Military Bases in the South Bay

A pair of military bunkers from World War II remain today at the top of Bunker Hill, looking west over Lichty Mesa and Monument Mesa to the Pacific Ocean near the fence on the border with Mexico. Bunker Hill is the high mesa west of Goat Canyon that took its name from the military installations constructed during World War II. These bunkers were part of the coastal defense system built in 1942 from La Jolla to the border to defend San Diego against a possible Japanese attack. No guns were placed in these bunkers. They were observation posts only, called Base End Stations, meant only to observe and report to Fort Rosecrans on Point Loma where the gun batteries were located. These bunkers were similar to the Battery E Base End Station at Point Loma that has been renovated and is open to the public. A photo tour is available from the Cabrillo National Monument. Soldiers entered the bunder from a top hatch and descended into the two-level station. Telescopes pointed out the narrow viewing space on each level, and a radio kept communication with other stations.

Spanish Era 1769-1820

1769/07/16 - "The San Diego Presidio represents the oldest European settlement located on the Pacific Coast of the United States and Canada. A combined mission/presidio (military colony) was established by Spain in 1769. Five years later, the mission was relocated to its present site, and the outpost was granted the status of an independent, Royal Presidio. During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the fortified military settlement grew into an important colony. The population was made up of a diverse array of civilians as well as military personnel. At its height, the settlement sheltered more than five hundred inhabitants. By 1790, the presidio came to serve as the chief administrative and judicial center of the surrounding region. In 1796, the last major government-sponsored construction program was completed at the fortress. The post went into sharp decline after 1830 as a result of policy changes undertaken by the new Mexican Republic. In 1835 the presidio was abandoned. Today, the ruins of the adobe citadel and town are protected as part of Presidio Park. It remains one of the most important, and best preserved, Spanish colonial sites in the western United States. . . ." ( Jack Williams, "Adobe Ramparts: Archaeology and the Evolution of the Presidio of San Diego." San Diego: The Center for Spanish Colonial Archaeology, 1997. )

1803 - Fort Guijarros: "When Viceroy Revilla Gigedo directed a battery be built, at no cost to the crown, for the protection of San Diego's port, engineers selected Point Guijarros (Ballast Point). Lumber, including 103 23-foot planks, arrived from Monterey. Santa Barbara furnished axle-trees and wheels sufficient for ten carts. Bricks and tiles came from local sources. The castillo has come down in history as Fort Guijarros despite being officially blessed as El Castillo de San Joaquín in 1796. (The castillo at San Francisco received the same name.) By early 1798, $9,000 had been spent to construct a battery, a wooden casemate, magazine, barracks, flagstaff, and a flatboat. The number of guns mounted in the battery seems to have varied greatly from time to time. Two Americans who visited the work in 1803 had differing opinions concerning the armament. One said there were eight brass 9-pounders in good order, with plenty of ball. His companion disagreed and described it as a sorry battery of 8-pounders that did not merit consideration as a fortification. In 1803 the American merchant vessel Lelia Byrd arrived in San Diego. William Shaler, the ship captain, assured the local authorities that they had entered the harbor only for water and supplies. The suspicious Spaniards placed a guard on the ship to insure that the Americans would not attempt to purchase and smuggle out otter skins, as commercial intercourse with foreign vessels was prohibited by Spanish law. Smuggle they did, and the next morning they raised anchor and set sail. As the ship approached Fort Guijarros, the battery raised a flag and fired a blank cartridge. Lelia Byrd sailed past, firing two broadsides from her six 3-pounders. The Spaniards returned fire but inflicted little damage. Once past the fort, the Spanish guard was allowed ashore and the ship sailed on. A second incident involving the castillo occurred after Mexico had won independence. In 1828 the American ship Franklin, captained by John Bradford, entered San Diego Bay. When Mexican officials ordered Bradford to place his cargo in a warehouse as security for duties and be investigated for smuggling, he refused and prepared to leave port. As the ship passed the castillo, the Mexicans fired some forty rounds, causing some damage to the rigging and wounding Bradford. Around the same time the Frenchman Duhaut-Cilly was impressed with San Diego Bay and Point Loma, where he went on hunting expeditions: "San Diego Bay is certainly the finest in all California, and much preferable for the safety of vessels, to the immense harbor at San Francisco... it is a passage, from one to two miles wide, running at first in a north-northeast direction, then turning toward the east and southeast, forming an arc five leagues in length. It is sheltered, to the west, by a long, narrow and steep hill extending from the south-southwest, under the name of Point Loma. Two miles within from this point, juts out, perpendicularly to it, a tongue of sand and pebbles like an artificial mole, ending in a perfectly rounded bank. A deep passage, about two hundred fathoms wide, divides this natural causeway [from a sandy peninsula]. A rasant [low built] fort of twelve guns is built upon the point where this tongue of land joins Loma. On our approach, the Mexican flag was raised and enforced by a shot; at once we hoisted our own, paying it the same respect." The Franklin incident ended military activity on the bay until the Mexican-American war. Like the presidio, the castillo deteriorated rapidly in the 1830s. The garrison departed in 1835. In 1840 Don Juan Machado, a civilian, purchased the remnants of the fortifications for $40. Point Guijarros became a part of a United States military reservation in 1852. An army engineer prepared a map of a portion of the reservation in 1902 which shows the location of the castillo in front of Battery Wilkeson. Archaeological excavations of the site in the 1980s disclosed ruins of the ancient fortification, including hundreds of tile fragments and redwood planking." ( The Guns of San Diego, Historic Resource Study, Cabrillo National Monument )

1818/12 - Bouchard incident: "In December, 1818, occurred the episode of the Bouchard scare, which made a deep impression. Captain Hippolyte Bouchard came to the California Coast with two vessels which he had fitted out at the Hawaiian Islands as privateers, flying the flag of Buenos Ayres. He was regarded by the Spaniards as a pirate, although his conduct scarcely justifies so harsh a term. What his designs were is not clearly known. He may have intended to seize Upper California. The expedition appears to have been a feature of the wars then raging between Spain and the South American countries, the latter employing the methods of privateers, which at that time were recognized by the laws of nations. After committing some depredations at the north, particularly at Monterey, it was reported that the two ships of Bouchard were approaching the Mission of San Juan Capistrano. The Commandant at San Diego therefore sent Lieutenant Santiago Argüello with thirty men to assist in its defense. When Argüello arrived he found that the Fathers had removed a part of the church property and concealed it, and he and his men fell to and did all they could toward completing the work. Bouchard arrived the next day and demanded supplies, which Argüello refused. Re-enforcements soon arrived, and after much bluster Bouchard drew off without venturing to give battle, but not before some damage had been done. For this damage and certain other irregularities the San Juan Capistrano Mission Fathers accused Argüello. These charges were the cause of much bad feeling and voluminous correspondence, but General Guerra, who was friendly to the friars, expressed the opinion that the charges were merely trumped up by the priests to cover their own neglect of duty. Extensive preparations had been made at San Diego to receive Captain Bouchard, even down to such details as red-hot cannon balls. The women and children were sent away to Pala for safety. But the insurgent vessels passed by without stopping, and all was soon serene again. When the news of this attack reached the Viceroy, he determined to re-enforce the Upper California presidios, at any cost, although he was in extreme difficulties, himself, on account of the civil war then raging in Mexico. He accordingly managed to send a detachment of a hundred cavalrymen, which arrived at San Diego on the 16th of September the following year, and about half of them remained here. They were fairly well armed and brought money for the payment of expenses." [Source: Smythe, William E. History of San Diego (1908) 95-96] ( )

American Era 1846-1917

William H. Emory (National Archives)

1846/12/06 - Bold Emory: He charted the way to San Diego. In the first issue of the Alta California, the state's first newspaper, appears the following item: First Lt. William H. Emory, Topographical Engineer, to be Captain by Brevet for "gallant and meritorious conduct at the Battle of San Pascual" to date from Dec. 6, 1846. The date of the Alta California was Jan. 25, 1849. Two years be-, fore, on Dec. 6 to 8, 1846, at the Battle of San Pascual, in San Diego County, Lt. William Hemsley Emory had made a name for himself. He had fought hand to hand with the enemy, had saved Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny from a fatal lancing by a Mexican charger, watched over the baggage containing his surveying instruments, cared for the wounded, negotiated an exchange of prisoners with Andres Pico, the Mexican commander, saved the life of mountain man Antoine Robidoux with a cup of coffee, took observations of the camp (it was latitude 33°03'42" and longitude 117°03'29") made a topographical sketch showing the position of the enemy, and helped bury the American dead secretly. His work on those two days was the basis for the brevetting to captain and may indicate why his friends at West Point‹Jefferson Davis, Joseph E. Johnstone, and Henry Clay, Jr.‹had given him the nickname, " Bold Emory." An aristocrat, a stickler for performance, and a dashing cavalryman with red whiskers. Emory was appointed topographical engineer of Kearny's Army of the West, in Leavenworth, Kan., in 1846. His duty was vast‹to map unexplored areas of the West‹but he had only 24 hours in Washington, D.C. to obtain necessary equipment. The Army of the West took New Mexico, and President Polk ordered Kearny to conquer California. Topographical engineers, as part of the Army, now had a chance to survey and map the little known territory between the Rio Grande and the Pacific. It would be necessary for Kearny to maintain a supply line to California and, with acquisition of the Southwest area, it was also necessary to have an overland route to defend the Mexican border. On June 28, 1846, the Army of the West began a 2,000 mile march to the Pacific‹from Ft. Leavenworth to Bent's Fort, and then to Santa Fe through enemy territory (the Mexican state of New Mexico), with always the threat of formidable forces under General Armijo awaiting them. With Kearny were mountain men Alex Godey, Tom Fitzpatrick (Broken Hand), Antoine Robidoux, and, later, Kit Carson. Emory had able assistance from Lts. Abert and Peck, and First Lt. William H. Warner. With Emory were also Mr. Bestor, guardian of the surveying instruments, and John Mix Stanley, the artist for the trip. On Aug. 2, south of Bent's Fort, Emory began to make detailed notes of the types of soil, rock, vegetation, animals, a n d details of progress of the march and condition of their animals. Pecos, an ancient town, interested Emory over and above scientific observations, particularly the ancient ruins of t h e church and the "estuffa" (properly spelled "estufa"), where the perpetual fire of Montezuma burned at one end of the temple and the Mass of Spanish Catholicism was celebrated at the other end. Emory's observations were the beginning of American anthropological and archaeological studies of the West. Kearny's army marched long, weary, thirsty miles over the unknown route, charting it for the future. It took Santa Fe quietly, with fandangos and good food for all, and then moved on to the Gila River and the little known Colorado and across the desert to meet the enemy which had threatened them all the way. That was the Battle of San Pascual, which has been called a defeat, but, if so, an odd defeat which left the vanquished in possession of the battleground, and unopposed as they moved on to San Diego. On Dec. 12, 1846, the Army of the West, in torrential rain, reached a point overlooking San Diego and the bay. Emory noted that the mission was deserted, and that Rio San Diego ran underground toward the town, where it emerged into the bay, piling up sand that threatened the harbor. He believed that, with some expense, the filling up of the harbor could be avoided. The measure would be worth the expense, he believed, because he felt San Diego's harbor was one of the best on the West Coast, with the exception of San Francisco. It possibly was better than San Francisco, he wrote, because of the even climate, good anchorage, and shelter from the winds. Much would depend, he noted, upon San Diego's becoming a railroad terminal ‹ something which did not happen. Emory with his instruments was assigned to the San Diego calaboose with its mounted gun. He attempted to store his instruments in the "hovel," as he called it, and began the work of compiling his notes. Later Emory was able to take his instruments and notes aboard the Cyane, a ship lying in the harbor, and finish his notes made during the entire route from Bent's Fort to San Diego. It was in San Diego that Emory's observations ended for that survey. San Diego already had been surveyed by Capt. Sir Edward Belcher of the British navy, and Emory used his results. He realized that further observations might not be accurate because his chronome-ters had been disturbed by the San Pascual Battle. But he had made the first detailed records of the entire route from Leavenworth, Kan., to San Diego. The story of Emory does not end with his work of reconnaissance with the Army of the West. When the Mexican Boundary Survey came to a chaotic halt a few years later, Emory stepped in, completed the survey, and made it the longest survey in the world to that date. With the exception of the moving river channel of the Rio Grande‹a circumstance which Emory predicted ‹ he made it a permanent boundary, too. Lt. Emory's reconnaissance was predominated by military objectives; yet his map of the area was the first accurate one. It corrected or modified, and in some cases made obsolete, the existing maps, and it changed the conception of Southwest geography, and, in 1849, was used by the California gold-seekers. Emory compiled more than 2,000 astronomical observations and 357 barometric observations, so that his map is a landmark in western cartography. It places Lt. William Hemsley Emory‹ Bold Emory‹among the great trail blazers of the American West. (by Dorothy Loomis, The San Diego Union; Date: 07-23-1961; Page: b1, b3)

1849 - La Playa: in June 1849 Second Lieutenant Thomas D. Johns, 2d Infantry, became susistance commissary and had a office and a squad of soldiers with him at La Playa. But with the Army's decision to construct its depot at New San Diego and not at La Playa, it was apparently used by the Army to land supplies at until the wharf was completed at New San Diego in the spring of 1851. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 115. )

1849/07 - Otay/Otay Mesa Camp Riley: established June 1849 by Major William H. Emory, Topographical Engineers, for the headquarters of the United States Boundary Commission. Camp Riley was located at Santiago Arguello's. La Punta Rancho at Otay. During World War II a small detachment of soldiers used the old adobe as a lookout station. ( Hinds, James W. "San Diego's Military Sites," typed mss, San Diego Historical Society, 1986. )

1850 - San Diego Barracks: Established in 1850 on the block bounded by Kettner Boulevard, Market, G and California Streets, which the developer of New San Diego had given to the to get it to establish its new supply depot in their development. The Army also received a second block of land bounded by Union, State, F and G Streets on which the Army built its stables. The first soldiers to occupy the barracks which was then called Post New San Diego were two companies of soldiers who had moved from their previous station at Mission San Diego De Alcala. The barracks were used off and on again and in 1858 became headquarters for the Southern Division of the United States Army of the Pacific. In December 1858, Company G. 6th Infantry arrived in San Diego. Then in November 1861 a company from the 1st California Volunteers relieved Company G thus starting a nearly five year presence of volunteer troops at the barracks. The last volunteer troops were at the barracks until June 1866 when they vacated the barracks. The barracks were reactivated as a supply depot in 1869 and then closed in 1871. Then on January 2. 1876, Company G. Ist Cavalry Regiment (Horse) arrived in San Diego in response to a bloody bandit raid on Campo and reactivated the barracks. In 1879 Post-New San Diego was redesignated offically as San Diego Barracks. During the 1870s the cemetery for the barracks was established on the undeveloped military reservation on Point Loma. During the 19th Century the barracks served as the supply depot supporting Fort Yuma, Fort Tejon, Fort Mojave, San Luis Ray, Chino and Santa Ysabel. During the early 20th Century the barracks was a sub-post of Fort Rosecrans and used primarily as a base for provisioning soldiers on the Mexican border. The San Diego Barracks were abandoned in 1921 and the land sold to the city of San Diego in 1938. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 67-69 )

1852 - Fort Rosecrans: on February 26, 1852, President Millard Fillmore established by Executive Order a military reservation on the southern three miles of Point Loma that covered over 1,000 acres But the military did not move to fortify Point Loma at that time. Instead the first facilities to be constructed on the military reservation was the lighthouse that was constructed on the headland, 442 feet above sea level in 1854. But it was not until twenty-one years after the creation of the military reservation that the War Department made its first effort and started construction on fortifications on Point Loma. Ballast Point was the point selected and which had previously been the site of Spanish Fort Guijarros. The Army had 50 men constructing a 1,100 foot long earthworks behind which it was planned would be placed 15 heavy caliber guns that could sweep the bay from La Playa to the mouth of the harbor. But, only the faces of the batteries had been raised to parade level and one magazine was partially built before funds ran out and the work stopped. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 104-105 )

1888 - Quarantine Station at La Playa estabished 1888, buildings in 1891, Marine Hospital on site of old hide houses, site to be turned over to the Navy for a coaling station ( Smythe, William E. History of San Diego, 1908, )

1896 - The Strand: 1896 Coast Artillery Site: a 50 acre site purchased by the War Department, a little under 1 1/8 miles south of the Hotel del Coronado on which the Army planned to install heavy 12-inch coast defense mortars. -- [ site today is the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado] ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986. )

1897 - Construction began on four 10-inch rifled guns at Ballast Point. When completed the battery was named in honor of Bvt. Lt. Col. Bayard Wilkeson, an artilleryman killed at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863. In 1915, the battery was divided; guns 1 and 2 on the right flank retained the name Wilkeson, and rifles 3 and 4 were named in honor of Col. John H. Calef, another artilleryman who had fought in the Civil War. (Thompson, "The Guns Of San Diego," Chapter 4.)

Battery Wilkeson at Fort Rosecrans, 1903. (SPAWAR LRO LSF 239-10-66)

1901 - Coaling Station: The oldest Navy shore establishment in San Diego was the coaling station on Point Loma since 1901, officially known after 1904 as the La Playa Coaling Station. The Navy built a radio station on Point Loma in 1906, and added a transmitting station at Chollas Heights in 1916 with 600-foot radio antenna towers. -- ( Military Bases in San Diego - World War I (1914-1920), )

1901 - North Island: Fort Pio Pico: established by the Army in 1901 on 38.56 acres of land on North Island known as Zuniga Shoal Tract adjacent to the jetty, as a coastal defense fort. Fort Pio Pico was a subdivision of Fort Rosecrans and the first military reservation on North Island. A battery of two 3-inch, 15 pound, model 1903 seacoast guns were installed in 1904 and trained to cover the harbors entrance. The battery was called Battery Mead in honor of Captain James Mead, 117th Infantry. Two or three caretakers lived at the fort and the soldiers crossed the channel from Fort Rosecrans each day to man the fort's guns. After the end of World War I Fort Pio Pico was no longer needed and in 1919 the guns were removed and taken across the channel and mounted in Battery McGrath who's 5-inch guns had been sent overseas during the war. The final vestages of Fort Pio Pico disappeared into the bay on February 49 1941 when a dredge undermined the fort's bank causing Parts to fall into the bay. The water then closed over the final remnants of the old fort. During its earlier years there was a rifle range associated with the fort. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 42-51. )

1901 - Coaling Station: Navy Fuel Depot/Naval Supply Center, Fuel Department, Point-Loma Annex: on September 24, 1901 the northerly part of the Fort Rosecrans Military Reservation was transferred to the Navy for the establishment of a coaling station. The Coaling Station was established by the Navy in 1904 and built in stages up to 1908. The first oil storage tanks at the site were constructed in 1917. The site is part of the Navy Supply Center. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986. )

1906 - Navy Radio began on Point Loma May 12 - see History

1908/04/14 - Great White Fleet: "San Diego had been bypassed by the new rail system and was saddled with a marshy bay that needed dredging if it had any hope of developing a port. Federal funding was critical to that. Maybe the impetus for that could come from the Navy, San Diego leaders speculated. San Diego mobilized. Business leader John Spreckels and a host of Chamber of Commerce officials steamed south to meet the Navy at Magdalena Bay. They met with Admiral Robley Evans with such robust enthusiasm that he agreed to a four-day visit to San Diego on his way to San Francisco. That single decision changed the course of San Diego's future. As the Great White Fleet armada's four columns of battleships off Tijuana approached San Diego on April 14, 1908, officers and enlisted men stood stunned by the sight on shore. Thousands of San Diegans lined the beach. Swarms of small boats at the entrance to San Diego Bay, many sporting red, white and blue bunting, were filled with San Diegans shouting a robust welcome. At 1 p.m. the USS Connecticut dropped anchor." ( McGaugh, Scott, "The Great White Fleet's arrival and how it changed San Diego," )

1910/12/12 - SD harbor to be dredged, making a channel 30 ft deep and 600 ft wide, contract to the Standard American Dredging co. ( Amero, "The Making of the Panama-California Exposition," 1990. )

1911 - Mexico revolution in 1911. Army troop from Fort Rosecrans sent to the border photo. "Here they are taking a break in the 300 block of Third Avenue." ( Roseman, Frank M. and Peter J. Watry. Chula Vista: Images of America. Charlston SC : Arcadia Pub., 2008. )

1911 - Fort Rosecrans: On August 20, 1901, the 115th Company of Coast Artillery was organized at the San Diego Barracks then transferred to Fort Rosecrans where it relieved the 28th Company of Coast Artillery. Activity for the fort's garrison picked up in 1911 when the Army was ordered onto the border in March of that response to the Mexican Revolution. The 115th Company was ordered to Tecate, California. While a provisional infantry brigade went into camp west of the Fort Rosecrans and Roseville Road. And Brigadier General Tasker H. Bliss, commander of the Department of California, made his headquarters at Fort Rosecrans during this period of border tension. American troops only stayed on the border for five months before being withdrawn. But in May 1914 the 115th Company was again sent to Tecate, California where it stayed for five months before being relieved. Then in May 1916 because of Mexican Revolutionary troubles the Army was again sent onto the border. But this time Fort Rosecrans role appears to have been a supporting role, through its San Diego Barracks sub-post which served as a logistical point for soldiers on the border. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 104-105 )

