US Naval Training Center - Anchor Yearbook (San Diego, CA)

 - Class of 1984

Page 6 of 116

 

US Naval Training Center - Anchor Yearbook (San Diego, CA) online yearbook collection, 1984 Edition, Page 6 of 116
Page 6 of 116



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Page 6 text:

TDRY 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 flater Rear Admiral1David F. Sellers,U.S. Navy. At the time of its commissioningin 1923 the station bore little resemblance to its present size or arrangement. At that time Camp Paul Jones housed the entire popula- tion ofthe 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 ofthe 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 ofa 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 theAdministra- tive Command. 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 l

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CAPTAIN H. L. PLOWMAN, USN Commander, Naval Training Center San Diego, California



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the rapidly growing Pacific Fleet would require further expansion of this training center. Accordingly steps were taken by the Navy Department to reactivate Camp Elliott, formerly a World War ll 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 ofthe Naval Training Center for the purpose of conducting the primary phases of re- cruit training. ln 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 construction of a permanent recruit camp on the undeveloped Training Center land lying to the south and east ofthe estuary. The six converted barracks went into service as recruit classrooms in April, 1953, and con- struction work on the new camp was completed in 1955. ln late 1965, the demand for trained Navy men to man the additional ships and overseas billets, required to meet the Vietnam crisis, brought the on-board population to a rcord of over 18,000 recruits, the highest since Korea. At the same time, a military construction program got under- way with the foundation of a new 8,000-man mess hall being laid adjacent to Bainbridge Court. ln addition, an- ambitious five-year program was formalized for the con- struction of modern barracks, TV classrooms and admin- istration facilities. The face lifting of the Recruit Com- mand was completed by the early 1970's. ln 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 ofthe 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 responsi- bility 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 pro- vides such other community services recreational and Navy Exchange facilities, communications, postal and transportation services, and police and fire protection. 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 "A" schools, where non-rated men learn the skills and information nec- essary to them to perform a specific petty officer rating. Among these schools are those which train electricians mates, radiomen. Other schools teach specialized skills such as teletype maintenance and stenography. The pre- sent capacity of the Service Schools is about 5,000 men. Now in its Fifth decade of service to the Navy, the Naval Training Center, San Diego, faces with confidence the challenges of an unsettled world. H ' ,..,,,glMW'-3 'ftfsisltiiiz2-eizifirftttttif-'fif

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