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Page 4 text:
u. s. NAVAL TRAINING CEISEJER
o of o Q
Son Diego Coll ornlcl 3
OUNTLESS GENERATIONS of seafaring men '
have come to regard the anchor as a symbol of .
their profession and a mark of security to the ships on .J
which they serve. By the Romans the anchor was re- 4
garded as a symbol of wealth and commerce, while the
Greeks gave to it the significance of hope and steadiness, '
a meaning 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 ofa recruit is
traced from his initial arrival at the Naval Training
Center until his graduation.
T HE NAVAL TRAINING CENTER, San Diego,
had its inception in 1916 when Mr. William Kettner,
Congressman from the Eleventh Congressional 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 estab-
lishing 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 Cham-
ber 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 Clater Rear AdmiralJDavid 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 popula-
tion of the station and the maximum recruit strength was
l,500. The period of recruit training was then sixteen
weeks.The shore line of San Diego Bay extended consider-
ably further inland than at present, and the land now oc-
cupied by Preble Field, the North Athletic Area and
Camp Farragut was entirely under water. The recruit
parade ground was located on the present site ofthe 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 deepened and 130 acres of filled land were add-
ed tothe 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 ofthe station had reached it war-
time 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 ofthe 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 be-
came apparent that the demand for trained personnel in
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