1911 - Camp Hearn: In 1910, chaos exploded in Mexico. In response to the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution, President William Howard Taft ordered U.S. troops to the Mexican border. The 3rd Oregon Infantry, the 21st Infantry and finally the First Cavalry were stationed at camps near the monument. To help patrol the boundary, the army established Camp Hearn at Imperial Beach to the north of the estuary. The 11th Cavalry was sta- tioned there until October 1931. An esti- mated 890,000 Mexicans crossed the bor- der during the Revolution, many of them hired by railroads such as the San Diego and Arizona Railroad that connected to Imperial Valley. ( TRNERR History Chapter, )

1911 - Camp Hearn: One of the military organizations which San Diegans will remember with pleasure for many years is the 21st Infantry, which, for several years before the war, was stationed at Balboa Park. For many months the regiment was in command of Col. J. P. O'Neil and under him became known as "San Diego's Own." Before that the organization had been regarded as a favorite of President McKinley, and a bugler attached to the regiment while it was here was selected to blow "taps" at the funeral of the martyr President. When Colonel O'Neil, always popular in San Diego, was made a brigadier-general after the United States entered the great war, Col. Willis Uline became commander of the regiment. Composed largely of men serving their second enlistment, and many of whom saw service in the Philippines and Hawaii, the 21st was regarded as one of the best units of the regular army. With the formation of the new army officers and men of the regiment were heavily drawn on to supply trained material for some of the new regiments in process of formation. Practically every commissioned officer of the 21st received promotion and many of them were transferred to responsible posts in other units. More than fifty of the non-commissioned officers of the 21st were sent to the first training camp for officers and practically all of the number "made good" and were selected to wear the shoulder straps of commissioned officers. ( McGrew, City of San Diego and San Diego County, 1922, p. 220)

1911/01/26 - North Island: Glenn Hammond Curtiss makes world's first successful seaplane flight from waters off Spanish Bight, a mile-long stretch between North Island and Coronado (now filled in). Curtiss starts a flying school on Coronado's North Island, inviting the Army and Navy to send officers for free instruction as pilots. North Island Aviation Camp is established by the Army Signal Corps. One of its students, Lt. Theodore G. Ellyson, USN, becomes Naval Aviator Number 1. -- ( Amero, "The Making of the Panama-California Exposition," 1990. )

1911/01/29 - Battle of Tijuana: During the civil war in Mexico in 1911, as Francisco Madero led his movement to overthrow Profirio Diaz, Jesus and Ricardo Flores Magon led a revolution of the Industrial Workers of the World to take over Baja California. With the help of radical Americans from Los Angeles, the small army of the Flores Magon brothers captured Mexicali Jan. 29, 1911. Jack Mosby of the IWW led another army that occupied the territory west of Mexicali. Boer War veteran Carl Rhys Pryce led an army from Mexicali that attacked Tijuana May 8, defended by Jose Maria Larroque. Americans north of the border gathered along the river to watch the "Battle of Tijuana" but were not allowed to cross the border by Gen. Wilcox. Emma Goldman spoke at Germania Hall in San Diego that evening in support of the rebels. The next day, May 9, the rebels captured the custom house and the federal soldiers retreated. Two automobiles of the Red Cross crossed the border into Tijuana to help the wounded, and tourists were allowed into the town. On June 22, federal troops led by Governor Celso Vaga defeated the rebels led by Jack Mosby in the "Second Battle of Tijuana" and ended the IWW revolution in Baja California. ( Johns, Sally. "The Battle of Tijuana," in Chula Vista, the Early Years. Vol. 4. San Diego CA: Tecolote Publications, 1994, pp. 47-69. )

1911/02/04 - "Mexicali Captured by Rebels," and 50 troopers from Fort Rosecrans each with 200 rounds ammo and 20 days rations were rushed to Calexico under Lt. Franc Lecocq. Excitement in Tijuana has run high. On p. 2: "Fifty American soldiers from Fort Rosecrans passed through national City this morning on the SD Southern Railway bound for Tia Juana where they will preserve neutrality and protect American interests along the borer line. Fifteen men are also enroute from the fort to Campo on a forced march." ( National City News, Feb. 4, 1911. )

1911/03 - North Island: "Recurring problems with Mexico during the presidency of Porfirio Diaz alarmed President William Howard Taft, and in 1911 he dispatched 4th Provisional Marine Regiment to San Diego for deployment to Mexico. Under the command of Colonel Charles A. Doyen, USMC, the 4th Provisional Marine Regiment, in March 1911, became the first Marines to occupy San Diego since the Mexican War. The 4th Provisional Marine Regiment established a military camp on North Island, in San Diego bay, and named it Camp Thomas in honor of Rear Admiral Chauncey Thomas, USN, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet. The regiment bivouacked, heading towards the boarder, but tensions eased in Mexico before the Marines could cross the border. The Marines were brought back to San Diego. The officers and men from the 4th Provisional Marine Regiment were disbanded, returning to their regular bases and units. Camp Thomas would not again serve as a camp for the Marines in San Diego. When political turmoil erupted again in Mexico in 1914, the 4th Marine Regiment were destined to returned to North Island. Reorganized at the Puget Sound, Washington, and Mare Island, California Navy Yards in April, 1914, the regiment, this time under the command of Colonel Joseph H. Pendleton, USMC, embarked aboard the USS SOUTH DAKOTA, WEST VIRGINIA, and JUPITER and proceeded to the Gulf of California as a show of force. As an acceptable degree of stability returned to the Mexican government, and the need for the Marine presence diminished, the regiment again sailed for San Diego. This time, the 4th Marine Regiment would not be disbanded. The 4th Marine Regiment arrived in San Diego harbor on July 6, 1914 and were once again encamped on North Island. The 4th Marine Regiment, under the command of Colonel Joseph H. Pendleton, USMC, followed the camp naming precedent established in 1911 by naming the new camp area Camp Howard after the incumbent Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet, Rear Admiral Thomas B. Howard, USN. From the date of July 6, 1914 to the present, the Marine Corps has been stationed in San Diego. The tie that eventually bound the Marines to San Diego was the peaceful Panama-California Exposition. However, North Island would no longer continue to serve as their base location. On December 22, 1914, Camp Howard on North Island was closed with the establishment of the Marine Barracks at Balboa Park." (The California State Military Museum, ( The California State Military Museum, )

1911/03/20 - North Island: Camp Thomas: on March 20, 1911 during the Mexican Revolutionary period the provisional 4th Marine Regiment landed on North Island and established Camp Thomas. The 4th Regiment commanded by Colonel Charles A. Doyen had hurriedly assembled at the Navy Yard, Mare Island, California, for expeditionary service on the west coast. With civil disorder having largely ceased, part of Colonel Doyen's regiment at Camp Thomas was disbanded in June 1911. The remaining officers and enlisted men returned to their regular stations in July. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 42-51. )

1911/05/09 - Battle of Tijuana: In 1911, the residents of Chula Vista found their world being touched by events across the border in Mexico. A revolution threatened to overthrow the government of Porfirio Diaz. Rebel armies, composed of Mexican peasants as well as soldiers of fortune, stu- dents, teachers, idealists, political radicals, drifters and adventurers, staged uprisings throughout Mexico. On May 9, 1911, rebels routed the Mexican government troops in Tijuana in an attempt to take over Baja California. Eager to witness the historic events, local residents drove to the border to watch the spectacle. Although American troops tried to prevent Americans from crossing into Mexico, sightseers and souvenir hunters could not resist. Then panic ensued when one rebel rode through the streets of Tijuana warning the sightseers that a government attack was imminent. Although it turned out to be a false alarm, the Americans raced to the border, tearing their clothes as they scrambled through barbed wire fences to reach the American side. On June 22, Mexi- can government troops recaptured Tijuana, and the rebels, many of them American, fled north into the United States. Once across the border, they surrendered to the American Army and were taken to the stockade on Point Loma. The Battle of Tijuana was over. ( Webster, Karna. Chula Vista Heritage 1911-1986. City of Chula Vista, 1986. )

1911/05/10 - Battle of Tijuana: Francisco Madero's revolution breaks out - Battle of Tijuana from May 10 until routed by Mexican Federalists on June 22. -- ( Amero, "The Making of the Panama-California Exposition," 1990. )

1912 - North Island: Camp Trouble: a winter camp established by the Navy for its Naval Aviation Detachment on January 15, 1912 at the northeast corner of North Island opposite the Broadway Pier. The camp was commanded by Lieutenant Theodore G. Ellyson, the Navy's first aviator who had learned to fly at the Glenn Curtiss Aviation School on North Island in early 1911. The Aviation Detachment operated three aircraft while at North Island; A-1 and A-2. Curtiss and a B-1 which was a Wright aircraft. During the time that Camp Trouble was in existence Ensign Victor D. Herbster qualified as the Navy's fourth pilot and the first Navy aviator to be officially trained at North Island. On May 3, 1912 the Aviation Detachment departed North Island and the camp ceased to exist. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 42-51. )

1912/11/04 - North Island Rockwell Field: at the invitation of Gienn Curtiss the Army estabiished an aviation camp on North Island near where Camp Trouble had been. The first Army detachment arrived November 4. 1912. By mid-1913 the Army had assembled all of its aircraft and aviation personnel at North Island. In December 1913 the aviation camp was designated a Signal Corps Aviation School. At North Island the Army undertook both flight training and ground training plus some special activities. And in September 1914 the Army formed its first Aero Squadron at North Island. At this time the Army was virtually the sole occupant of North Island, but lacking ownership over the land and with a precarious tenancy arrangement with the Coronado Beach Company, the Army constructed no permanent structures on the island. So by June 1916 it had only 22 temporary buildings on the island. With American's entry into World War I and through various governmental actions the Federal Government took possession of North Island on July 29, 1917 as sites for permanent aviation stations for both the Army and the Navy. This in turn necessitated the establishment of joint tenancy agreements between the two services. The Army agreed to reestablish itself on the south side of North Island and the Navy was given the north side with its bay access. By this time the Signal Corps Aviation School had been renamed Rockwell Field in honor of Lieutenant Lewis C. Rockwell, 10th Infantry, who crashed and was killed in an aviation accident on September 28, 1912. On December 29, 1921 the Federal Government paid $6,098,333.33 for North Island. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 42-51. )

1913 - North Island: "Starting in 1913, attempts were made by the Army to buy North Island, without result. The situation was aggravated in December 1915, when the Coronado Beach Company sent a notice to vacate the property "as soon after March 31, 1916, as possible," since the company, which had been paying taxes on the property all along, declared that it wanted to subdivide and sell lots as "high class residential property," as it had tried to do with the South Island. But the Army stayed put, continuing to build, albeit only impermanent structures, so that by June 1916, there were twenty-two buildings making up the Army facility. America's entry into the First World War in April 1917 brought matters to a head. After a joint Navy/Army board concluded that North Island "is the best location in this country for the establishment of a joint Army and Navy aviation station for the primary training of pilots," and with the urging and politicking of San Diego's Congressman William Kettner, Congress authorized the president to issue an executive order seizing the property, with compensation to the owners to be determined later. President Woodrow Wilson signed the order on August 1, 1917, and the Army immediately assumed control in the name of the United States of America, although Spreckels was allowed to continue to operate his Marine Ways dock for a time. (p108) -- In 1914 the name Aeronautical Division of the Signal Corps was changed to the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps, which, arguably, was an improvement. Congress authorized a nationwide complement of 60 officers and 260 enlisted men, requiring the officers to be unmarried lieutenants of the line. (p109) -- When the war broke out in Europe in August 1914, the entire tactical air strength‹that is, ready combat units‹of the U.S. Army consisted of six airplanes, 12 officers, and 54 enlisted men. A dramatic expansion of the Army's air capabilities followed. By the end of hostilities in November 1918, the Air Service had 185 squadrons, with 8,000 aircraft, 20,568 officers, and 274,456 enlisted men. North Island was heavily involved in this phenomenal growth, both before and during the war. The first organized fighting unit of planes and men, the First Aero Squadron, was formed there in 1915 under the command of one of the Army's original pilots, Capt. Benjamin D. Foulois (called by some the "father of U. S. military aviation)." Although it was short on aircraft, in July the squadron was sent by railroad train to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma‹15 officers, 11 enlisted men, one civilian‹and eight planes. The next year Capt. Foulois and the squadron saw the nation's first aerial combat duty, somewhat futilely attempting to assist General John J. Pershing and his expedition chasing Francisco "Pancho" Villa in Northern Mexico by flying search and reconnaissance missions. In September 1917 the squadron arrived in France‹but without any aircraft, having to rely upon the British, French, and Italians for modern planes." (p110) -- ( Peck, "Forgotten Air Pioneers," 2006, pp. 108-110. )

1914 - North Island: Raymond V. Morris was one of sixteen pilots who had taken the course in Hammondsport, New York, in the Curtiss Pilot Training Class in 1913. The Curtiss Aviation School on North Island had officially opened on January 17, 1911. Raymond Morris took over the flying school when Curtiss' three year contract expired in February, 1914. ( "Raymund V. Morris," )

1914/07/06 - North Island: Camp Howard: established July 6, 1914 by Colonel Jospeh H. Pendleton who landed with his 4th Marine Regiment, after shipboard duty off the west coast of Mexico. The 4th Regiment totalling 26 officers and 1,100 enlisted men had been embarked since mid- April 1914 aboard the USS South Dakota, West Virgina, and Jupiter. The camp was established along Spanish Bight and was named for Rear Admiral Thomas B. Howard. Ultimately Camp Howard was provided with electricity, telephone service, and water which was piped in. In addition the Marines constructed a rifle range with 14 targets on the ocean side of North Island on which the entire regiment had been requalified on by December. Then in December 1914 the 4th Regiment was ordered to exposition duty. The regiment's ist Battalion was ordered to San Francisco and duty with the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The 2d Battalion would remain in San Diego with duty at the city's Panama-California Exposition. The 2d Battalion left Camp Howard first. Its field and staff and 25th Company moved to the area of Balboa Park now called the Pali- sades, on December 119 1914. These units were joined by the battalion's remaining three companies-26th, 2?th, and 28th-on 15, 16, and 17 December respectively. The regiment field and staff moved on the 21st to Balboa Park where it was housed in the Science and Education Building. The next day, 22 December, when the 1st Battalion's staff and its three companies - 31st, 32d, and 34th - boarded the USS West Virgina for transporation to the Marine Barracks, Mare Island Navy Yard, Camp Howard ceased to exist. The abandonment of Camp Howard did not end the Marines presence on North Island. Instead a small detachment of two corporals and 27 privates remained to Patrol the island and man the rifle range. The rifle range was used continually through 1915 and 1916 by Marines in Balboa Park and sailors from San Diego based ships. But in 1916 there were only two men assigned to the range. From existing information it appears that the rifle range existed up until the 1917 division of North Island between the Army and Navy. Because after the division the Marine rifle range was within the area of the island that the Army received and the Ma- rines went on to establish a new rifle range at La Jolla. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 42-51. )

1915 - Fort Rosecrans: During the 1915-1916 period steps were taken to stregthen coastal defenses at Fort Rosecrans with the construction of Battery Whistler and White, both of which were four 12-inch mortars. Battery White was placed in a ravine just west of the Post and Battery Whistler was placed in a ravine on the bay side of the Peninsula Ridge, a short distance south of the gate on the upper road. Meanwhile on another front the Cabrillo National Monument was established at the Old Lighthouse in 1913 but it only covered a quarter of an acre. With 1917 and the thrust of the United States into World War I, Fort Rosecrans served as Headquarters for the Coast Defense of San Diego with Fort Pio Pico and the San Diego Barracks being its sub-posts. The fort was part of the South Pacific Coast Artillery District. Also with the start of the war was new construction to house additional troops. In addition the San Diego Historical Society Quarterly, Vol. Vs No* 4s October 1959 in an article on Fort Rosecrans indicates that in addition to the 54th Am. Tn. (Am- munition Train), the Ist Battalion, 65th Coast Artillery Regiment and the 1st and 2d Anti- Aircraft Batteries were organized, trained, and shipped overseas from Fort Rosecrans. During the war Battery McGrath's 5-inch guns were removed and shipped overseas. But in 1919 with the abandonment of Fort Pio Pico the two 3-inch guns that had been there were brought to Fort Rosecrans and in- stalled in the gunless Battery McGrath. Following the closure of Camp Hearn in April 1920, Troop A, 11th Cavalry Regiment (Horse) moved to Fort Rosecrans and was stationed at the fort until being trans- ferred to Montery, California a little later on. In 1922 Fort Rosecrans was Placed in care- takers status. But in 1930 the inactive post served as headquarters for the 6th Infantry Brigade, commanded by Brigadier General Ralph H. VanDeman who moved his head- quarters from the interior to the fort. But it was the threat of war that again stimulated activity at Fort Rosecrans in the late 1930s as the Army moved to stregthen its harbor defenses at San Diego. In 1937 the Army completed construction on Battery Strong. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 104-105 )

1916 - The Marine Corps base on the bay tidelands called Dutch Flats was authorized by a Naval appropriation bill of August 29, 1916, in large part due to the efforts of Congressman William Kettner. The Marine Barracks in Balboa Park had been established Dec. 19, 1914, by Col. Joseph Pendleton while the status of a permanent base was debated in the federal government. The Marine 4th Regiment had been sent to San Diego in 1911 due to the Mexican Revolution and were stationed on North Island. When the Panama-Pacific Exposition opened in 1914, Col. Pendleton set up a model Marine camp on the fairgrounds in Balboa Park and it became the Marine Barracks. The Navy General Board approved a base Jan. 8, 1916 and the tideland area was dredged and filled until groundbreaking could begin in 1919 for permanent buildings. The Marines moved from Balboa Park to the new Dutch Flats installation after it was commissioned Marine Barracks Dec. 1, 1921. -- -- Other early Navy installations expanded during World War I. The oldest Navy shore establishment in San Diego was the coaling station on Point Loma since 1901, officially known after 1904 as the La Playa Coaling Station. The Navy built a radio station on Point Loma in 1906, and added a transmitting station at Chollas Heights in 1916 with 600-foot radio antenna towers. -- In 1908 Congress passed an appropriation bill for 1-million dollars to fund the development of Pearl Harbor as the Navy's main Pacific base. ( Military Bases in San Diego - World War I (1914-1920), )

1916 - San Ysidro Border Camp (Little Landers): a border patrol camp established by the Army at San Ysidro during the Mexican Revolutionary period 1916-1920. Tia Juana Border Camp: a border patrol camp established by the Army at Tia Juana, during the Mexican Revolutionary periods 1911 and 1916-1920. In 1911 the camp was located 1/8 mile north of the Custom's House gate. ( Hinds, James W. "San Diego's Military Sites," typed mss, San Diego Historical Society, 1986. )

1916 - Camp Hearn: Camp U.S. Troops/Camp Hearn: established by the Army, July 11, 1916, at the junction of Silver Strand Boulevard and Palm Avenue on leased land at Imperial Beach, and occupied by the 3d Oregon Infantry. The camp was established by the start of Mexican Revolutionary troubles in 1916 that continued into 1920. The camp was named in honor of Major Lawrence J. Hearn 21st Infantry. The 3d Oregon Infantry was relieved in October 1916 by a detachment of the 21st Infantry which garrisoned the camp alone until joined by a detachment from the 1st Cavalry Regiment (Horse). During the fall of 1917 these troops constructed the camps rifle range. Then on December 29, 1917 they were relieved by a detachment from the 11th Cavalry Regiment (Horse). During March-April 1918 Camp Hearn's commander agreed to the use of the camps parade ground by the Aerial Acrobatic Camp/ Imperial Beach Aviation School, and turned over several buildings for their use. The aviation program was part of the Rockwell Field flight training program. In 1918 a detachment of the 21st Infantry relieved the cavalry for rifle practice. They in turn were relieved in August 1918 by a detachment from the 25th Infantry Battalion who were stationed at Camp Hearn until February 1919. From that date besides being the headquarters of the Southern California Border District a detachment from the 11th Cavalry was stationed there. On August 7, 1920 Camp Hearn was closed. ( Hinds, James W. "San Diego's Military Sites," typed mss, San Diego Historical Society, 1986. )

1916 - Camp Hearn: "Another military post that with troops that operated in the Tia Juana River Valley was Camp Hearn. Although located on the northern edge of the present city of Imperial Beach, rather than in the valley itself, soldiers from this post actively patrolled the border in the Tia Juana area (Smith 1976:26; Evans 1976; Elliott 1976a:23). Camp Hearn was established in 1916 on land leased by the government. The site of this former U.S. Army Cavalry post is now occupied by West View Elementary School (Aerial Photographs 1928; San Diego Sun 1-17-1920; U.S.G.S. 1953). Between 1916 and 1920. The post was occupied consecutively by the Third U.S. Cavalry, the Eleventh U.S. Cavalry (Twenty-Fifth Battalion) and the Third Squadron Eleventh Cavalry (excepting Company K stationed at Campo). In March and April 1918 it the camp temporarily served as a base for the Army's Imperial Beach Aviation School (San Diego Sun 1-17-1920). The Army abandoned the post about 1930 (Elliott 1976b)." ( Van Wormer, Stephen R. "A Land Use History of the Tia Juana River Valley," California State Parks, Southern Service Center, June 2005. )

