits in the vital function of
fire-fighting was opened at Carroll Canyon, some 15 miles north east
of San Diego. With the completion of this project the Naval Training
Center filled out to its present boundaries of 535 acres.
In late 1965, the demand for trained Navy men to man the addi-
tional ships and overseas billets, required to meet the Vietnam crisis,
brought the on-board population to a record of over 18,000 recruits,
the highest since Korea. At the same time, a military construction
program got underway with the foundation of a new 8,000-man mess
hall being laid adjacent to Bainbridge Court. ln addition, an ambi-
tious five-year program was formalized for the construction of
modern barracks, TV classrooms and administration facilities. The
face lifting of the Recruit Training Command is expected to be
completed by the early 1970's.
In the furtherance of its mission of supplying trained naval
personnel to the fleets and ships of the United States Navy, each of
the three subordinate commands of the Naval Training Center has
important roles to fill.
The Administrative Command has the responsibility of conducting
most of the Center's administrative business and furnishing a wide
range of services necessary to the daily life of the large community
which the Center has become. The Administrative Command has
the responsibility of maintaining the Center's buildings and grounds,
and through its facilities all personnel on the Center are housed,
fed, clothed and paid, and receive their medical and dental care.
The Administrative Command also provides such other community
services as recreational and Navy Exchange facilities, com-
munications, postal and transportation services, and police and
Under the Service School Command are grouped more than
twenty Navy Schools in which recruits as well as men from the fleet
receive training in the specialized duties of certain ratings. Most
of these are Class MA" schools, where non-rated men learn the skills
and information necessary to them to perform a specific petty
officer rating. Among these schools are those which train fire con-
trol technicians, electricians mates, radiomen, yeomen, commissary-
men and stewards. Other schools teach specialized skills such as
motion picture operation, teletype maintenance and stenography.
The present capacity of the Service Schools is about 5,000 men.
The largest of the three commands at the Training Center is the
Recruit Training Command. Here the recruit undergoes his transi-
tion from civilian to military life, learns the history, traditions,
customs and regulations of his chosen serviceg and receives instruc-
tion in naval skill and subjects which will be basic information
throughout his period of naval service.
Most of the facilities of the Recruit Training Command are
centered on Bainbridge Court and occupy the western half of the
Training Center. Here are concentrated the barracks and head-
quarters of the recruit brigade, and nearby are located the mess
hall, classrooms, athletic fields and recreation buildings used by
Now in its forty eighth year of service to the Navy, the Naval
Training Center, San Diego, faces with confidence the challenges
of an unsettled world.
Page 8 text:
THE 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 Nation's entry into World War I, further
development of this plan was postponed until 1919, when
Congress authorized acceptance 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. 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
flater Rear Admirall 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 ,Iones 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 19207s 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 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 .lapanese 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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