1916 - Camp Hearn: The West View Elementary School now occupies the site where the United States Cavalry Post was once located. The property was first leased by the Government in 1916. Camp Hearn functioned as a military rifle camp and was the headquarters for the Commanding Officer of the Southern California Border District, U.S. Army. In the years, 1916 - 1920, the Camp was occupied consecutively by, The Third Oregon Infantry, The Twenty-first U.S. Infantry, The First U.S. Cavalry, The Eleventh U.S. Cavalry (Twenty-fifth Battalion), and The Third Squadron Eleventh Cavalry, excepting Company K, which was stationed at Campo. Camp Hearn functioned temporarily as a base for the Army's Imperial Beach Aviation School in March and April, 1918, and in 1930 the Army abandoned the Camp. Ralph W. Evans, son of R. D. Evans, was born in Nestor, and has lived all his life in this area. He tells of going to Camp Herne for entertainment, years before the cavalry left around 1930. They used to have movies at the Camp one evening a week and the local children were allowed to attend for ten cents each. The movies were the silent type and the children would watch one reel, then sit and wait while the reel was rewound and the second reel installed. During this transition, someone would play the victrola, or the piano and the audience would join in singing along. Finally, the Camp purchased a new machine and they could watch the movie all the way through - unless something broke. The Camp Herne soldiers used to put on a show on Sunday afternoons that was opened to the public. It was a real thrill, especially to a youngster, to watch the mounted sabre drill team as the troop of horsemen galloped with horses head to tail, and see the long sabres flash in the sun. The cavalry sabres were much longer than the officer's swords of today. The soldiers had a monkey drill team, too, and this was trick riding at its best. They used surcingles, rather than saddles. This was a belly-band around the horse with hand grips on it. The soldiers would do vaulting from side to side, and always wound up with a pyramid routine, using three horses and six men. Of course the smallest man was always picked to ride on the top. Sometimes, they had mounted relay race type competitions which the whole community enjoyed. Freda Compton Elliot, "A History of Imperial Beach" ( "Camp Hearn," Chula Vista Historical Society Bulletin, February 1983. )

1916 - Camp Lawrence J. Hearn: "Part of Southern California Border District Palm City, San Diego In use 1916-1931 Controlled by United States Army Garrison 11th Cavalry Camp Lawrence J. Hearn is a former United States Army facility located in Palm City, San Diego, California. Beginning in 1916, the Third Oregon Infantry established the post during its border service. The United States Army, maintained Camp Lawrence J. Hearn, in honor of Major Hearn of the 21st Infantry Regiment, in response to the Mexican Civil War, and was manned by the 1st Cavalry Regiment. It was abandoned in August 1920, but re-established by the 11th Cavalry Regiment in October of that same year. Brigadier General F.C. Marshall visited the post just before he died in a plane crash, traveling to Tucson, Arizona. Until 1921, the post had no structures, and consisted of a tent cantonment; soldiers requiring medical care would be sent to Fort Rosecrans for treatment. However, conditions on the post did not improve significantly, and was described by Army Chief of Staff Major General Summerall as being like a "logging camp", composed of "tumbledown shacks". In 1924, cavalrymen from the post assisted local officers, and federal agents in enforcing a 9 P.M. curfew at the international border crossing. It continued to be in use until it was abandoned in 1931. Later the former post was considered by the Coastal Artillery Corps for the site of a battery, however this was never built." ( The California State Military Museum, )

1916 - Palm City Palm City Border Camp: a border patrol camp established by the Army at Palm City during the Mexican Revolutionary period 1916-1920. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986. )

World War I

North Island Naval Air Station, 1918

1916 - It was the military that resurrected the South Bay during World War I, which came fast on the heels of the catastrophic flood. Gunpowder Point in Chula Vista earned its name from the area's first large-scale industry: the Hercules Powder Co., which located there in 1914 and harvested kelp for acetone, a component of gunpowder, throughout the war. U.S. Cavalry troops established Camp Hearn in 1916, just north of Imperial Beach, to guard against feared incursions of Germans coming up from Mexico. During World War I, the Army used what is now Ream Field in Imperial Beach for gunnery practice. North Island became a permanent naval air station in 1918, and the first civilians were hired there as laborers and clerks the following year. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, Dec 31, 1999. )

1916 - Chollas Heights: In July 1914 in order to increase the transmitting range of the station the Navy acquired the Carling Tract near Chollas Heights Reservoir to construct a modern high- powered radio transmitting station at. This facility was completed in 1916 and was keyed remotely from Point Loma. In 1918 because of the amount of traffic handled by Point Loma and the need for more operators and operating space the radio receivers and transmitter control facilities were moved to North Island to meet the Navy's World War I needs. Two small spark transmitters and one at Chollas Heights were keyed by landline from the North Island operating center. In 1921 the North Island Operating Center was shut down and Point Loma was once again converted to a radio station receiving and monitoring station. During this period the headquarters and message center were transferred to the 11th Naval District Headquarters at the foot of Broadway. And radio signals received at Point Loma were connected by landline to operating positions at district headquarters. Following World War 2 and to enable the growing Naval Electronics Laboratory to expand, the disestablishment of the Point Loma Station began as receivers were trans- ferred to their new home at Imperial Beach. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 116. )

1916/01/08 - Marine Corps Recruit Depot Historic District (historic site added 1991 - - #90001477) S of jct. of Barnett Ave. and Pacific Hwy. , San Diego Historic Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering Architect, builder, or engineer: Goodhue,Bertram G., Dawson Construction Co. Architectural Style: Mission/Spanish Revival Area of Significance: Military, Architecture Period of Significance: 1925-1949, 1900-1924 -- Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego (historic site added 1975 - - #75002183) Barnett Ave. , San Diego -- The Navy General Board approved the establishment of a base on January 8, 1916 and the Marine Corps' base on the bay tidelands called the Dutch Flats was authorized by a Naval appropriation bill of August 29, 1916, in large part due to the efforts of Congressman William Kettner. Groundbreaking on 232 acres took place on March 2, 1919. Construction and occupation of the base took place from 1919 through 1926. On December 1, 1921, Pendleton (now a General), placed it into commission as the Marine Advanced Expeditionary Base, San Diego. In 1923, the Marine Recruit Depot for the west coast relocated from Mare Island Navy Shipyards in Vallejo, Calif., to its new home at the San Diego Marine Base. On 1 March 1924, the base that had been developed as a result of the vision and efforts of General Pendleton became, officially, Marine Corps Base, San Diego, and would be known by that name for the next twenty-four years. On 1 January 1948, Marine Corps Base, San Diego was officially renamed Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. The Recruit Training Command grew from three to eight battalions to handle the troop requirements for the Korean War. More than 700 Quonset huts were erected to handle the influx of recruits, some of which are still standing today. The Vietnam War caused the next period of major expansion. A 100-tent cantonment had to be erected to handle the overflow of recruits. Five new recruit barracks, a new dining hall, new bowling alley, a new Regional Dental and Medical Clinic were constructed on the depot. ( San Diego County - National Register of Historical Places )

1917 - North Island: Navel Air Station, San Diego/Naval Air Station. North Island: established November 8, 1917 with the arrival in San Diego of Lieutenant Earl W. Spencer who had been given command of the yet to be established Naval Air Station, San Diego. Lieutenant Spencer had been instructed to establish as soon as possible: (a) a flight school for the training of student flight officers; (b) a school for training aviation mechanics; (c) a coast Patrol department to conduct aerial patrol. The federal government had taken possession of North Island on July 2?, 1917 for the establishment of permenant aviation stations for both the Army and the Navy. Though a joint tenancy agreement between the two serv- ices in August had established the individual areas of North Island each service would get a dispute arose almost immediately over the actual boundary line between the two services. And until they were established Lieutenant Spencer was unable to start setting up his air station. With personnel already arriving in San Diego Lieutenant Spencer was able to find temporary facilities at the Naval Training Camp in Balboa Park for his personnel until the boundary dispute was resolved. In the park he established the mechanics school. By late November 1917 there were 200 air station personnel stationed in the park, and Lieutenant Spencer was expecting 1,500 student mechanics and 100 aviators by early January 1918. Finally a compromise agreement was reached January 14, 1918, after a conference between Army and Navy personnel. The Army already established on North Island would reestablish its operation in the south part of North Island while the N-avy would establish itself on the bay fronting north side that the Army was moving out of. On June 14, 1918 the Army completed its movement from the Navy end of North Island and three days later a formal change of command ceremony between the commanding officers took place. From that date on Naval Air Station, San Diego began operating and the personnel in Balboa Park were moved to North Island. By the time of the Armistic was signed on November 11, 1918 Naval Air Station, San Diego had accomplished quite a bit in spite of the initial obsticals faced by Lieutenant Spencer. Between June-November 1918 the air station turned out over 892 men (seaplane riggers, hull workers, engine mechanics and other aviation mechanics) of whom 634 were sent overseas and 75 to Columbia University as officer candidates. The flight school graduated 206 officers who were sent onto Pensacola, Florida for advanced training, then overseas. During this time North Island aviators logged over 35,000 hours without a single pilot or student officer being sent to the hospital or a sea- plane being wrecked. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 42-51. )

1917 - Ream Field: In 1917, the United States Army established Aviation Field on the current site of OLF Imperial Beach. Aviation Field was used for air gunnery practices, among other things, by the Army and was kept active throughout World War I. In 1918, it was renamed in honor of Army Major William Roy Ream, the first flying surgeon of the American Army and the first flight surgeon killed in an aircraft accident. In the early 1920s the Navy began using Ream Field for practice carrier landings, but the field was not considered as advantageous for expansion as Brown Field, some 8 miles (13 km) inland, and did not develop much further until later during World War II. In 1943, the present runways were built and construction on the installation's buildings began, and on 17 July 1943 Naval Auxiliary Air Station Ream Field was commissioned. By 12 April 1946 the station had 78 buildings and four airstrips consisting of runways, one oriented northwest by southeast and the other oriented northeast by southwest, both of which were 2500 by 500 feet (150 m). In addition to the four runways, 82,730 square yards of aircraft parking area were built. Shortly after World War II, Ream Field was decommissioned. In 1951, it was re-commissioned as an Auxiliary Landing Field, and in 1955 was re-designated as Naval Auxiliary Air Station Imperial Beach. In 1951, Ream Field Imperial Beach became home to its first helicopter squadron when HU-1 moved on board. HS-2 and HS-4 were also commissioned here in 1952. They was followed by many others, HS-6 and HS-8 in 1956 and HS-10 was formed in 1960. In 1967, the oldest of the helicopter squadrons, HC-1, commissioned in 1948 at NAS Lakehurst, was divided into five different squadrons, HC-3, HC-5, HC-7, HAL-3 and HC-1 and brought on board at Imperial Beach. On January 1, 1968 NAAS Imperial Beach was raised to the status of a full Naval Air Station and renamed NAS Imperial Beach. The mission of NAS Imperial Beach was to support operations of Naval aviation activities and units. In this capacity it was the home of seven helicopter squadrons, eventually to become the home of ten squadrons, constituting all of the Navy helicopter squadrons on the west coast. The station also supported a Naval Air Maintenance Training Detachment and a Fleet Airborne Electronics Training Unit. At that time NAS Imperial Beach had a total complement of approximately 3400 military personnel. On August 1, 1974, NAS Imperial Beach was once again re-designated as a Naval Auxiliary Landing Field and in October 1975 was designated an Outlying Field (OLF Imperial Beach) and presently operates as a branch of Naval Base Coronado. When Imperial Beach was designated on Outlying Field, this put a halt to a master plan developed on 1967 to determine the facilities required to support units assigned by the Chief of Naval Operations. Under this plan, construction commenced on a new Enlisted Dining Hall and modern Bachelor Enlisted Quarters. In 1968 the control tower and operation building was completed, along with a new Enlisted Men's Club and a $1.2 million hangar was opened. Other building constructed under the plan were, a new Bachelor Officer Quarters, a second new hangar, and a new Navy Exchange retail store with five times the floor space of the previous Navy Exchange. Along with the halt of construction on base, the helicopter squadrons all were moved to NAS North Island. This meant there was no further need for barracks, meal facilities, aircraft hangars and clubs. These new buildings were closed and everyone associated with them was moved and expected to use the facilities at North Island. In 1977, the empty aircraft hangars were leased to Defense Property Disposal Office (DPDO), now the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO) of the Defense Logistics Agency for storage of excess and salvageable material. In 1978, almost half of the buildings on base, those east of Lexington Street were leased to the Department of Labor. Presently OLF Imperial Beach encompasses 1,204 acres (5 km2) with 270 of those acres leased out for agricultural purposes and 284 acres (1.1 km2) leased to the State of California for a wildlife refuge at the southeast corner by the base itself. ( wikipedia )

1917 - North Island: When the war plans of the United States were well advanced, North Island, which the army aviators had held to themselves for nearly five years, was divided between the army and navy aviators, the army taking the west half and the navy the east. Hangars and barracks and officers' quarters whose cost soon ran into the millions of dollars were constructed there not only in permanent but very attractive manner. The army also established two fields for special practice near Imperial Beach, or South San Diego. These were Ream and East fields. ( McGrew, City of San Diego and San Diego County, 1922, p. )

1917 - Concrete ships: Part of the war time work of San Diego was devoted to the building of ships, not from wood or from steel as are constructed most of those which are sent to sea, but "stone ships," built of con-crete, reinforced with steel. As it happened, the building of ships at San Diego did not do much to help the nation in the war, for the great conflict was terminated too soon for that; but the building of the yard and its approaches did accomplish a great deal of lasting good. The work was done by the Pacific Marine and Construction Com- pany, organized by the Scofield Engineering Company of Philadelphia. The yards were built at the foot of Thirty-second Street and made an elaborate establishment in which hundreds of workers were employed for many months. Two ways were built on the land, leased free by the city to the Government. Approximately half a million yards of material were dredged out to build the plant and approach. Two ships were built there and launched sidewise in 1920, with fitting ceremony. They were named the Cuyamaca and San Pasqual, thus putting on the ocean two distinctive names from San Diego County. Each of the ships was 420 feet long, with 54-foot beam, 27. feet draft, 75,000 tons of dead weight. The capacity of each is 58,000 barrels of oil‹that being the commodity assigned for them to carry. The announced cost of each of these great tankers was about $1,650,000. The two ships were fitted with triple expansion engines of 2,800 horsepower. The yard started out with a contract to build eight of the ships, but the early end of the war put a stop to construction work at the plant. After the war, the city offered the site to the Government for a naval repair yard, the offer was accepted, and some preliminary work was done to prepare the place for the purpose thus designated. ( McGrew, City of San Diego and San Diego County, 1922, p. )

1917/08 - Naval Air Station, San Diego, Historic District (historic site added 1991 - - #91000590) Also known as Naval Air Station, North Island Naval Air Station, North Island, N. shore , San Diego Historic Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering Architect, builder, or engineer: Goodhue,Bertram Grosvenor, Architectural Style: Mission/Spanish Revival Period of Significance: 1925-1949, 1900-1924 -- President Woodrow Wilson signed an Executive Order in August 1917 for condemnation of the land, which was still privately owned. The Army turned over the north end of the island to the Navy and relocated to the south end of North Island, the location of the Rockwell Field Historic District. The Navy's first occupancy of North Island occurred on September 8, 1917, but Congress did not authorize the purchase of North Island, for $6,098,333, until July 1919. Construction began on the permanent San Diego facilities in mid-1918. Naval Air Station, San Diego was completed too late to play any substantial role in World War I. After conducting the first-ever carrier takeoffs and landings in the Atlantic, the USS Langley was assigned to Naval Air Station, San Diego, berthing there for the first time in November 1924. This began a continuous use of North Island as the home port for Pacific Fleet carriers, and Naval Air Station, San Diego took on the duties of providing service and training to the personnel of these new components to the Fleet. ( San Diego County - National Register of Historical Places )

1918 - Brown Field: Alf Lansley in WWI H Squadron Air Service Flying School, set up tents at East Field, later became Brown Field on Otay Mesa ( Bonita Post, vol. 5, 1978/12/07 )

1918 - Why Brown Field Used To Be East. Now we may properly recall an American whose name became a vital part of Chula Vista history in 1918 then faded like other once-bright memories of long ago. Earlier CVHS Bulletins contain articles stating that Brown Field carried the name East Field in World War I. And so it did. But rather than the name East being a direction as suggested, the Army chose the name of an aviator killed in the line of duty as was done for other fields across the country. Whitten Jasper East's hometown of Senatobia, Mississippi carries his name on the local American Legion Post. He was born in 1892, appointed to West Point in 1911 and graduated in 1915. His class mates called him Tubby, and had great regard for the flighty conqueror who kept dozens of femmes on the string as deftly as a circus driver handled his steeds. No one ever knew how he escaped from inviting three fair maidens to a dance night. He was everybody's friend and wouldn't quarrel over minor items. Instead, he always agreed with the prompt quotation "You and me both." He served with the Infantry in action against Mexico until the fall of 1916. Then new orders took him to flight training at the Signal Corps Aviation School on North Island, in San Diego, California. Miss Gladys McQuorter of Los Angeles married East in January 1917 before he finished training. After graduation from flight school in May he joined the First Aero Squadron at Columbus, New Mexico as a pilot. The squadron went to France in August 1917. East became Officer in Charge of the new Balloon Service of the American Expeditionary Force for three months. Then he became a liaison officer and flew over the front lines with British, French and Italian aviators for two months and returned to the United States. His new assignment made him he Aviation Representative at the War College until July 1918. Then the Army placed Major East in command of an aviation Group at Mitchel Field in New York. He commanded Mitchel Field on the date of his death, October 2,1918,in an auto accident at the age of 25. The stories behind many old military and naval airfield names contain tragic endings to promising and famous careers. Perhaps the field at Otay Mesa is the first and the only field to have been named for both an Army and a Navy pilot killed in the line of duty. But that may be the subject of another research project. Named in 1943 for CDR Melvin S. Brown, killed in a Navy fighter plane crash near Descanso enroute to North Island November 3, 1936. (by E. L. Leiser for the Chula Vista Historical Society Bulletin, March,1986.)

East Field 1918 on Otay Mesa, renamed Brown Field 1943 (Chula Vista Historical Society Bulletin, July 1987)

1918 - Brown Field: Otay Mesa Gunnery Range And Flying Field East Field established April 7, 1918 on approximately 650 acres of leased land on Otay Mesa for the training of Junior Military Aviators. It was a sub-post of and a part of the Rockwell Field flight training program. The Army used the old Otay Mesa schoolhouse for a mess hall, tents for quarters and hangers, and had a tent hanger for an emergency machine shop. It was named for Major Whitten J. East on November 4. 1918. Following World War I, East Field was deactivated-and its lease allowed to lapse. Later the name was changed to Brown Field. ( Hinds, James W. "San Diego's Military Sites," typed mss, San Diego Historical Society, 1986. )

1918 - Ream Field: Oneonta Gunnery School And Aviation Field/Ream Field: established by the Army, June 1, 1918 at Oneonta on leased land and was a subpost of, and a part of the Rockwell Field flight training program. In 1918 Aviation Field was renamed Ream Field in honor of Major William R. Ream, a reserve Army military aviator and the first flying surgeon to be killed in an aircraft crash. During World War I several long, one-story barracks, administration buildings, and several large packing crate looking hangers with canvas curtains for doors were erected at Ream Field Following the war Ream Field was deactivated and its lease allowed to lapse. ( Hinds, James W. "San Diego's Military Sites," typed mss, San Diego Historical Society, 1986. )

1918 - Border Field: "The area currently occupied by Border Field State Park also saw major development during the Second World War. It had been used since World War I as a machine gun range and airborne gunnery range." ( Van Wormer, Stephen R. "A Land Use History of the Tia Juana River Valley," California State Parks, Southern Service Center, June 2005. )

1918 - Ream Field: (Aviation Field, Oneonta Gunnery School Field, Ream Field, Naval Auxiliary Air Station Ream Field, Naval Auxiliary Air Station Imperial Beach, Outlying Field Imperial Beach) by M.L. Shettle, Jr. -- "During World War I, the Army took over North Island at San Diego for primary training. The Army then established an auxiliary named Aviation Field, 11 miles south at San Ysidro. Once the Army changed North Island to pursuit and gunnery training, the facility was renamed the Oneonta Gunnery School Field. On October 5, 1918, the name changed to Ream Field, in honor of Major William Ream, killed in an aircraft accident during a Liberty Bond drive in Indiana. Major Ream was the first Army flight surgeon to be killed in an aircraft accident. The Army investment at the field totaled $148,000 including several hangars. Following the war, the Navy leased the field's 140 acres from the civilian owners for an OLF. The property remained in use as an OLF through the 1920s and 1930s. In October 1942, the Navy allocated $1.2 million to develop an auxiliary air station at the site. Initially, San Diego maintained administrative control of the station. Commissioning eventually occurred on July 17, 1943, with the completion of construction. Surprisingly, the Navy retained the designation, Ream Field -- previously named for an Army officer. From July 1943, to June 1944, a total of 13 VC squadrons based at the station with CASU 17 in support. A detachment of San Diego's CASU 5, later replaced CASU 17. In July, the station embarked on an expansion project including installation of an HE 5 catapult and arresting gear system -- the only one in the San Diego area. In October, CASU 65 commissioned remaining at the station to the end of the war. In late 1944, and early 1945, units on board included the light CAGs 32 and 38 as well as VT-9, VF-12, and VBF-12. After the expansion program had been completed in early 1945, the station hosted large carrier air groups. CAG 14 trained at Ream in the spring and the war ended with CAG 80 on board. Meanwhile, a Fleet Airborne Early Warning Training Unit also operated from the station in June. Ream had expanded from the original 140 to 630 Navy-owned acres. The airfield had one 5,000 and three 2,500-ft. x 500-ft. asphalt runways. In March 1944, personnel stood at 324 officers and 2567 enlisted men while barracks existed for only 254 officers and 1800 men. Station aircraft usually consisted of a GH Howard or a GB Staggerwing Beech and a J2F Duck. In June 1949, the Navy inactivated the field making it an ALF of San Diego. The Korean War brought renewed activity as the first helicopter squadron arrived in October 1950. Ream eventually became home base for all helicopter squadrons of the Pacific Fleet and was known as "Helicopter Capital." The station was redesignated NAAS Imperial Beach in July 1955. The Vietnam War brought modernization with additional construction including a new hangar and a 500-man barracks. On January 1, 1968, the Navy upgraded the station to an NAS. The end of the Vietnam War caused Imperial Beach to be disestablished on December 31, 1974, and the facility became an ALF once again. Today, Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach is used by helicopters from North Island and as a Navy Supply Center. Copied with the permission of the author from United States Naval Air Stations of World War II." ( The California State Military Museum, )

1918 - North Island Rockwell Field: By early 1918 with the Navy on North Island, Rockwell Field expanded into three new areas. First it established East Field on Otay Mesa where they began training Junior Military Aviators. Then two months later they established Ream Field in the South Bay. While in the spring the Army located its Aerial Acrobatic Camp on the parade ground at Camp Hearn. Then in August 1918 Rockwell Field's mission was changed from a primary flight school to a pursuit and gunnery school. By this time 831 reserve aviators had been trained in San Diego. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 42-51. )

1918 - Brown Field: (East Field; Naval Auxiliary Air Station, Otay Mesa) by M.L. Shettle, Jr., author of United States Naval Air Stations of World War II. -- "In conjunction with the World War I development of San Diego's North Island, the Army established an airfield at Otay Mesa, 16 miles southeast. In 1918, the field was named in honor of Major Killian East, who had been killed in an automobile accident near Mitchell Field, N.Y. The Army invested $17,580 in East Field using it for formation and acrobatic training. During the 1920s and 1930s, military and civilian aviation used the airfield. Located five miles from the coast, Otay Mesa has an elevation of 500 ft. and is less subject to ocean fog that reduced flying hours at other airfields in San Diego. After the beginning of World War II, the Navy improved the airfield. During the first of 1943, construction began on buildings. Just three months later, the station commissioned on March 17, as NAAS Otay Mesa. By the end of June, VC-20, VC 21, VC-25, and VC-35 had passed though the base, while Air Group 38 and 40 were on board. The squadrons were supported by a detachment of North Island's CASU 5. The same month, two Link trainers were installed and an aircraft recognition training building completed. On August 25, the Navy dedicated the field as NAAS Brown Field in honor of Cdr. Melville S. Brown, who had been killed in an aircraft accident in 1936. Cdr. Brown's sword was hung in the Officer's Mess. During the last six months of 1943, Air Group 35, VC-39, VC-33, VC 36, VC-42, and VC-66 had spent time at Brown. On New Years Day of 1944, VF-34, VC-68 and VC 12 were on board. In April and May 1944, Army P-38 fighters were present at the field in the air defense mission. During the first half of the year, VC-10, VC-11, VC-20, VF-30X2, VC-27, and VC-79, arrived and departed. October 1944, saw a major change at the station as personnel arrived to form the PB4Y squadron, VPB-122. Whereas most carrier squadrons were on board the station for three to 10 weeks, the VPB squadron was scheduled to be present for four months. The departments of the base changed to support the bomber squadron. The Training Department added various devices including a five turret gunner's trainer. On December 4, 1944, VPB-122 transferred to Camp Kearny; however, Brown Field's Training Department continued to ground train PB4Y replacement crews throughout the remainder of the war. Brown Field consisted of 805 Navy-owned acres. Barracks existed for 378 officers and 1992 enlisted men. Brown had 6,000-ft., 5,000-ft., and 3,500-ft. runways of asphalt and concrete construction. At the peak, station aircraft consisted of one GB Beech, a GH Howard, an AE hospital plane, and a Stearman. OLF Sweetwater was assigned to and maintained by the station. Brown closed in 1946 and became a civilian airport. The Korean War necessitated reopening the field as an ALF on November 1, 1951 -- the east/west run way was later extended to 8,000 ft. The station became home base to a utility squadron, two antisubmarine squadrons, and a Regulus air missile unit. In 1954, Brown recommissioned as an NAAS. On November 2, 1954, Convair's XFY-1 Pogo made its first flight from vertical takeoff to horizontal flight and back to vertical for landing. In the last few years of the station's existence, it was home to Douglas AD Skyraiders before the Navy closed Brown for the last time during 1962." ( The California State Military Museum, )

1918/04/22 New Flying Bases Here Speed Up Training Work Of Aviation Students. Expansion of the training program of the Rockwell field signal corps aviation school to include a dual control flying base at Imperial Beach and a second solo school on the Otay mesa has resulted in hastenlng the training work of flying cadets and student officers, according to announcement made by the school authorities yesterday. The 283rd squadron is now on duty at the Otay mesa base. The squadron is commanded by Lieut. Benjamin Frank. Capt. Ernest Clark is chief instructor of flying. Flying cadets engaged in second solo work and all student officers flying dual or first solo are stationed with! the 283rd squadron. The officers and men at present are living in tents. Flying starts at 6:30 a. m. daily and is continued without interruption until dusk At Imperial Beach flying cadets engaged in preliminary flight instruction are stationed. Later It Js planned to have a greater part of the stunt flying program carried out at this base Instead of over Rockwell field. The Otay mesa base, comprising about 640 acres, probably will be an important adjunct to the Rockwell field schooi. The government has practically signed a lease for the Otay land and is preparing to establish an important supplementary flying field there. Important projects are planned for the permanent base at North Island. Among these is the establishment of an aerial gunnery school in which fliers will be taught how to fire and operate both the Vickers and the Lewis machine guns. The aerial gunnery school is already under way on asmall scale, a Lewis gun. mounted on a movable turret base being used in the training work, now; belns carried out. In addition to aerial gunnery North Island will be. for the present, the center of administrative work. Including the supplementary bases at Otay and Imperial Beach, radio and engineering instruction work, first solo flying, trick flying and aerial gunnery. Work on the permanent buildings of the army aeronautical academy on the western half of the island Is progressng rapidly. A temporary hospital has been completed while work on the permanent hospital is ell advanced. Only 250 feet of piling remains to be driven before the government railroad and wagon bridge spanning ithe upper end of Spanish bight will be ready for the laying of the steel rails. It is expected that the first Coronado belt line railroad train loaded with material for the construction of the group of permanent buildings for the army will cross the new bridge not later than May 5. The western end of North Island along the shore of Spanish bight now resembles a tented city. Many of these tents are used for housing workmen engaged in construction work. Others are used as shelters for the Jar«re force of troops that guard the big transbay flying academy. Two squadrons are to leave North Island within a short time for other posts. One will go to the new foursquadron training school near Riverside and the other to the new twosquadron base near Sacramento. The 2I5th squadron Sn all probability will be assigned to the Riverside base. A number of crosscountry flights were made yesterday, the fliers leaving Rockwell field soon after sunrise, returning to their base late in the afternoon. (The San Diego Union AND DAILY BEE; Date: 04-22-1918; Page: 1)

1918/08/08 - Concrete ships: With the cooperation of Congressman Kettner San Diego managed to wrest from Los Angeles a government-subsidized shipyard which was established late in the war by the Pacific Marine and Construction Company, on the bayfront between Twenty-eighth Street and the boundary of National City. It eventually produced two concrete tankers of 7500 tons. ( Pourade, Richard F. "Chapter 12," Gold in the Sun, 1965. )

1918/08/08 Concrete shipyard opened: flag raised over concrete shipyard at 32nd street (The San Diego Union AND DAILY BEE; Date: 08-08-1918; Page: 4)

1918/09/18 - Naval Hospital: Government Decides To Build Big Hospital In Balboa Park. City Council Provides 10-Acre Tract on Convenient Site and Pian Will Call for Expenditure of $100,000;. Bids to Be Called for in Near Future. Another big government institution was assured for San Diego yesterday when the council granted the navy department use of a 10-acre tract of land in Balboa park for the erection of a permanent marine base hospital for the care and treatment of sick and convalescent sailors during the period of the war and after. Two large buildings will be built by the department, plans for which are now being approved in Washington. Each of these buildings will have a' capacity for 1000 or xnoro beds. Bids for the construction of the buildings will be called for soon. The site to be used is what is known as the old Bryant Howard tracton which a children's home was built in the early days of San Diego by Howard. The home was destroyed by fire in later years, some of the ruins of the building still being visible. The ground is located just northeast of the stadium and constitutes one of the highest and most beautiful spots In the entire park. A group of large eucalyptus trees surrounds the site. Navy Department representatives inspected numerous sites in and around San Diego before reaching a decision. They were accompanied on their tour of inspection by Councilman Walter P. Moore and Manager of Operations, F. M. Lockwood, Dr. R. A. Buker, in charge of the hospital at the navy training station in Balboa park, and Dr. P. M. Carrington of the public health service represented the government on these tours. It is said that the government plans to spend $100,000 in creating the hospital here and that the institution will be the largest base hospital on the Pacific coast. The resolution tendering the use of the ground to the government was presented to the council yesterday by Councilman Walter P. Moore and was unanimously adopted. In case the department may later require more ground, the council will offer land north or west of the present site. Dr. Buker declared yesterday that the site, commanding a view of the bay. the ocean and the mountains, is ideal. He says that the hospital will be the only one of its kind south of Mare Island. The San Diego climate had much to do with the decision to locate the hospital here. ( San Diego Union, Sept. 18, 1918. )

1918/11/27 - North Island: When the nation went into the war it found at North Island one of the best equipped flying academies in the world, an army school and a school for the navy's fliers. The army had established its school there in 1913, following the successful experiments carried on by Glen Curtiss. Starting with only five airplanes, the school slowly increased its equipment, then largely of the experimental type and soon made ridiculously obsolete by the advances of aviation as a result of the war. When the outbreak of the struggle came for America, the military airmen had only twenty-two machines available for flight instruction. How fast that number was increased under the pressure of war exigencies may be measured by the fact that, following the armistice in November, 1918, the army airmen took aloft at one time more than 200 machines, giving San Diego such an exhibition as never was seen elsewhere. This notable exhibition was on November 27. For several hours the airplanes soared through the air in different formation, the powerful motors roaring, the aviators, some back from the fighting fronts to help perfect the training of their comrades, indulging in many spectacular tricks or"stunts," as the saying of the day had it. Much credit for this wonderful exhibition, which was only a visible indication of the intensive training done at North Island to win the war through the air, is due to Lieut. Col. Harvey B. S. Burwell, the commander of this school. Accounts of this flight and photographic reproductions of parts of it, the air seemingly filled with whirring airplanes, were printed throughout the United States. (p223-224) ( McGrew, City of San Diego and San Diego County, 1922, p. )

1919/02 - The men of San Diego County responded with fine patriotic spirit to the call of the nation in the Great War. Some of them en- tered service with the British or Canadian forces before the United States entered the great struggle; some were enlisted with National Guard or other army or navy units before the selective draft was made; others went to camps for the training of officers before the final call was issued. A large number of those chosen in the selective draft were assigned to various units of the 91st Division, which was trained at Camp Lewis, Washington, and did valiant service on the battlefields of France. A considerable number‹the exact total has not been learned yet by those assigned to the task of collecting the data‹paid the supreme sacrifice, either on the battlefield or by accident or in the hospital. About sixty young San Diegans enlisted in Battery B, 65th Artillery, at Fort Rosecrans and saw much active service in the war. About thirty-six others were in Battery A of the same outfit. They were the first to leave San Diego for service in France. Their home- coming in February, 1919, was marked by a celebration in which the city paid its fighters marked attention. (p215) Many San Diego young men, as already mentioned, saw active service in the great war through having enlisted in Battery B, Second Battalion, of the anti-aircraft forces. These men were recruited and trained at Fort Rosecrans, on Point Loma. Battery B was in the thick of the St. Mihiel offensive in France and moved up to the front, establishing an anti-aircraft gun position, from which the battery went on fighting in one of the most dangerous branches of modern warfare. The story of this organization's work in the war is told in a booklet entitled "Battery B Through the Fires of France," written by Ernest Stone, a former San Diegan, in 1919. (p220) ( McGrew, City of San Diego and San Diego County, 1922, p. )

1919/05/29 - American Legion: San Diego's post of the American Legion dates back to a meeting held May 29, 1919, at the St. James Hotel and attended by about twenty-five San Diego men who had served in the World war. Plans were then made to organize a society to be known as San Diego Post of the World War Veterans. Col. E. N. Jones was temporary chairman and David N. Millan adjutant. By this time various posts of the American Legion had been formed in the United States, and at a meeting held June, 1919, it was voted to call the local organization San Diego Post No. 1, American Legion. Colonel Jones was made commander, E. J. Kelly first vice-commander, Dr. Alfred E. Banks second vice-commander, Fred W. Rife third vice-commander, David N. Millan adjutant and Richard F. Gusweiler treasurer. Members of the executive board selected at that time were P. A. Whitacre, William N. Whalen, Byron J. Walters, John F. Covert and R. P. Shields, Jr. Although membership of the post increased fast in 1919, no regular meeting place was obtained in that year. Since June, 1920, the post headquarters has been at Sixth Street and Broadway. The membership is more than 1,400. ( McGrew, City of San Diego and San Diego County, 1922, p. )

1920 - Silver Strand Training Complex: Silver Strand Training Complex (SSTC), formerly known as the Naval Radio Receiving Facility (NRRF), is the premier training facility for U.S. Special Operations Forces. Located between Imperial Beach and Silver Strand State Beach near San Diego in southern California, USA, this facility is known by locals as the "elephant cage" which is a nickname for the large Wullenweber direction finder antenna. The antenna was used to provide direction finding, primary communication links for U.S. Navy submarines. As of February 2010 the antenna is still in place, even though it was scheduled to be removed in fiscal year 2007. Presently the base is subordinate to Naval Base Coronado and commanded by that base's Commanding Officer. Naval Radio Receiving Station: Initially created in 1920 as the Navy Radio Compass Station, it was renamed in 1940 as the Navy Direction Finder Station when a permanent direction finding station was established. In 1943, thirty WAVES were stationed there, culminating in 1945 with a total of 112 WAVES; there they engaged in SIGINT. By 1953, it was known as Naval Radio Receiving Station Imperial Beach, and in 1965 it received its well known Wullenweber Circular Disposed Antenna Array, a AN/FRD-10. The last of its type to be built, it ceased operation in 1999. ( wikipedia )

1921/01/16 - Compass Radio: San Diego Will Be Compass Station in Short Time, Says Communication Officer. California's coast line of defense against a hostile fleet is now 250 miles at pea and before the end of the year a chain of stations will be able to detect a hostile fleet 24 hours before it can reach the coast, according to Lieut. Com. Scott D. McCaughey. district communication superintendent of t h e 12th naval district here. Directing-finding compass stations are operating off San Francisco bay Eureka and Point Arsuello. Within a month stations will be opened protecting Santa Barbara. San Pedro and San Diego and one close to the Mexican border. Before the end of the year stations will be erected along the Washington. Oregon and Alaska coasts, some 30 stations. Then a ship can be accurately located more than 400 miles at sea. This new coast defense, a war invention which saved the British fleet in the battle of Jutland and saved London from Zeppelin attacks, is used In peace time to save vessels from fogs and wrecks by errors in steering a false course. Twelve hundred bearings a month have been given by the San Francisco radio-compass, or directlngfinding stations. These groups of radio compass stations intercept radio waves from vessels and can accurately locate the vessel by determining the direction from which the graves come. Mariners, who were skeptical when, plans for the stations wera announced, today are co-operating e n thusiastically, according to Lt. Com. McCaughey. Several wrecks have been averted. Recently a transpacific liner ran into a shoal off San Francisco during a fog. The radiocompass stations gave the liner's bearings as 10 miles distant from where the captain's dead reckoning placed It. Lifting of the fog proved the radio-compass direction right and the captain wrong. (The San Diego Union AND DAILY BEE; Date: 01-16-1921; Page: 12)

1921/02/26 - Compass Radio: Imperial Beach Will Be Site Of New Plant for This Section of Coast. Four more radio compass stations on the soutftera California coast have been authorized by the navy department and work of construction will start March 13. according to announcement made yesterday by Rear Admiral Roger Welles, commandant of the 11th naval district. These stations wfil be located at Imperial Beach, Point Arguello. Point; Firmin and Point Hueneme. The station at Imperial Beach, with the new radio compass plant on Point Loma, will handle all ships asking for correct navigational courses in the vicinity of San Diego during foggy or thick weather. The stations at Point Arguelio and Point Hueneme win handle ships passing through the Santa Barbara channel, and the station at Point Firmin. with a second plant at Newport, win take care of the harbor Of San Pedro. A total of 19 radio compass stations are to be established on the Pacific coast. Several of these are already In commission. (The San Diego Union AND DAILY BEE; Date: 02-26-1921; Page: 5)

1922 - Naval Supply Depot: In June 1922 the Naval Supply Depot at the foot of Broadway was completed and with its completion, Headquarters, 11th Naval District was permanently established here. During the 1920s the Navy Communication headquarters and message center functions transfered here from Point Loma. At this time the supply depot included the Fuel Depot on Point Loma, Like all military facilities in San Diego the supply depot was expanded to meet World War 2 needs. Most note- able was a $2 million, 1,000 foot piers the Navy constructed to serve the supply depot. Presently the Navy Supply Center encompasses 22 acres of land leased from the Port District and boundried by Harbor Drive, Broadway, Market Street, and Pacific Highway. It includes the Navy Piert-Fuel Department, Point Loma Annex plus annexes at the Naval Station, North Island, and Long Beach. There are about 1500 military and civilian personnel at the center. For both the military and civilian communities in San Diego County, Naval Base, San Diego headquartered at the Naval Supply Center is a significant member of the community. Prior to October 1, 1980 redesignation it was known as the 11th Naval District, a senior command having a history in San Diego dating back to its establishment on December 31, 1919 at North Island. The primary mission of Commander, Naval Base, San Diego is to exercise regional coordination over Navy and Marine Corps shore facilities in the region, to ensure logistical support of the fleet by the cooperative performance of all connected Naval shore activities. Commander, Naval Base, San Diego represents the Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet on military matters in this area. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 42-51. )

1922/02 - Destroyer Base: February 1922, acting Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt Jr. designated the land a destroyer base. The base quickly became jammed with "four stackers," the name given to the short-range anti-torpedo destroyers widely built before and after the war. They were so poorly designed that many were scrapped, and the episode helped persuade the Navy to invest in battle- ships. The base also was designated as a repair facility. But for years, it was little more than a backwater. "The station was pretty much a mud hole," retired sailor George Cameron told the San Diego Union in 1972, when the base turned 50. He'd served there at the beginning, when "the land was being dredged up and the Marines were living in tents. There was no servicemen's club on the base and very little entertainment in town. We made our own." He was referring to the liquor that sailors made with a still. The base grew some during the 1930s. But it didn't undergo major expansion until World War II, when it became one of the prime repair bases for American ships fighting in the Pacific. Repair shops seemed to rise overnight. Roads were built or expand- ed. Cranes were trucked in. Workers flooded through the gate at 32nd Street, going on to achieve an extraordinary feat. Between 1943 and 1945, they repaired 5,117 vessels. Throughout the war years, the base also continued to have a large fleet of reserve, or mothballed, ships. At one point, the inventory got up to 223 vessels. The ships served as a tourist attraction during harbor cruises, even though they were rotting away. But change was afoot. "The Navy started to re- duce the size of the reserve fleet because the ships were so old," Coronado naval his- torian Bruce Linder says. "A lot of the reserve ships were sold for scrap or sent to other anchorages maintained by the Navy. This accelerated in the 1960s; the piers were needed for the modern Navy ships. All the reserve ships were gone by the mid-'70s, and this was in full swing as a naval base." The Navy invested in the base in the 1970s, making it a major player during the Cold War and, later on, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But almost half of its 11 piers are vintage World War II. ( "Naval facility prepares for growth," U-T Sept. 15, 2012 )

The growing number of military bases around San Diego bay were marked on this 1930 revision of the 1904 USGS topographic map. The Spanish Bight was filled in during World War II

1923 - North Island: Between 1919 and 1939 a series of memorable firsts took place on North Island; the first coast-to-coast flight terminated here in 1923; the first successful night launch from a battleship, the USS California, took place in 1924; and the first night carrier land- ing, aboard the USS Langley happened in 1925. But probably the most significant historical event that occurred in the early years of Naval Air Station, San Diego was its association with Charles A. Lindbergh's historic flight from New York to Paris in 1927. The first leg of that flight began May 10, 1927 when Lindbergh took off from North Island for St Louis, Missouri. Naval Air activity increased as aircraft carriers arrived at its docks and dirigibles were added to its air fleet. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 42-51. )

1923 - Naval Training Station (historic site #00000426 added 2001) Also known as Naval Training Center--San Diego Barnett St. and Rosecrans Blvd. , San Diego Historic Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering Architect, builder, or engineer: Naval Public Works Center Architectural Style: Mission/Spanish Revival Period of Significance: 1925-1949, 1900-1924 -- San Diego's Naval Training Station, established by Congress in 1919, trained recruits and instructed fleet personnel. Its role in educating young sailors caused it to become known as "The Cradle of the Navy." Congressman William M. Kettner (term in office 1912-21) played a key role in securing an area near San Diego Bay for the NTC. He convinced the government to relocate the existing Goat Island Training Station in San Francisco to San Diego and persuaded local businessmen to finance the purchase of land for the Navy. San Diego's Chamber of Commerce donated 135 acres of land located north of the Mean High Tide Line and Rosecrans Street while the City of San Diego gave 142 acres of submerged tidelands. Kettner's work was part of a larger effort to make San Diego the main operating base of the Pacific Fleet. Construction at the Loma Portal site began in 1921. In 1923, the U.S. Naval Training Station, San Diego, was placed in commission. (McClain, Molly "Liberty Station" and the Naval Training Center in San Diego," The Journal of San Diego History 54 online and San Diego County - National Register of Historical Places online )

1923/06/01 - Naval Training Station: The U. S. Naval Training Station (NTS) was proposed in 1916 by William Kettner of the Eleventh Congressional District in California and member of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. He gained the support of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of Navy when he visited San Diego in 1914 and 1915, and a temporary base was established in Balboa Park during 1917. During World War I, the Navy established a War Dispensary in the Park with tents to care for the sick, and this became the Naval Hospital in 1919. The City of San Diego granted 142 acres of tideland and the Chamber of Commerce granted 135 acres to create a Naval Training Center on San Diego Bay in 1919. Construction began in 1921 and the U.S. Naval Training Station, San Diego, was officially commissioned June 1, 1923. ( Military Bases in San Diego - World War I (1914-1920), online )

1927 - Brown Field: By 1918 the Air Service needed more area to give advanced training to students graduating from basic flight training at Rockwell Field on North Island. They learned aerobatics and aerial gunnery at East Field. The Army left the field to rabbits and farmers in 1919. During the years before World War II, aviators occasionally enjoyed the privacy of Otay Mesa, and few people remembered the name East Field. Navy Fighter Squadron Six used the mesa in 1927. Commercial pilots were denied use of the mesa by 1931. In the thirties the Navy marked the outlines of an aircraft carrier deck on the dirt so pilots could practice landing without the expense of operating one of the large ships. In 1938 the Navy used Otay Mesa as an airfield from which to conduct experiments with radio-controlled airplanes. Off the coast the carrier Ranger fired on the target flying over the ship at 10,000 feet. Next, a radio-controlled airplane from Otay Mesa made dive tests on the target battleship Utah. It was the world's first air-to-surface guided missile. In 1942 the Navy took over again and the geographic name, Otay Mesa, became NAAS Otay Mesa, Navy Auxiliary Station. Navy officials approved a name change in 1943 to NAAS Brown Field. It honored the memory of a former local naval aviator, Cmdr. Melvin S. Brown. He died in the crash of his plane near Descanso in 1936. After the war, the Navy moved out but returned in 1954. This time the pilots flew jets, or carried remote-controlled aerial targets out to sea for gunnery practice, better target than the 1938 version. Today the FAR-controller in the Brown Field tower let an occasional avy pilot practice landings. It is a civilian field now. ( Chula Vista Historical Society. Family, Friends, and Homes. San Diego CA: Tecolote Publications, 1991. )

1929/01/01 - Camp Hearn: Camp Hearn is the most southerly located military post in CaUfomia. the site of which covers nearly 74 acres of leased land at the end of the Silver Strand, eight miles southeast of Coronado. on the Coronado highway, just northeast of Imperial Beach. Calllornia. During the World war It was the headquarters of thousands of troops stationed along the Mexican frontier which accounts for the fact that to this day it carries the formidable title of "Headquarters Department of Southern California." At present. however, it is the station only of Detachment 11, U. S. Cavalry, which has an allotted peace time strength of three officers and 60 enlisted men. a medical deischment of two men and a corresponding number of horses. The officers occupy rented beach bungalows a few hundred yards from the camp This troop is the only cavalry unit in Southern California. The 11th Cavalry Regiment, less this detachment, is stationed at the Presidio of Monterey. California. The remaining frame buildings at Camp Hearn, numbering 25, which Include camp headquarters, a theatre. recently completed where semi-weekly movies and vaudeville entertain the cavalrymen and with church on Sundays; a mess hail and Kitchen, both and storehouses, tailor and barber shop, barracks, stables, etc., alt are of temporary construction and are quite comfortable, made so by plasterboarding the Interiors, by the continued efforts of the garrison and by virtue of the remarkably moderate climate of which San Diego and Imperial Beach well may boast. This is unquestionably an ideal location for cavalry, tactically, climatically and geographically. STRENUOUS PROGRAM The Camp Hearn troop always pursues a strenuous program of instruction and training and stands today, second to none in the army in discipline, fighting efficiency and readJiriess to take the field should the emergency arise, which is our mission. The troop's weapons include the rifle, machine rifle, pistol, saber and the horse. During the last two years the troop has participated in so many parades, functions and horse shows in San Diego that it has become generally known throughout this vicinity as "San Diego's troop." (By Capt. Kenton S. Jacobs, 11th Cavalry, Camp Commander, The San Diego Union, Jan. 1, 1929, page 22)

1929/01/01 - Fort Rosecrans: Extending nearly due south from the flats which stretch between San Diego bay and Mission bay is the long. high, narrow peninsula called Point Loma. The southern extremity of this peninsula is the most southwesterly point of the United States. The high, steep eastern face of Point Iorna peninsula forms the western side of the entrance to San Diego bay. Well toward the southern end of Point Loma and on Its eastem face Is located the post of Fort Rosecrans. the officers' quarters, barracks, store rooms, and other buildings, which are built on terraces cut out of the sides of the peninsula. The batteries which comprise the sea coast defenses of San Diego harbor pertain to this post. Placed, as lt Is, well up on the side of the eastern slope and overlooking the entrance to San Diego harbor, and with an unobstructed view over the harbor, and north and Cortmado islands, to the city of San Diego and the vmountains beyond the situation of Fort Rosecrans is a most beautiful one. Its location combined with the fact that lt enjoys probably the most perfect climate in the world, makes this post an ideal station In which to live. Along the crest of the peninsula a road extends to the old lighthouse near the southern end. Affording. as it does, a view of the broad Pacific on one side, and the harbor, city and mountains on the other, this road Is a deservedly popular one with the residents of San Diego, as well as with visitors from all parts of the United States. It is much to be regretted that the limited appropriation for the army does not permit this road to be kept in better condition than It is at present. The military reservation on which Port Rosecrans is located originally consisted of some 1300 acres, embracing all of the peninsula south of a nearly east and west line drawn from the ocean on the west to San Diego bay on the east, one and one-half mlies above Punta de Qulranos. Title passed to the United States under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on Feb. 2. 1848. and lt was reserved for military purposes by executive order, dated Feb. 26.1852. On Sept. 24. 1901, a rectangular plot containing some 360 acres in the northern portion of the reservation was transferred to the navy department for a coaling station, and on May 14. 1889. two smalI tracts were granted, on revokable license, to the treasury department for lighthouse purposes‹one at Ballast Point at the harbor entrance, and the other on the southern tip of the peninsula. So that the present military reservation of Fort Rosecrans now consists of about 940 acres. In 1896, an executive order was issued authorizing the construction of the harbor defense of San Diego. The construction of four batteries was begun in February of 1897. and completed in January af 1900. The first garrison for" these batteries consisted of Battery "D," 3d artillery, commanded by Second lit. G. T. PattersonIt was not until well into 1902 that permanent shelter was constructed for the troops and in the mwintimi the officers and men lived in tents‹ no great hardships, of course. In a climate like this. The barracks and quarters occupied by the present garrison were constructed In 1904. While the various batteries were given names as they were constructed, the post as a whole had no designation until July 22. 1899. On that date a war department general order designated it as Fort Rosecrans in honor of MaJ. Gen. William S. Rosecrans; TJ. S. Volunteers: General Rosecrans was graduated from the TJS. Military academy in 1842 and served In the engineer corps until 1854, when he reslgned immediately upon the breaking out of the "war between the states" he reentered the military service and served in the" Union army with distinction to the end of the war. He became a brigadier general In the regular army In 1861 and a major general of volunteers In 1862. In 1867 he resigned from the service, but was reappointed a brigadier general in the regular army in 1839 and placed on the retired list with that grade. After his retirement he purchased a considerable tract of land between Long Beach and Los Angeles, and lived there several years. He died March 11, 1898. In 1916 through the efforts of U. S. Representative William Kettner, two mortar batteries were added to the harbor defense of San Diego. Except for the construction of temporary barracks and quarters during the World war (most of which have been since razed) there has been no increase in the fortification or buildings at Fort Rosecrans since the completion of the two mortar batteries Just mentioned. From 1902 to 1923 the gasrison consisted of two full batteries of coast artillery with their regular complement of officers, the post being commanded by a field officer. In the latter year, due to the drastic reduction of the regular army. Fort Rosecrans was made an "inactive/* post and its garrison reduced to a. skeletonized battery of 25 men‹ barely sufficient to care for the guns and harbor defense installations and keeo them In condition for service‹ and this is still the strength of the harbor defense command ai Fort Rosecrans. Oddly enough, the organization assigned here was the same that was originally sent to garrison the first batteries" constructed‹Battery "D." Third coast artillery‹but now reduced to less than half Its original strength. Up to the month of February. 1928. Fori Rosecrans remained exclusively a coast artmery station. On that month, due to the shortage of quarters at Fort Douglas, Utah, where they were then located, the headquarters and headquarters company of -tho sixth Infantry Brigade were sent hero for temporary station. The present garrison of Fort Rosecrans. comprises the following: The headquarters of the Sixth Infantry Brigade, consistlag of the brigade commander and his staff of four officers. The headquarters company. Sixth Infantry Brigade, consisting of one warrant officer and 32 enlisted men. The company is commanded by one of the brigade staff officers. The harbor defense command, consisting of a field officer of coast artillery (as Harbor Defense, commander) and Battery "D," third coast artillery. A detachment of the quartermaster corps of eight enlisted men with a captain of the quartermaster corps as post quartermaster. A detachment of the hospital corps of six enlisted men, with a captain of the medical corps as post surgeon. A detachment of the ordinance department of three enlisted men. The total strength of the present garrison is nine commissioned officers, two warrant officers, and 75 enlisted men. Among the commanding officers of Fort Rosecrans are many who have attained high rank and distinction in the army. As was to have been expected A considerable number of them have returned here upon retirement from active service and are now honored citizens of Sail Diego. (By Brig. Gen. Ralph H. Van Deman. U. S. Army, The San Diego Union, Jan. 1, 1929, page 24)

1929/06/05 - Camp Hearn closed: Camp Lawrence J. Hearn has been in IB since 1917, cavalry troop will officially move tomorrow to Fort Rosecrans. To the sound of "taps" blown by an army bugler the flag that has waved over Camp Lawrence J. Hearn at Imperial Beach since 1917 will flutter down tomorrow morning and the cavalry troop that has made Its home at the camp will leave for Port Rosecrans. Its new station. The abandonment of the camp is set for 8 o'clock tomorrow morning. Tha cavalry troop commanded by Capt. Fenton S. Jacobs will stand at "present arms" as the flag goes down for the last time at the camp. The cavalrymen win then march along the Coronado strand, cross on the ferry and then move over to Fort Rosecrans on Point Loma. Camp Hearn was established in 1917 and has been the scene of military activity since. Its abandonment was ordered under the war department's policy to reduce rentals and establish military units on governmentowned property. Buildings at the camp are to be auctioned by the Rockwell field quartermaster. Those who have any claim against Camp Hearn are urged to communicate with Captain Jacobs at Fort Rosecrans without delay. (The San Diego Union, June 5, 1929, page 1)

1934 - Fort Rosecrans: Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery: established on approximately one acre of land in the 1870s as the Post Cemetery, San Diego Barracks. When Fort Rosecrans was established the cemetery became the Fort Rosecrans Post Cemetery. Then on October 5, 1934 pursuant to War Department General Orders No. 7, eight acres of the military installation were designated the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. In 1973 the juristiction of the cemetery was transferred from the Department of the Army to the Veterans Administration. Through expansion the cemetery was increased over the years to its present size of 7134 acres. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 106-114 )

1935 - Coastal Defense Base End Stations at the Border: "During World War II three fire control stations, commonly known as "base end stations" for San Diego Harbor coastal defense gun batteries were constructed by the U.S. Army at Border Field on a bluff south of Goat Canyon and adjacent to the Mexican Border. Modern coastal defense batteries for San Diego's defense had originally been built on Point Loma in the 1890s. The system had been expanded during the first decade of the 20th century and during World War I (Joyce 1995; Van Wormer *). The coastal defenses of the harbor were greatly expanded during World War Two and included the base end stations at Border Field. In September and October 1935, the Military Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee inspected the coastal defenses of San Diego Harbor and recommended additional armament (San Diego Sun 9-14-1935; San Diego Evening Tribune 10-29-1935). The new installations represented the latest development in seacoast fortifications that were designed to defend against attack by long range and carrier born aircraft, as well as battleships (Lewis 1979:116). The newly designed coastal defense systems consisted of batteries of two 6-inch or 16-inch guns separated by a series of underground generators, and storage operation facilities. The 16-inch guns were mounted in large concrete casemates designed to withstand a direct hit from a battle ship or bomb. The smaller guns were not casemated but surrounded with curved shields of cast steel four to six inches thick, and could withstand all but a direct hit (Lewis 1979:116-118). Batteries were planned for three locations: Point Loma, the center of the Silver Strand on the bay side, and Fort Emory, at the southern end of the Silver Strand. Construction, except for Battery Strong which had been commenced on Point Loma in 1937, took place from 1941, just prior to the Japanese attack on Hawaii, to 1945 (Artillery Engineer 1945, Van Wormer & Roth 1985). Fort Rosecrans, on Point Loma, remained the center of the expanded coastal defense system and received the majority of additional armament and support facilities. Battery Strong and a new harbor defense command post were completed by 1941. July 1942 saw the installation of Battery Zeilin, a temporary emplacement of two 7-inch Navy guns (Van Wormer & Roth 1985). Batteries Humphrey and Woodward, consisting of two 6-inch guns each were completed in July and November of 1943. In addition, five mobile AMTB batteries, Fetterman, Cabrillo, Channel, Bluff, and Cliff, were installed the same year. The AMTB units consisted of 90mm and 37mm guns and 50-caliber machine guns. In July 1944, Battery Ashburn, consisting of two 16-inch guns, was completed (Artillery Engineer 1945; Van Wormer and Roth 1985; Thompson 1991). Other coastal defense facilities consisted of Battery Cortez (a temporary AMTB installation on the Silver Strand) and two emplacements at Fort Emory that included Battery Grant (two 6-inch guns completed in November 1943) and Battery Gatchell (a 16-inch gun installation that was never finished) (Blee 1979; Van Wormer and Roth 1985; Thompson 1991)." ( Van Wormer, Stephen R. "A Land Use History of the Tia Juana River Valley," California State Parks, Southern Service Center, June 2005. )

1935 - North Island: On October 25, 1935 the Navy acquired the Army's Rockwell Field and incorporated it into the air station. During World War 2 and the Korean War, North Island was the primary Naval Airfield in the area for training and support of Naval aviation. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 42-51. )

1935 - North Island Rockwell Field: In the post war era of 1920 the name of the base was changed to Aviation Supply and Repair Depot., Rockwell Field. The new mission was to supply and repair aviation equipment for the 9th Corps Areas Hawaii, and the Philippines. The pursuit school was not establi6hed. But during the ensuing years congestion at North Island had caused the Navy to attempt to gain sole custody of the island. Finally on October 25, 1935 the Army relinquished juristinction over North Island to the Navy. The Army completed its movement out of North Island on January 31, 1939. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 42-51. )

1936/12/31 - Concrete ships: Back in the dark and mostly dry early years of the Great Depression, the S.S. Monte Carlo was a controversial symbol that hope floats ‹ as long as you played your cards right. Launched in 1921 at Wilmington, N.C., the experimental, concrete-hulled ship was originally designed for military use as a tanker in World War I. In those days, it was called the McKittrick. But the war ended before the vessel was finished, and it was converted to civilian use. In 1936, the ship, renamed the S.S. Monte Carlo, turned up off San Diego. Its owners, alleged to have mob ties, anchored the vessel three miles off Point Loma, in international waters, and opened a floating casino and brothel. Ads touted "drinks, dice and dolls." Local law enforcement officials, civic leaders and ministers vigorously objected, but they could do little except fume as water taxis ferried customers to and fro. The ultimate fate of the gambling ship was determined, appropriately enough, by bad luck and a worse storm. Sometime during the night of Dec. 31, 1936, with only a couple of caretakers aboard, a nasty gale caused the ship's anchors to break free. The vessel was pushed to shore, where it fatally foundered. No one was hurt, but New Year's Day 1937 revealed a beach littered with broken roulette wheels, craps tables and furniture. Rumors quickly surfaced of washed-up whiskey cases and caches of slot-machine silver dollars trapped inside the grounded ship, but neither proved true despite much initial scavenging. The owners of the vessel did not claim it ‹ once inside the three-mile limit, the ship became illegal ‹ and the wreck of the Monte Carlo was summarily abandoned, left to vanish (most of the time) beneath the storm-shifted sands off Coronado. (San Diego Union-Tribune, Jan. 31, 2010.) #16246 CONCRETE SHIPS The S.S. Monte Carlo was one of a dozen ships intended for use in World War I that were built with concrete hulls rather than steel, which was in short supply. None of the ships saw military service. Two 434-foot concrete vessels were built in San Diego in 1920: the Cuyamaca and the San Pasqual. The tanker Cuyamaca worked for a time transporting oil along the Gulf Coast until the mid-1920s. The ship's official fate is unknown, but it may have been intentionally sunk as a breakwater in New Orleans. The San Pasqual spent most of its days as a floating depot in the harbor of Santiago, Cuba. During World War II, the ship was outfitted with guns and acted as a defense against German submarines. During the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s, Che Guevara used the San Pasqual as a prison. It now serves as a floating, 10-room hotel, anchored five miles off Cuba near Cayo las Brujas. ( "Tide, storms expose gaming ship," San Diego Union-Tribune, Jan. 31, 2010. )

World War II

A 1942 searchlight still today keeps watch over the Sweetwater Dam that was taken over by the Navy during World War II.

1939 - Ream Field: "The western edge of the Tia Juana Valley became the location of two important military facilities, Ream and Border Fields. Both had their origins during World War I but saw major development in World War Two. During the Cold War Ream continued to expand as Naval Air Station Imperial Beach and Outlying Airfield Imperial Beach. National defense priorities that resulted from the outbreak of World War II in Europe in 1939 resulted in the development of Ream and Border Fields during the 1940s. Following the commencement of hostilities in Europe, the United States made a concerted effort to improve its military capabilities. In 1939, Congress began to appropriate millions of dollars for new military facilities, equipment, and personnel. The need to train unprecedented numbers of navy pilots resulted in the development of Ream and Border Fields. The war would have a significant effect on the role of aircraft in the Navy. During World War II, the aircraft carrier assumed equal importance with the battle ship, and the air station took its place with the navy yard and training center as an indispensable and major element of Navy logistical support. From 1939 to 1946 naval aircraft ground facilities grew to comprise almost 80 air stations and a host of satellite fields (Bureau of Yards and Docks 1947:227). In 1938, the Navy had only 1,000 planes. The Vinson Navy Bill passed by Congress in May of that year authorized sufficient procurement to increase the number to 3,000. On June 2, 1940 the number was further increased to 10,000 planes (Bureau of Yards and Docks 1947:229). The spring of 1940 brought the expansion of the Axis powers in Europe with the invasion,of Norway and Denmark and the Low Countries, followed by the fall of France in June. The United States Congress responded immediately with unprecedented National Defense measures, authorizing an 11 percent increase in the Navy on June 14 and immediately thereafter passing a bill that established a "two ocean" Navy that would require a 70 percent increase in forces afloat and increase the aircraft program to 15,000 planes (Bureau of Yards and Docks 1947:8). In 1942 the authorized number reached its final figure at 27,500 airplanes (Bureau of Yards and Docks 1947:229). With the participation of the United States in the war after December 7, 1941, naval operations needed planes and pilots as fast as the former could be built and the latter trained (Bureau of yards and Docks 1947:235). Because the number of planes recommended would create unmanageable traffic problems at the naval air stations, the Hepburn Board of 1938 had recommended acquisition of outlying fields as opposed to the then common practice of leasing appropriate tracts of land, stating that: "The necessity of the 'outlying fields' is so vital ... that their use should not be contingent upon the insecure basis of a lease or permit. Such fields are as necessary for purposes of operation at any naval air base should be acquired outright" (Commandants Files, Contract Noy-4205 1948:68). This led directly to the development of Ream and Border Fields." ( Van Wormer, Stephen R. "A Land Use History of the Tia Juana River Valley," California State Parks, Southern Service Center, June 2005. )

1940 - The Second World War shaped the South Bay's development even more. Fred H. Rohr located his airplane manufacturing plant in Chula Vista in 1940, providing hundreds of jobs. The year before, National City residents voted to sell 97 acres of waterfront to the Navy, envisioning jobs and industry. To this day, historians still bemoan that Olivewood, the Victorian home of Warren and Flora Kimball -- so beautiful that the train stopped for tourists to have tea in the home's parlor -- was razed in 1942 for a 600-unit military housing project. "Many people, like myself, were here during the war and liked it, so we moved back," said Frank Roseman, manager of the Chula Vista Heritage Museum, who settled in Bonita in 1957. "Development really started then, and that's when many of our farming areas disappeared." The long history of military influence in the South Bay did not begin with the World Wars, however. It goes back to the late 1700s, when the Spanish arrived and created ranchos to serve their king on land once solely occupied by the Kumeyaay Indians. The Kumeyaay used the area as a winter home, traveling between the coast and the mountains. There were three encampments, in San Ysidro, Otay and La Punta, near what later became the saltworks on the Chula Vista waterfront. Rancho del Rey (the Ranch of the King) was one of the largest of the ranchos, encompassing all of what later became National City, Lincoln Acres, Chula Vista, Paradise Hills and Bonita, east to El Cajon. In 1821, Mexico won its independence from Spain, and the locals immediately changed the name of the spread to El Rancho de la Nacion, reflecting their newfound national pride. In 1845, Pio Pico, the last Mexican governor of what was then called Alta California, deeded Rancho de la Nacion to his brother- in-law, John Forster, an English trader who married Pico's sister. His original adobe home still stands in Rohr Park in Chula Vista. It wasn't long before the United States asserted its authority over the dividing line that ran through the community formerly known as Tia Juana. Many Mexicans immigrated to the South Bay around 1910, fleeing the civil war in Mexico, and found work on the railroads. More came after World War I, to work on farms and in the aircraft industry. By that time the Indians, who Frank Kimball noted in a 1907 letter were more plentiful on the streets than white men, had dispersed into the mountains and reservations, though some stayed on to work the farms and ranches. Today, the South Bay is in the midst of the next big land boom. But traces of the area's history remain scattered among the freeways and subdivisions. ( By Leslie Wolf Branscomb, San Diego Union-Tribune, Dec 31, 1999. )

1940 - Five dredges under a $4,280,000 Government contract eliminated shoals and deepened channels in San Diego Bay Areas at Ballast Point, Lindbergh Field, Naval Training Center, Coronado and National City were filled. Over 36 million cubic yards of spoil were handled. In 1941, the embarcadero along Harbor Drive from E street to A street was closed to the public on December 31 for an indefinite period due to World War II. In 1942, Navy Pier was completed after being lengthened to 1,000 feet in 1940; the pier was originally built in 1928. ( Reupsch, Carl F., "Port of San Diego: its Character and History," unpublished report, April 27, 1970, in the Office of the District Clerk, San Diego Unified Port District. )

1940 - Brown Field: Auxilliary Naval Air Station Brown Field Historic District Building Facility 10 HRB #405 APN 760-109-60 2/24/2000 E (National Register Eligible) - but no listing in the National Register built 1940-1946 by Navy no report # given ( Historical Landmarks Designated by the SD Historical Resources Board, Jan. 25, 2013 )

The Brown Field tower built during World War II was designated an Historical Landmark by the City of San Diego in 2000.

1940 - Bunker Hill: "The bombing of Pearl Harbor and fear of Japanese invasion led to development of defensive fortifications along the California coastline. Between 1940 and 1942, the U.S. Navy leased 245 acres along the bor- der and in the Tijuana River estuary, much of it from the Crofton Investment Company. Here, it established Border Field Auxiliary Landing Field - an operation that included thirty-five buildings, one barracks, a galley and a machine-gun range. The Navy used Border Field for gunnery training on five moving-target machine gun ranges. As part of the region's coastal defense system, the Army created a fire control station and bunkers on Bunker Hill east of Monument Mesa. It erected a 50- foot tall radar tower on Monument Mesa. Near the northeast corner of the estuary was a dirt landing strip that the U.S. Army and private pilots had used. By 1942, the Navy had acquired this field too and named it after Major W. R. Ream, an Army medical officer who was killed in a plane crash in 1918. On July 17, 1943, Ream Field was commissioned as a U.S. Naval Auxiliary Air Station; a year later it became another unit of the Eleventh Naval District. During the war, it grew from the original 140 acres to 623." ( TRNERR History Chapter, )

1940 - Ream Field: "Situated on a floodplain and largely unin- habitable by humans, the border region seemed like an ideal site for training com- bat pilots. Pilots flying from either Ream or Border Fields flew low and practiced dive- bombing and air-to-air gunnery, shooting at drones above the estuary. They shot at stream-driven targets that moved along the sand dunes on rails called "rabbit tracks." Mariners offshore had to be alert and stay clear of firing areas. Birds were often unknowing victims." ( TRNERR History Chapter, )

1941 - Destroyer Base: "The Destroyer Base was placed under the Commandant of the 11th Naval District for wartime operation in March 1941. By 1943 a total of 659 land and 262 water acres was included within the boundaries of the base property. Facilities were greatly increased during this period. On October 19, 1943 the designation of the U. S. Destroyer Base was officially changed to the U. S. Naval Repair Base and as such became a component of the U. S. Naval Base, San Diego. During the period from 1943 until the close of hostilities in 1945 more then 1,500 officers and 41,500 enlisted men had been received and trained for repair duties. During the same period 5,117 ships were sent to the Repair Base for conversion, overhaul, and maintenance, including the repair of battle damage. During the final year of hostilities 28,000 officers and enlisted personnel were on duty at the Naval Repair Base. On September 15, 1946, the U. S. Naval Repair Base was by order of the Secretary of the Navy, redesignated the United States Naval Station, San Diego,. California." ( Hinds, James W. "San Diego's Military Sites," typed mss, San Diego Historical Society, 1986. )

1941 - Brown Field: Naval Auxiliary Air Station. Otay Mesa/Brown Field originally an airfield leased by the Navy in the 1920s at the site of the Army's former East Field. During World War 2 [1941] this airfield was designated Naval Auxiliary Air Station, Brown Field in honor of Commander Melville S. Brown who had died in an airplane crash near Descanso in 1936. Brown Field was decommissioned in 1946, then reopened as an auxiliary landing field. On July 1, 1954 it was recommissioned as a Naval Auxiliary Air Station. Approximately June 30, 1961 it was redesignated as an auxiliary landing field to Naval Air Station, North Island. Finally in 1962 Brown Field was decommissioned and turned over to the City of San Diego. -- Naval Auxiliary Air Station, Brown Field, Target Area 32: a 45 acre site south of the Otay Reservoir between Brown Field and the Lower Otay Reservoir. -- ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986. )

1941 - Fort Emory: during the period December 9-14, 1941, the 155mm battery in the northwest part of Fort Rosecrans moved to Coronado Heights and was named Battery Imperial. This movement extended the water area covered by Harbor Defense guns considerably to the south. At the same time a temporary base-end station was also established at Coronado Heights. In January 1942 Panama Mounts were completed at Battery Imperial. In October 1942 the Army acquired ownership of the 412.14 acres at Coronado Heights through a Declaration of Taking action. On December 14, 1942 this site was offically designated Fort Emory in honor of Brigadier General William Helmsley Emory. Fort Emory was a sub-post of Fort Rosecrans. Battery H. 19th Coast Artillery had been moved to Fort Emory to man the new AMTB arament and anti-aircraft machine guns, so the garrison consisted of two lettered batteries and the 3d Battalion, Headquarters Battery. In November 1943 Battery Grant, a 1611 battery, was proof fired at Fort Emory. Battery Grant superseded Battery Imperial. During December the plotting-switchboard room for the 1611 battery at Fort Emory was completed and the fire control switchboard for that post installed. Communications had been maintained for two years with a field switchboard, field telephones, and originally all field wire. The wire had been progressively replaced with cables as construction continued. In February 1944, the War Department ordered work on some parts of the modernization projects in the Harbor Defense of San Diego deferred. Affected were the mounting of the guns and carriages, installation of the director, and the power plant for the 16" battery at Fort Emory. The gun emplacements and all the base-end stations for the battery had been completed by this time. Also, deferred was the construction of the battalion command post tower. Then on April 25, 1944 the 3d Battalion plus Battery E of the 19th Coast Artillery was sent to Texas to be used as field artillery replacements. During the year the fifth fire control radar was on the air at Fort Emory in July 1944 and assigned to Battery Grant. On May 4P 1944, 100 acres of Fort Emory was declared standby and arrangements were made granting temporary use to the Navy. Then on July 19 a permit was issued to the Navy for its use of the 100 acres which became Naval Air Station San Diego Coronado Heights Annex. With the completion of World War 2 the fort was inactivated on January 31, 1947 and declared surplus on March 1, 1948. Finally in 1950 the Army transferred Fort Emory to the Navy and who incorporated it into their Imperial Beach Radio Station. ( Hinds, James W. "San Diego's Military Sites," typed mss, San Diego Historical Society, 1986. )

1941 - Naval Radio Station, Imperial Beach: established at the site of the Navy's Direction Finder Station in 1947 by the transfer of Navy Radio Point Loma to the location. The station was designated Navy Radio Station (R)s, Imperial Beach. The Navy Radio Station at Chollas Heights and it were amalgamated with the Communications Center at the 11th Naval District Headquarters. On August 16, 1950 the Secretary of the Army transferred the Army's 412-614 acre Fort Emory to the Navy which incorporated it into their adjoining radio station. When the Navy took over the fort that had been closed since 1945 there were several barracks, a mess hall, quonset huts, some family housing and a theater auditorium in existence. Over the years traces of Army existence have slowly disappeared as the Navy improved their physical facilities at the radio station. In 1965 the Circular Display Antenna Array, a receiving antennna was erected at the station. . . . Observation Post 21: this World War 2 site was located on the southwestern part of the Navy Radio Station. . . . Following World War 2 and to enable the growing Naval Electronics Laboratory to expand, the disestablishment of the Point Loma Station began as receivers were transferred to their new home at Imperial Beach. ( Hinds, James W. "San Diego's Military Sites," typed mss, San Diego Historical Society, 1986. )

1941 - Fort Emory: "During most of the year 1941, the 155mm battery in the northwest part of Fort Rosecrans moved to Coronado Heights and was named Battery Imperial. This movement extended the water area covered by Harbor Defense. At the same time a temporary base-end station was also established at Coronado Heights. In October 1942 the Army acquired ownership of the 412.14 acres at Coronado Heights through a Declaration of Taking action. On December 14, 1942 this site was officially designated Fort Emory in honor of Brigadier General William Helmsley Emory. Fort Emory was a sub-post of Fort Rosecrans. The 19th Coast Artillery had been moved to Fort Emory to man the new Anti-Motor Torpedo Boat armament and anti-aircraft machine guns. In November 1943 Battery Grant proof fired at Fort Emory. Battery Grant superseded Battery Imperial. During December the plotting-switchboard room for the 16 inch battery at Fort Emory was completed and the fire control switchboard for that post installed. Communications had been maintained for two years with a field switchboard, field telephones, and originally all field wire. The wire had been progressively replaced with cables as construction continued. In February 1944, the War Department ordered work on some parts of the modernization projects in the Harbor Defense of San Diego deferred, Affected were the mounting of the guns and carriages, installation of the director, and the power plant for the 16" battery at Fort Emory. The gun emplacements and all the base-end stations for the battery had been completed by this time. Also, deferred was the construction of the battalion command post tower. Then on April 25, 1944 the 3d Battalion plus Battery E of the 19th Coast Artillery was sent to Texas to be used as field artillery replacements. During the year the fifth fire control radar was on the air at Fort Emory in July 1944 and assigned to Battery Grant. On May 4, 1944, 100 acres of Fort Emory was declared standby and arrangements were made granting temporary use to the Navy. Then on July 19 a permit was issued to the Navy for its use of the 100 acres which became Naval Air Station-San Diego's Coronado Heights Annex. With the completion of World War 2, the fort was inactivated on January 31, 1947 and declared surplus on March 1, 1948. From 1945 to 1950, the Army family of 1st Sgt. Frank C. Grissom were caretakers of the Army buildings and the guns at Fort Emory. Finally in 1950 the Army transferred Fort Emory to the Navy and who incorporated it into their Imperial Beach Radio Station." ( The California State Military Museum, )

1941 - Naval Amphibious Base: In 1941 because of Navy dredging approximately 185 acres of tidelands on the bay side of the Silver Strand, south of Coronado were reclaimed for the Amphibious Base Headquarters. And in 1945 over 200 acres were added to the beach on the ocean side of the Silver Strand for amphibious landing operations. Today the Amphibious Base extends along approximately 4 miles of the Silver Strand and is used as a base for training thousands of members of the regular and reserve components of the United States as well as allied armed forces, each year, in the highly specialized art of amphibious warfare. The following activities are currently based at the Amphibious Base: Commander Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet; Landing Force Training Command Pacific; Naval Amphibious School; Naval Beach Group One; Fleet Composite Operational Readiness Group One; Tactical Air Control Group One; Naval Special Warfare Group One; Surface Warfare Officers School Command Detachment, Coronado; Pacific Representative, Commander Naval Surface Reserve Force; Naval Medical Branch Clinic, Co- ronado; Naval Regional Dental Branch, Coronado; Naval Telecommunications Center, Silver Strand; Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobil Unit Three. Presently there is construction underway at the base or approved by Congress costing $32 million that will eliminate the last of the Quonset huts and five other World War 2 vintage structures. Twelve new buildings will be erected. Presently the bases Population now fluctuates between 4,000 and 6,000, including 1,000 civilian workers and dependents of military personnel. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986. )

1941 - South San Diego Bay Seadrome a seaplane landing and takeoff area on the San Diego Bay adjacent to the Amphibious Base. This area was initially under Naval Air Station, North Island then later the Naval Electronics Laboratory. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986. )

1941 - Harbor Defense: With the approach of World War II and the subsequent Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the role Fort Rosecrans played in the defense of San Diego was tremendous. Fortunately there is a history of the Southern California Sector, Western Defense Command that contains an appendixed history entitled History of Harbor Defense of San Diego. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 106-114 )

1941 - Harbor Defense: Situation at Harbor Defenses of San Diego as it existed 7 Dec 1941: The mission of HDSD was to protect the San Diego area against lands sea and air attacks. Several factors made the protection of this area of increasing importance in recent years. The Consolidated Aircraft Company was in a state of continuing expansion, turning out patrol bombers for the U.S. Navy, Liberator land bombers for Great Britian. The U.S. Navy Destroyer Base was being developed into a complete Repair Base and service all types of units except battleships for the Pacific Fleet. Some of our largest aircraft carriers called San Diego home port and were in and out of the Harbor at frequent intervals. The San Diego Naval Air Station was being enlarged to provide a base for the air arm of the Pacific Fleet. The Headquarters of the Eleventh Naval District was in San Diego. A large Navy supply depot, the Naval Training Station, the Marine Base the Naval Fuel Depot and smaller installations were also located here. All of these required protection not only for themself's but also for the shipping which flowed in and out of the Harbor to make use of them. The terrain of the area provided some favorable. features for defenses but also left some natural avenues of approach which an enemy might use in a land attack. Such attacks were likely only from the north and south because of the mountain range east of the area. Several thousand troops at the Camp Callan CARTC and Marines in combat training at Camp Elliott provided an obstical to any attack moving down the coast from the north. Attacks from the south must come across the International Border from Mexico. The Mexican garrison in Lower California was small and could offer little resistance to an enemy landing and subsequent movement. However, it is a sparsely populated area, few roads, and small opportunities exist for living off the country. The 11th Cavalry was stationed at Camp Lockett and carried on frequent maneuvers along the border. It could delay or block any attack from Mexican territory.seadrome ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 106-114 )

1941 - Harbor Defense: Approaches from the sea were patrolled to a limited extent by U.S. Navy Planes. The Coronado Islands to the south provided a screen behind which surface units might approach undetected by terrestial observation. The La Jolla Canyon, a deep crevice in the ocean floor, made favorable route of submarine approach from the northwest to within five miles of defended installations. Few favorable conditions could be found which contributed to defense against air attacks, the third part of the mission. There was no radar to provide warning of the approach of planes. Drills had been carried out with Navy ships and shore stations for re- port of aircraft, however, coverage provided was incidental to ship movements made for other reasons. A volunteer air raid warning service with filter center for the area was ready for its first test. Almost no means of active defense were available. Planes at the Naval Air Station were equipped for training and Army planes at March Field were far away and might be needed at Los Angeles. Within the Harbor Defense action was taken for carrying out the three parts of the-mission. Plans had been prepared and practiced for moving troops to threatened points within the defended area. Prior to outbreak of hostilities these were concerned primarily with sabotage or inspired riots. Co's D and F. 160th Infantry, were made avail- able to the HD Commander. They were sent to protect El Capitan Dam, San Diego's chief water supply source, and the power transformer stations serving the important parts of the city. Active and close liaison was maintained to take advantage of other troops in the San Diego area in case of attack. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 106-114 )

1941 - Harbor Defense: The Harbor Defense had the following armament installed for repelling attacks from the sea: Batteries White and Whistler, 1211 mortar batteries of four guns each. These had been installed in 1920t were slow firing and could be easily outranged by any ship larger than a destroyer. Battereies Calef and Wilkinson, two 1011 gun batteries of two guns each. These had been installed in 1900 and covered only a limited water area to the south. These batteries suffered from the same range limitations as the mortars. Battery Strong, a battery of two 811 guns mounted on barbette carriages. This was the only modern battery in the Harbor Defense and had been completed and proof fired in the summer of 1941, It had modern plotting room equipment and DPFs. but only one base line. The guns were not shielded and had no power equipment. Two batteries of four 155mm GPF guns each installed in field emplacements to cover the southwest, west, and northwest approaches to the Harbor. Battery McGrath, a battery of two 3" guns. This battery had been installed in 1919 and could cover the Harbor entrance channel on the east side of Fort Rosecrans. The fire control equipment in all batteries except the 8" was old and a good part of it was improvised. The 155mm batteries had only temporary base end stations. There were 8 fixed Seacoast Searchlights at Fort Rosecrans and 2 on North Island. All had been installed in 1920. Eight more modern portable searchlights were available at Fort Rosecrans. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 106-114 )

1941 - Harbor Defense: A new Harbor Defense Command Post had been completed in the spring of 1941. The other command stations-were much older, and inadequately protected and concealed. A Harbor Entrance Control Post had been established in the Old Spanish Light House at Fort Rosecrans in July 1941- It had operated since that time with an Army officer, a Navy officer and enlisted assistants on duty twenty-four hours a day. A signal tower was operated as part of the station. Battery McGrath was designated the examination battery and was also manned twenty-four hours a day. To repel air attacks, five positions had been prepared at Fort Rosecrans for four .50 cal MGs each. These were well dug in, revetted., and complete with connecting tunnels between pits. However, only 30 cal MGs were available in the Harbor Defense for installation in the positions. Although the Harbor Defense armament was inadequate, the troops assigned were better prepared. The 19th CA Regiment consisted of a Hq Btry, a Searchlight Btrys and 3 Battalions of a Hq Btry and three lettered batteries each. Enlisted cadres for the organizations had come from the Regular Army. The remainder of the enlisted men were mostly from the Middle West who had had ten months training. About three-fourths of them had received all their training at Fort Rosecrans. The other one-fourth had come from the CARTC at Camp Callen, after completing basic training there. The field officers in the Harbor Defense were Regular Army, and company grade officers were largely Coast Artillery Reserve, who had been on active duty from 6 to 18 months. The regiment had trained intensively in artillery drill, infantry drill, small arms fir- ing and other basic military subjects. Almost all the personnel had participated in at least one seacoast artillery target practice. War condition periods of several days each had been held at six-week intervals during the year 1941. During these periods troops had lived at their gun emplacements under assumed tactical conditions which might prevail during hostilities. Troops were normally comfortably housed in two cantonment areas consisting of mobilization type buildings, built in winter of 1940-1941. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 106-114 )

1941 - Harbor Defense: The outbreak of war on 7 Dec 1941, with the temporary impairment of the Pacific Fleet, made enemy attacks on the Pacific Coast not only possible but to all appear- ances, also probable. Troops were moved to their gun positions immediately. Ammunition was hauled to the battery positions and made ready for firing. Guards at the Reservation gates and boundries were increased and the general public excluded from the fort. Organizations were assigned areas on the Reservation in which they were responsible for protection against paratroopers, fire, and sabotage. Marine troops were obtained from Camp Elliott for the protection of the Naval Fuel Depot. Batteries H and I, 19th Coast Artillery were sent to Consolidated Aircraft Company for air raid protection. They had only their own limited number of .30 cal MG's and AA mounts. This armament was increased by use of some .50 cal MG's which were at the Plant to be mounted in bombers, and four 37mm guns borrowed from Camp Callan. This constituted the AA defense until AA units began to arrives from Texas and Georgia, a week later. The Harbor Defense troops were not completely relieved to return to Fort Rosecrans for almost a month. The Harbor Defense Command Post was manned immediately and was continuously on alert until after V-J Day. By mid-afternoon of 7 Dec 41 all armament was ready to fire, although an attack in force would have found the Harbor Defense badly out- ranged and at serious disadvantage in fire power. Battery Point Loma, the 155mm battery in the southwest part of Fort Rosecrans, was made the examination battery. All per- sonnel on pass, leave and furlough were ordered back to their units. Field fortifications and beach defenses were strengthened and increased in number. Camouflage improvements was initiated. These processes were continuous for the period of the war. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 106-114 )

1941 - Harbor Defense: During the period 9 to 14 Dec 1941, the 155mm battery in the northwest part of the reservations was moved to Coronado Heights and named Battery Imperial. This ex- tended the water area covered by Harbor Defense guns considerable to the south. All batteries eight inch and below were put on constant antisubmarine alert status. During the period of the Wars there were sixty-one reports of enemy submarines, unidentified surface vessels, and underwater contacts off San Diego recorded by Harbor Defense of San Diego* During 1942 and 1943, local defense ships and planes went into action twenty-eight times on the basis of such reports and during 1943, 115 depth charges were dropped by these forces. No friendly shipping was sunk and no enemy craft were ever identified within range of the Harbor Defense guns. Before the war all base-end stations had been either at Fort Rosecrans or across the channel entrance. Now temporary base end structures were established at La Jolla, Hermosa, above Ocean Beach, Coronado Heights, and at the Mexican Border. This gave complete coverage of the coast line and adjacent water areas within naval gun range of San Diego. Communications were extended to all these points from Fort Rose- crans. One platoon of Battery A, 19th Coast Artillery was sent to Camp Callan CARTC to man 155mm guns there. While, thousands of troops were in the CARTC2 training was not of such nature as to make effective tactical manning of guns practical. This platoon remained in position for several months. The Portable searchlights were also moved to positions so as to Provide illumination for all the new base-end stations. Also in the first week of the war the Harbor Entrance Control Post was moved into a room in the Harbor Defense Command Post structure. A completely integrated Joint Army-Navy command Post was now a reality and continued as such during the period of the war. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 106-114 )

1941/04/18 - Seaplane base: "The amount of $2,381,820 was the accepted bid of the Case Construction Co. and the American Concrete and Steel Pipe Co. for building of the new naval seaplane base which will be located directly opposite CV on the bay side of the Coronado strand." ( The Chula Vista Star-News, Apr. 18, 1941. )

1941/10/20 - Naval Supply Depot: The U. S. Naval Supply depot's largest structure in the San Diego are a. In the north wine are housed the offices of the 11th Naval district headquarters while in the south wing are offices of the Supply depot. NAVAL SUPPLY DEPOT COVERS NEARLY 6 WATERFRONT BLOCKs. Next time you are fretting at the thought of having to make up the week-end grocery list, be thankful. that vou aren't the officer in charge of the Naval Supply depot, San! Diego, j While vou may b e debating toj order five pounds of potatoes, or 10. he probably is wondering when it will be time to order another million pounds of the sameAs a matter of fact, during the course of a year, his offices handle the procurementj and distribution ef approximatelyj 9.600,000 pounds of j o t a t o e s a n thaati's a lmoit ofi smpuidos. j Tte heavv bu^eTis Capt John F H2SSl"wS^unaeridep his jurisdiction the operations of; San Diego's Naval Supply depot," which has grown to such propor-i tions that it now covers the greater]~ part of six city blocks along thej waterfront with other expansions | still contemplated j There a huge ,-taff. which includes; about 438 civilian employes in vari-! cus capacities, is charged with the^ prccurement storage, issuance andsccounting of all supplies, r^atprials. fuel and provisions for vessels of the; United States fleet and shore stations in the 11th Naval district It 5s southern California's biggest supply activity. FEEDS ITS MEN WELL While food is only one of the many items for which the Supply depot must b e responsible, it definitely is an important one‹and one which is handled on a tremendous ecale. The navy feeds its men well. and it takes only a glance at some random figures to bear out that contention. . . . ( The San Diego Union, )

1942 - Concrete ships: Kile Morgan came to National City in 1942, worked at Rohr Aircraft, then operated a crane at Concrete Shipyard, and then opened a used car lot on National Ave ( Kile Morgan, National City, The Kile Morgan Years 1960-1986. National City CA: The Olive Tree Press, 1994, p. 54. )

1942 - Fort Emory: In 1942, the United States Army took ownership of 412.14 acres in Coronado Heights and designated it Fort Emory in honor of BG Emory, itself being subordinate to Fort Rosecrans, being manned by the 19th Coastal Artillery. Armament of the base consisted of four 155mm guns of Battery Imperial, which was superseded by the two 6 inch guns (M1905) of Battery Grant. Coastal radars were authorized in 1943. Construction of a 16 inch battery were completed in 1944, however the guns were never mounted; these guns would have supplemented another 16 inch battery, Battery Ashburn at Fort Rosecrans. The land upon which the fort was located was turned over to the Navy in 1947, with a single army family as caretaker of the facilities which was declared surplus a year later; in 1950 it was finally transferred to the Navy integrating with the Imperial Beach Radio Station. -- Silver Strand Training Complex ( wikipedia )

This drawing, from Thompson, The Guns Of San Diego, shows Fort Emory on the southern end of the Strand.

1942 - Hotel del Coronado: during World War II approximately 90% of the hotel was taken over by the Navy for enlisted and officers housing. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986. )

1942 - National Guard Armory: was located on Strand Way adjacent to Giorietta Bay, north of the city hall in the old World War 2 USO building that the state leased for an armory. In 1975 the combat support unit that was stationed at the armory moved to the National Guard Armory on Linda Vista. The site now belongs to the city of Coronado. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986. )

1942 - Coronado Navy Housing: during World War 2 the Navy constructed housing facing on the San Diego Bay in the area of Coronado bounded by 2d Streets Prospect Place, Pomona Avenues and State 75. This housing no longer exists. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986. )

1942 - WAVE Barracks: in Coronado the Navy planned to construct quarters for its female enlisted and officer personnel who were being assigned to Headquarters, 11th Naval District and Naval Air Station, San Diego. The site the Navy selected was in the area along San Diego Bay bounded by G Avenue, 1st Street and Orange Avenue. In conception the barracks were originally planned to house a maximum of 500 WAVES and 100 officers. Then around mid-March 1943 due to an increased WAVE allocations at Naval Air Station, San Diego, the Commandant requested the quarters be expanded to house approximately 12000 WAVES. But in a change of plans the WAVES assigned to the air station were to be quartered on the station so the proposed expansion was cancelled. Work on the barracks started in mid-April 1943, under a change to an existing contract. No particular difficulties were encountered in the construction Program, as a result of which the enlisted women's quarters were available for use on July 15 and the women's officer's quarters were opened on August 12, 1943. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986. )

1942 - Border Field: Auxiliary Landing Field, Border Field esd established on the site of the machine gun range and was under Ream Field. In 1952 this field was used for touch and go landings and was still active into the 1960s. It was also used for drone training in 1953. -- Border Field Measuring Station: located just north of the auxiliary landing field and operated by the Naval Electronics Laboratory. -- Machine Gun Range, Border Field: a World War 2 machine gun range iocated at Border Field. The range was under Naval Air Base,11th Naval District. -- Observation Post 227,this World War 2 site was located in the Border Field area. -- San Diego Border Camp: a border patrol camp established by the Army in the vicinity of the present day Border Field State Park during the Mexican Revolutionary period 1916- 1920. TampornLy Base-End Station: following Pearl Harbor the Army established a temporary coast artillery base-end station in the border area. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986. )

1942 - National City: National Guard Armory: is located at 303 Palm Avenue and is the oldest armory in use in San Diego County. Currently Headquarters, 2d Battalion, 185th Armor and Head- quarters & Headquarters Company, 2d Battalion, 185th Armor are assigned to the armory. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986. )

1942 - Paradise Valley: Landing Strip Sweetwater: Navy built and located along the north side of Paradise Valley Road and west of Briarwood and used for touch and go landing practice. This World War 2 site was under Naval Auxiliary Air Station Brown. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986. )

1942 - Harbor Defense: Action was taken to press for immediate start of delayed construction in the Har- bor Defense project, and for approval and start of work on the modernization program. Panama mounts were completed for Batteries Point Loma and Imperial in Janu- ary 1942. This enabled coverage of the entire coast line-and adjacent water area from south of La Jolla to below the Mexican Border by at least one battery of 155mm guns. Construction started immediately on new armament and baseend stations. In the next two years 26 new base-end stations and two new Bn CP's were completed. Port- able searchlights were installed to serve these stations and a total of 22 searchlights were actually in position'at one time. New armament installed will be enumerated indi- vidually in order of completion. A system of permanent buried Fire Control Communications cables was also started at this time. In a little over two years the Permanent communication cables called for in the moderization Project were all in and working. The 262nd Coast Artillery Bat;aliong consisting of a Hq Btry and two lettered batteries, was activated at this Harbor Defense, 1 May 1942, Most of the officers and personnel for the organization came from the 19th Coast Artillery Regiment. The battalion was organized and trained on Harbor Defenses of San Diego armament. It left for duty in Alaska, 2 Nov 1942. The 77th Chemical Smoke Generator Co was activated at Fort Rosecrans, 16 April 1942. These colored troops established the smoke generator defense of the San Diego area. They moved to temporary barracks in San Diego, 17 August 1942. Prior to the war, U.S. Marine Corps had mounted three 511 Navy guns near Bat- tery Point Loma for training purposes. When the 155mm battery was moved from the northwest cornor of Fort Rosecrans to Coronado Heights, no armament was left in this area. Request was made then to move these three 511 guns to the old 155mm em- placement and use them as interim Harbor Defense armament until the moderization battery in that area could be built. The request was approved and in June 1942 the move was completed and the manning of the battery was taken over by Harbor Defense troops. The battery was named Gillespie and Provided an addition to the defense against submarine and light surface units for well over a year. The Harbor Defense also obtained the loan of two 711 Navy guns from the U.S. Marine Corps. The emplacement of these was completed in July 1942 and the battery named Zeilin. This battery strengthened the density to the west although not extending the range. It was manned for over a year. Battery Humphreys emplacement, the first of the modernization batteriest was also completed in July 1942. The 6" guns and carriages were not available and two 155mm guns were borrowed from Camp Callan to install beside the gun platforms. The battery thus constituted became the examination battery and effectively covered the en- tire outer channel approaches. Another structure of the modernization program was added in August with the completion of the bomb-proof transmitter station. This housed both Army and Navy radio transmitters for the combined Harbor Defense Command Post-Harbor Entrance Control Post. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 106-114 )

This 16-inch gun was installed in Battery Ashburn at Fort Rosecrans at the start of World War II. A similar 16-in battery was constructed at Fort Emory but the guns were never mounted. (SPAWAR SSC San Diego photo, also available at

1942 - Harbor Defense: Until August 1942, all officers and men operating the Harbor Defense headquarters and command post had come from the 19th Coast Artillery Regiment. At that time a Harbor Defense'Hq & Hq Btry was authorized, which made possible the dividing of the two headquarters. An Harbor Entrance Command Post section was included in the new battery and it became possible to adequately man that station. In the fall of 1942 the mortar batteries and'the 10" DC batteries were declared obsolete, and scrapped. Since sufficient new armament was not yet completed which could be manned, Battery F. 19th Coast Artillery was deactivated. The first of the AMTB armament was received in October with the arrival of eight 37mm guns. Modification and emplacement of these units was started immediately. The following month six mobile 90mm guns were received for AMTB defense. These were emplaced in previously selected positions at Fort Rosecrans, North Island and on the Silver Strand. The battery on North Island was moved to Ballast Point a few months later at request of the U.S. Navy. The War Department officially designated the Coronado Heights area Fort Emory. Battery H. 19th Coast Artillery had been moved to that post to man the new AMTB armament and AA MG's, so the garrison consisted of two lettered batteries and 3d Bn Ho Btry. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 106-114 )

1942 - Border Field State Park Bunkers Because of its location along the U.S.-Mexico border and the triple border fence constructed in 2009, two of the historical attractions at Border Field State Park ( are behind the fencing and can no longer be accessed by the public. Both the World War II defense bunkers and the 15-foot-tall Border Monument number 258, erected in 1849 to mark the border, still can be seen at a distance through the fencing. Because of state budget cuts, Border Field State Park is open to vehicle traffic only on weekends for a fee, though pedestrians and equestrians have free access to the park seven days per week. Vehicle traffic, even on the weekends, also is prohibited during flooding of the park road that frequently occurs after heavy rains. Those who wish to visit the park should visit or call 619-575-3613 for park access information before their trip. World War II Bunkers Three concrete bunkers, constructed in 1942 as part of the U.S. military's coastal defense system during World War II, sit atop Bunker Hill in Border Field State Park. Until 2008, when fencing construction began, the abandoned bunkers could be accessed by hikers in the state park but are now are off limits to the public. The bunkers, built into the ocean side of the hill east of the park's Monument Mesa, were manned until 1945 by U.S. soldiers who scanned the Pacific horizon through telescopes for Japanese ships and submarines. The bunkers have metal ladders at the top that extend approximately two stories down, where soldiers slept on metal bunks. The bunkers were part of a larger Army and Navy operation at Border Field that included 35 buildings, a barracks and a machine-gun range. (Border Field State Park Bunkers, )

1942 ca - Army camp in Bonita, and an Army lookout station with search lights on the hill behind the school, Sweetwater Woman's Club became a Red Cross Station and USO center during WWII. Five Sweetwater valley boys died in the war: Richard W. Burch, William Beckett, Robert L. Goodell, John Pappas and Jack R. Eaton ( Gloria Esterbloom, This, Our Beloved Valley. South Bay Press: National City CA, 1954. )

1942/02/16 - As The Yippies Went To War - 600 San Diegans Volunteered Themselves And Their Boats. The crowd began gathering early in the San Diego Naval Armory that spring morning in 1942, still puzzling over the urgent summons of the day before. ^ Few of them‹fishermen, tuna clipper owners, skippers for the American Fishermen's Association‹had been told what the meeting was all about. But they had a pretty fair idea. World W ar II was just 70 days old. It was apparent that the Navy, gambling for time after the disaster at Pearl Harbor, needed more ships. And San Diego had ships, a whole fleet of ships‹tuna clippers designed not for war, but for harvesting the food of the sea. The crowd in the armory had guessed right. "The Navy needs the service of your tuna clippers," they were told by Cmdr. W. J. Morcott, then San Diego port director. "The government will either buy your ships, or lease them for the duration." But it wasn't only,ships the Navy needed. "THE NAVY needs men to man the ships," Morcott continued, "Experienced men like yourselves. You'll receive commissions in the Navy. Needless to say, the duty in a war zone will be hazardous. Who will volunteer?" Six hundred hands went up. That day‹Feb. 16, 1942‹was a memorable one on the San Diego waterfront. It was the day the Yippies went to war. "Yippie" was the nickname given the clippers after they had been converted to war use. It was derived from the naval designation, "YP," meaning "patrol vessel." But patrolling was only a fraction of the Yippies' job. With their clipper names covered by grey war paint,, they ferried troops, hauled provisions, shuttled about on mercy missions, even engaged in direct combat with the enemy. They traveled thousands of miles between 1942 and 1945 over the vast expanse of the Pacific: Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, French Frigate Shoals, Fanning, Palmyra and Canton Islands. They tasted battle at Okinawa and Tarawa. ( The San Diego Union, July 10, 1960 )

1942/02/16 - As The Yippies Went To War - Altogether, 37 San Diego-based tuna clippers went to war. Only-half came back. The others were victims of mines, torpedoes, shells, and other hazards. Many of the 600 volunteers Came back to work with the postwar tuna fleet. But many others died. The clipper Triunfo, for instance, was ripped by a mine at French Frigate Shoals in 1943with heavy loss of life. Another, the Yankee, disappeared with all hands. Others brought back painful souvenirs. Joaquin Theodore, skipper of the YP346‹the former clipper Prospect‹ was one. In late 1942, Theodore stood on the bridge on a moonless night near Guadalcanal. Aboard were some 200 members of the famed Edson Marine Raiders, who only minutes before had returned from shore after a hit-and-run attack at Taivu Point. Suddenly, what seemed like the whole Japanese fleet barreled down "The Slot.". A David and Goliath battle began, pitting the clipper's 50-caliber machine guns against the heavier armor of the Japanese warships. Bomb bursts lit the sky; shells fell closer to the Prospect. Then a shell struck the clipper's pilothouse, wrecking the helm and severing the helmsmen's arm. Shrapnel knocked Theodore flat on the deck. BEACH the ship!" the skipper shouted. A marine grabbed the helm and maneuvered her prow toward the beach. Theodore, now a San Diego marine fuel station employe, still bears a shrapnel scar from the encounter. For many of the Yippies, the war was less spectacular. One ship was assigned to run vegetables from Pearl Harbor to the central Pacific. Sometimes the Yippies traveled in convoys. Often they traveled alone, multiplying the risk of disaster. One such clipper was the Victoria, skippered b y Manuel H . Freitas of San Diego. One night, while traveling from Pearl Harbor to Johnston Island, the Victoria ran into the middle of an enemy convoy. It was a tense moment, but the clipper slipped through unnoticed. Edward Madruga, of 1635 Plum St., was in command of the Paramount when it ferried turkey, cranberries and other holiday trimmings to marines on Guadalcanal, on Dec. 22, 1943. The Paramount later landed 100 marine troops in the invasion of Nukufutu, near Tarawa, while 40 Japanese planes strafed the area. LATER in the war, after being transferred to other duty, Ma.druga found t h e Paramount again-‹sunk near Okinawa. The ship had been rammed by a transport, adrift in a typhoon, setting off depth charges aboard and sending her down. Madruga still has the Para- ( The San Diego Union, July 10, 1960 )

1942/05/29 - 50 acres acquired at Hilltop and I Street for the first U. S. housing project in this area. [Hilltop Village] There has been rapid growth recently in the area. In 4 days, applications been made for 10,060 ration cards. Last 1940 census gave population as 5136. Lauderbach estimates 10,000 living in CV Elementary School District that includes Bonita and south of L two streets. ( Chula Vista Star May 29, 1942. )

1942/06/26 - Hilltop Village defense housing project for 300 new houses at Hilltop and J was launched this week, to cost $1m, sewer pipes laid, building contract to Denniss Site company. The 300 houses are part of the 3100 demountable houses to be built in SD area. Most to be of the 2-bedroom type about 750 sq ft. Each home to cost about $3500, of plywood walls. These homes are for defense workers, Rohr workers to be given first opportunity. -- Govt surveyors were surveying 40-acres plot bet H and I and National and Fifth for a second defense housing project. [Vista Square] Govt officials from LA and DC have made a number of trips to CV in past few months to find a desirable location for these homes. ( Chula Vista Star June 26, 1942. )

1942/10/16 - Concrete ships: Concrete 1, a new 14,000 ton ship was launched Tues at NC ship yards. Mrs. Carlos Tavares of CV, wife of the construction company president, acted as sponsor. The new concrete type ship, first of its kind to be constructed since ww1, is designed as a fuel carrying barge, towed by a tug, will carry 8000 gals fuel oil and gasoline, was built with the new assembly line method of Kaiser, with steel bulkheads prefabricated in the yard and moved by cranes to the hull for welding. Four more barges will soon be under construction. -- YOGN 82 was one of 22 unpowered B7 A2 barges built by Concrete Ship Constructors of National City, California and launched in 1944. ( Concrete Ships Collection C030, San Diego History Center, 75 photographic prints 1943-45 ( Chula Vista Star Oct. 16, 1942. )

1942/11/20 - Hilltop Village project now 80% complete. The number of homes planned for Vista Square on National has doubled to 600 units ( Chula Vista Star Nov. 20, 1942. )

1942/12 - Camp Otay (Camp Weber): "Initially, a Mexican border patrol post. it was established prior to World War I by the California National Guard and located South of San Diego. It appears that the site was reestablished in the early days of World War II, again, as Camp Otay. It appears that during World War II that this installation, a sub-post of near by Camp La Mesa was also known as Camp Weber. LOCATION: The site is located on the northeast corner of Main Street and Albany Avenue, at what is now the southern limits of the City of Chula Vista, California. SITE HISTORY: Named for Captain Edmund H. Weber, deceased. Information on the acquisition and disposal of the property that was once Camp Weber could not be found. Records of title indicate that the property was privately owned during World War II and no documentation of leasing and/or land use agreements with the U.S. Government could be identified. According to an officer in the 140th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division, stationed in San Diego during the World War II, a Camp Otay; located very close (within 1/2 mile) to Otay River in the Otay Valley, was a sub-camp of Camp La Mesa, a battalion headquarters for the Army during that period. Due to corresponding descriptions of approximate locations, the estimated size of each camp location, and information derived from personal communications, it is believed that Camp Otay and Camp Weber are the same sites. The officer of the 140th was not aware of how the camp started, but he was aware that it was a camp from December 1942 to February 1944, at which time his regiment was relocated. He recalls that it was about 10 to 20 acres in size, and that there were a limited number of houses and farms located nearby. The only known improvements to the site consisted of probably a total of 6 or 7 typical single story barracks used for housing about 200 troops. No evidence of the barracks remains. The 140th was a standard infantry regiment, so most of the troops that stayed at Camp Weber were in rifle companies. The officer recalls that there was no rifle range present and does not believe that any kind of explosives were used at the camp. There was likely a small motor pool, but he does not think they fueled vehicles or performed extensive maintenance at this location. The former location of Camp Weber on the northeast corner of the intersection of Main Street and Albany Avenue is now occupied by Otay Elementary School, the Otay Community Center, Otay Park, a San Diego Gas & Electric Co. substation, and a small vacant lot. Very little information and documentation related to the former Camp Weber site is available. Source: Los Angeles District, Corps of Engineers" ( The California State Military Museum, )

1942ca - Olivewood: defense housing project started, the Olivewood Heights, 150 duplex homes for 300 families from National to Highland, 22nd to 24th ( clipping from the "National City Star-News," n.d., Irene Phillips Scrapbooks vol. 2, Morgan Local History Room, National City Public Library. )

1943 - Hilltop: The government relieved the housing problem by building two federal housing projects in Chula Vista. The Hilltop Housing Project, located west of Hilltop Drive and south of J Street, was completed early in 1943. There were three hundred units or homes in this project and it covered about twenty-six acres. Vista Square Housing Project was completed early in 1944. There were units for 704 families in this project which covered seventy-seven acres of land. Vista Square was located between National Avenue and Fourth and H and I Streets. ( Krantz, Thelma A. and Frances L. Read. Chula Vista and Community. Part One. A History for Children. Chula Vista CA: Chula Vista City School District, 1961. )

1943 - San Ysidro Fire Control Station: located just east of the auxiliary landing field at Border Field and under the Naval Electronics Laboratory. This facility was inactive in 1960. Observation Post 23: a World War 2 site the author believes was located at the Fire Control Station's site. Observation Post 24: a World War 2 site located east of the Fire Control Station site, near Monument and Hollister Roads. Observation Post 25: a World War 2 site who's exact location is not known. Observation Post_27 - this World War 2 site was located in the Border Field area. Fire Control Radar: in October 1943 the Army's fire control radar at the Mexican Border was put on the air. It is the author's opinion that it was located at the Fire Control Station's site. Machine Gun Range, Border Field: a World War 2 machine gun range iocated at Border Field. The range was under Naval Air Base, 11th Naval District. ( Hinds, James W. "San Diego's Military Sites," typed mss, San Diego Historical Society, 1986. )

1943 - Ream Field: Initially the Navy lease at Ream Field consisted of 160 acres which it leased in the early 1920s as an outlying practice field. During World War 2 Ream Field was used for practice carrier landings but the field was not considered as advantageous for expansion as Brown Field on Otay Mesa. In 1943 runways were built and on August 10, 1944, Ream Field was designated as an auxiliary air station. During 1944 construction of buildings started and by the end of the war the airfield had been expanded to 631 acres of government owned land. Following World War 2 Ream Field was decommissioned and placed under the control of Naval Air Station, North Island. In July 1951 it was recommissioned as an auxiliary air station. Then on January 1, 1968 it was afforded the status of a full Naval air station, Then in August 1974 it was again designated as an auxiliary landing field. Around 1976 it was redesignated Naval Outlying Field, Imperial Beach, its current designation. At one time Ream Field was known as the "Helicopter Capitol Of The World". ( Hinds, James W. "San Diego's Military Sites," 1986. )

1943 - Ream Field: "Major development of Ream Field came late in World War Two. In 1943 the present runways were built and construction on the installation's bUildings began. On July 17 of that year Naval Auxiliary Air Station Ream Field was commissioned. By April 1946. the station had 78 buildings. four air strips. and 82.730 square yards of aircraft parking. The field had originally included 140 acres of leased land. Later the site was purchased and expanded through additional purchases. By the end of World War II it consisted of 630 acres (Military Publishers no date a; no date b; Leiser 1991). Shortly after WWII. Ream Field was decommissioned. It was recommissioned as an Auxiliary landing Field. and in 1951 Ream Field. Imperial Beach became home for its first helicopter squadron. In 1955 it was redesignated a Naval Air Station. On January 1. 1968 NAS Imperial Beach was accorded the status of full Naval Air Station. The mission of NAS Imperial Beach was to support operations of Naval aviation activities and units. In this capacity it was the home of seven helicopter squadrons. At its peak all ten Navy helicopter squadrons on the west coast were based there. The station also supported a Naval Air Maintaince Training Detachment and a Fleet Airborne Electronics Training Unit. At that time NAS Imperial Beach had a total complement of approximately 3.400 military personnel. Imperial Beach also supported a Naval Electronics Training Unit. (Military Publishers no date a. no date b; Leiser 1991). On August 1. 1974 Imperial Beach was redesignated an Outlying Field. The helicopter squadrons all were moved to NAS North Island. In 1977 empty aircraft hangers were leased to Defense Property Disposal for storage of excess and salvageable material. In 1978. almost half the buildings on base -those east of lexington Street -were leased to Job Corp Department of labor (Military Publishers no date a. no date b; Leiser 1991). At the end of the 20th century, OlF Imperial Beach encompassed 1,204 acres with 270 acres leased out for agricultural purposes. and 284 acres at the southwest corner of the base leased to the State of California as part of the Tijuana Estuary for a wild life refuge. The remaining 650 acres were occupied by the base itself. The current mission of OlF Imperial Beach is to handle the overflow of helicopter traffic form North Island. As a result the helicopter squadrons do ninety-five percent of their operations at Imperial Beach." ( Van Wormer, Stephen R. "A Land Use History of the Tia Juana River Valley," California State Parks, Southern Service Center, June 2005. )

1943 - Harbor Defense: The first radar in the Harbor Defense went on the air 17 February 1943. This was an SCR-292-A and was installed not far from Battery Strong's BC station and for use by that battery. This radar was on the air in time to track the battleship task group which simulated a bombardment of Point Loma as a part of their training for the Aleutian counterinvasion. Together with a similar Navy set at the Radar Laboratory complete tracks of the ships movements was obtained, although because of fog they were visible for only a very short time. It was the first use of radar in such a joint Army-Navy problem. The radio receiver room addition to the Harbor Defense Command Post-Harbor Entrance Control Post was also completed in February 1943. The radio communications project for this joint installation was now completed. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 106-114 )

1943 - Harbor Defense: On 25 February 1943, the 281st Coast Artillery Battalion was activated, consist- ing of a Hq Btry and two lettered batteries. The battalion was trained at Harbor Defense of San Diego and Part of the officers and men were furnished from this garrison. After firing target practice, the battalion departed for the South Pacific area 18 May 1943. The first target practice to be fired in the Harbor Defense of San Diego using ra- dar fire control for position finding and spotting occurred 18 May 1943. The radar on the air in January was used with Battery Gillespie. Results compared favorably with those which had previously been obtained with visual methods. Mounting of the 611 guns and carriages at Battery Humphreys was completed in July 1943 and were proof fired the same month. This was the first modernization project battery to be completed in the Harbor Defense. The 155mm guns which had served for a year and now removed and this battery also replaced Battery Point Loma in the tactical plan of the Harbor Defense. In the same month the plotting-switchboard room for Battery Ashburn, the 1611 battery at Fort Rosecrans was completed. The Fort Rosecrans fire control switchboard was now moved from old Battery White to its new location. With the addition of new equipment this became the largest installation of its kind on the west coast. The mounting of the fixed 90mm AMTB armament was completed in August. The three AMTB batteries were named Cortez, Fetterman, and Qabrillon, and were located on the Silver Strand, Ballast Point and in front of old Battery Point Loma. A complete battery consisted of 2 fixed 90mm gun in gun houses, 2 mobile 90mm guns, and 2-37mm guns with 2 .50 cal MG mounted on each 37mm carriage. Three positions of 2-37mm, which were seperated somewhat from the 90mm units were called Batteries Channel, Bluff, and Cliffs the first two being on the east side of Fort Rosecrans and the third just above the Point Lome Light House. The M9 Directors arrived, were issued, and by the end of September all the AMTB batteries had fired target practice with their new guns and fire control equipment. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 106-114 )

1943 - Harbor Defense: The fire control radar set at the Mexican Border was put on the air in October 1943, and the one at the end of Point Loma was in operation the following month. This completed the original project for the Harbor Dpfense. However three more fire control sets and a surveillance set had been authorized and work continued on them. The two remaining 611 batteries in the modernization project were completed and proof fired in November 1943. The manning of Battery Grant at Fort Emory superseded Battery Imperial. Battery Woodward at the northwest part of Fort Rosecrans now replaced both batteries Gillespie and Zeilin. The following month the plotting-switchboard room for the 16" battery at Fort Emory was completed and the Fire Control switchboard for that post installed. Communications there had been maintained for two years with the field switchboard, field telephones, and originally all field wire. The wire had been progressively replaced with cables as construction proceeded. During the year 1943, many changes in armament assignments had been made in changing from interim batteries to the permanent project batteries. Also these new batteries were fixed as quickly after their turnover to troops as possible. When the year ended, the total 70 target practices fired in the Harbor Defense during 1943, by the eight lettered batteries. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 106-114 )

1943 - Naval Amphibious Base Coronado is the only naval amphibious base on the West Coast. Established in 1943, the base includes 5,500 yards of Pacific Ocean and bayside beachfront that is used for training. The base is the home to more than 30 tenant commands with a population of approximately 5,000 personnel and is also the home of the Navy's Sea-Air-Land (SEAL) Team. 1999 Strand Way, Coronado, CA 92118 ( Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, )

1943/01/01 - Hilltop: The first 24 units of the 300-unit government housing project at Hilltop and J will be ready this week, acc to Mr. Bishop in charge of govt construction in CV. The value of construction is unknown because the govt does not take out any building permits. Federal govt will pay for extension of city sewer system. ( Chula Vista Star, Jan. 1, 1943 )

1943/01/08 - Fort Emory named: The military reservation along Coronado's famous Silver Strand has been named Ft. Emory in honor of Brig. Gen. William H. Emory one of the first men to recognize San Diego as a strategic point, according to an announcement by Ft. Rosecrans authorities. Emory, as topographical engineer and surveyor for Col. Stephen W. Kearny's expedition to California in the war with Mexico in 1848, investigated the feasibility of establishing a rail line from Leavenworth, Kan., to San Diego. When Emory returned to Washington, the government published his findings in which he extolled San Diego's harbor as one of the finest and comparable to that of San Francisco. In early negotiations with Mexico to establish a boundary between the U. S. and Mexico. Nicholas P. Trist, the secretary of war's emissary, was about to agree that the border line be drawn at a point which would give Mexico the San Diego harbor, Emory interjected by informing congress of the potential importance of this area and eventually it was decided that the line would begin 3 and 1/2 miles south of the extreme southernmost tip of San Diego bay at the year's highest tide.(The San Diego Union; Date: 01-08-1943; Page: 6)

1943/06/11 - Vista Square: Federal govt has awarded contract to Allied Contractors of LA to build 300 more one-story, 4-family units for defense workers at Vista Square, will be furnished. Also plans made for 304 two-story apartment units, furnished, to be ready July 1. The two trailer space parks will also be opened within the next 30 days, one at the foot of Bay Blvd and D Street and will be known as Sweetwater Park and the other on Bay Blvd to be known as South Bay park. These sites will be for privately owned trailers only. A three-room school building will be erected at the Hilltop Village and a 6-room school near the Vista Square defense housing projects. The nursery school at Hilltop Circle has opened with Mrs. Gertrude Andrews and Mrs, Harriet Crowley in charge, for children 2-5, will receive a balanced diet 4 times a day, have regular rest periods and supervised play hours. ( Chula Vista Star, June 11, 1943. )

1943/07/20 Ream Field: Ream Field, Newest Naval Air Unit In S.D. Area, Commissioned. Station Will Be Used to Train Fliers; Rear Adm. Gunther Directs Rites. Ream field, U . S. naval auxiliary air station near Imperial Beach, is thenewest unit to bo added to the growing list of facilities incorporated in thenaval air center. San Diego, and devoted to the training of fliers for combat duties. Rear Adm. E . L. Gunther. U.S.N.. commandant of the center, officially commissioned the station Saturday. Witnessing the sercmony were officers and enlisted men of the Held, officers of the air center and air station, San Diego, and guests. After Gunther's pronouncement that the station was in commission. Lt. Charles L. Washburn. U-S.N.R. read orders designating him as commanding officer and then ordered the watch set, a traditional step in navy commissioning ceremonies. Hoisting of the colors concluded the formalities. The admiral and his staff toured the station after the ceremony, inspecting the living quarters, mess halls, dispensary, shops, operation building, administration building, and other facilities. Although it is the latest unit to be added to the center, Ream field existed long before most of the others were even contemplated: It was used in World War I in the training of army fliers and was part of the naval air station for several years before it was decided to make it into a self-contained base. Costing approximately $1,500,000, the auxiliary station was built by the Golden & Trepte Construction Co. Only two weeks ago the navy added to its growing aerial might by commissioning a $3,000,000 naval auxiliary air station at Holtville, near El Centro. The station there is designed as a base for advanced combat instruction. The Holtville base also will operate under Gunther's jurisdiction. Lt. Comdr. E. B . Bronte. U.S.N.R.. has assumed command of the Holtville air base, which with the Ream field station forms a vital link in a chain of navy and marine corps auxiliary stations in southern California. Commissioning of the Holtville station climaxed six months of construction, which transformed a vast tract of Imperial valley wasteland into a modern, formidable naval air base. Among the many buildings are barracks for enlisted men and officers, mess halls, shops, storehouses, administration-operations and a completely-equipped auditorium for education and recreation. (The San Diego Union; Date: 07-20-1943; Page: 12;) 1943/08/14 - Vista Square to get 2 bldgs, Community Center and Nursery School to be located between Elder Dr and H St and east of 5th ave. The Center will have 9000 sq ft ( Chula Vista Star, Aug. 14, 1943. )

1943/08/20 - Hilltop Circle: Govt to build a 3rd rec center in Chula Vista, at Hilltop and J St, for Hilltop Circle village defense project, will have offices, medical quarters, maintenance quarters, game and play rooms, and auditorium 35 x 21 ft. The other centers are at park Way adjacent to civi bowl, and Vista Square at National and G st. -- Aug. 27 - Another rec center will be built in Palm City, land donated by Robert Egger, will be ball park and library. ( Chula Vista Star, Aug. 20, 1943. )

1943/08/27 - Hilltop Circle: Housing projects adding 1200 persons each to Chula Vista's population (Vista Square 299 units, Hilltop 300 units) ( Chula Vista Star, Aug. 27, 1943. )

1944 - Border Field: "By June of 1944 the base had become known as Machine Gun Training Center Border Field. Facilities had been expanded. The five original fixed target ranges remained unchanged. The mobile firing line tract, however, had been lengthened in an eastward direction with a series of sharp switch backed links. The access road had been changed to enter along the eastern edge of the Border Field tract where the present park access road is located. Quite a few additional buildings had been added to the original compound. Thirty-two were listed on the map of the facility that included officers armory and CPO quarters, mess hall and galley, security watch building, turret and battery shop, student inspection building, generator house, target repair shop, ammunition and belting building, firing line control tower, observation tower, three magazines, two trap houses, a classroom, a crew latrine, a student latrine, ammunition building, storehouse, garbage house, junior shop, two combined shower and latrine buildings, a training building, a turret building, a gate house, a welding shop, a "3A2" gunnery trainer, and a generator house. The property line at the northwest quarter of the tract had been expanded to the north and included portions of some of the main channels of the Tia Juana River Slough(Public Works Officer 1944). Two years later, by June of 1946, a baseball field had been added and the access road to the top of Monument Mesa had been rerouted to its present course along the east side of the base. Thirty-four buildings were listed and included CPO quarters and crew library, turret maintenance and battery shop, student's and mess crews barracks, decontamination and spare fire gear lockers, target making and repair shops, store rooms, armory office and firing line control tower, high tower, pistol range targets and gear, pistol range house, firing line and sub armory, ammunition house and paneling shed, student barracks, carpentry shop, and auditorium, as well as additional security buildings, latrines, magazines, and other support buildings (Public Works Officer 1946). The base retained this same basic layout through 1949 (Public Works Officer 1949). Throughout the war and until 1948 the Navy continued to acquire land and expand the base through a series of purchases and declarations of takings. A total of 372 acres were acquired (General Service Administration 1971). After the war Border Field continued to be used as a site for the launching of flying drone targets for machine gun practice (Abbott 2005). In 1961 Border Field was demobilized and awarded to the Navy Electronics Laboratory (NEL). Headquartered on San Diego's Point Loma Naval Reservation, NEL was a research facility that carried on a wide variety of experiments for the design, development, and testing of communications, command control, and other electric fields for the Navy and for other United States armed services and agencies. In 1971 Border Field was transferred to the State of California and the buildings were subsequently razed." ( Van Wormer, Stephen R. "A Land Use History of the Tia Juana River Valley," California State Parks, Southern Service Center, June 2005. )

1944 - Harbor Defense: The only serious accident of the war in Harbor Defense of San Diego occurred 29 Jan 1944. A defective fuze in a 611 HE Projectile caused a premature detonation at Battery Humphreys. Five men of the gun crew were killed and seven were injured. The gun tube and cradle were damaged beyond repair and were replaced with like arma- ment several months later. Also during January 1944, the number of troops assigned to San Diego Sub- Sector was reduced to the 115th Cavalry Rcn Sqdrn (M) and the Commanding Officers Harbor Defense of San Diego also designated San Diego Sub-Sector Commander. The unit Hq and staff were moved to Fort Rosecrans. In April the squadron also moved there. On 30 Jun 44, they departed for Louisiana, San Diego Sub-Sector was inacti- vated and two platoons of the 141st Cavalry Troop were attached to Harbor Defense of San Diego. In July 1945 this was further reduced to one platoon. In February 1944, the War Department ordered work on some Parts of the mod- ernization project deferred. Affected were the mounting of the guns and carriages, in- stallation of the director and power plant for the 1611 battery at Fort Emory. The gun emplacements and all the base-end stations for the battery had been completed by that time. The sixth fire control radar station was not started nor was the Battalion CP tower at Fort Emory, and construction on both was deferred. The fourth fire control radar station at La Jolla Hermosa was completed in March 19442 and was assigned to Battery Ashburn. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 106-114 )

1944 - Harbor Defense: On 25 April 1944, the first big cut in personnel for the Harbor Defense came when the Third Battalion plus Battery E of the 19th Coast Artillery was sent to Texas to be used as Field Artillery replacements. The fifth fire control radar set was on the air at Fort Emory in June, 1944 and was assigned to Battery Grant. In July came one of the anticipated events of the modernization program when Battery Ashburn was proof fired. Considerable speculation existed prior to the firing as to the effect on structures on the post and adjacent areas. However, no damage re- sulted and the battery was later calibrated and a successful target Practice fired. The surveillance radar was completed and in operation in August 1944. This gave the Harbor Entrance Control Post a very important intelligence means and com- pleted the Harbor Entrance Control Post Project. On 18 October 1944, the 19th Coast Artillery Regiment was inactivated. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 106-114 )

1944/01 - Administration Unit & Vista Square School 540 G Street, Chula Vista January 1944 Named after the Vista Square Housing Project which was built during World War lion 40 acres. ( Helvie, "Chula Vista Elementary School District Chronological History," 1999. )

1944/02/13 - Defense housing projects listed: Bayview Terrace in Pacific Beach, Chollas View near 47th and Market, Coronado Homes for North Island civilian employees under construction, Olivewood with 896 units, Vista Square with 704 units, Hilltop with 300 units. (The San Diego Union; Date: 02-13-1944; Page: 13)

1945 - Harbor Defense: At the beginning of 1945 the largest change in personnel the Harbor Defense was experienced. Most of the able-bodied soldiers of the command were transferred to overseas replacement depots or to infantry training centers. Replacements for these men were overseas returnees, very few of whom had been in seacoast artillery, and men physically or mentally unfit for overseas service. The training problem was the 2'reatest which had been experienced since the original shipments of selectees four years before. On 13 August 1945 the Harbor Defense Command Post was closed and the Harbor Entrance Control Post moved to the Battalion CP 1 station. This was more eco- nomical of manpower, and was adequate to meet any threat of reduced Jap fleet might muster. On 15 September 1945 the 19th and 523d Coast Artillery Battalions (HD) were inactivated and the strength of the Harbor Defense reduced by another battery. The or- ganizations assigned now were Hq Btry, and four lettered batteriess Harbor Defense of San Diego. On the same date the functions of the Harbor Entrance Control Post were dis- continued by the Navy and a few days later also by the Army. Consequently there ceased to be a 24-hour alert command post and examination battery in the Harbor Defense of San Diego for the first time in almost 50 months. The Commanding Officer of the Harbor Defenses of San Diego during the entire period covered by this history had been Colonel P.H. Ottosen, CAC, U.S. Army. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 106-114 )

Postwar Era

Brown Field was leased to private aricraft dealers such as Joe Briese who sponsored public shows. (San Diego Union, Jan. 9, 1949)

1945 - Fort Rosecrans: With the end of the war in 1945 Fort Rosecrans again was placed in caretaking status on January 31, 1947 and it only had a military Population of 101 by March 19 of that year. On May 26, 1948 the Army transferred 20.50 acres of the fort to the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. In addition it returned the Old Lighthouse to the National Park Service in 1946. During the late 1940s the fort which was under 6th Army was designated on De- cember 1, 1948, Fort Rosecrans Harbor Defense 01 San Diego, California and made a sub-post of Fort McArthur in Los Angeles. On January 12 1950, the Harbor Defense of San Diego was discontinued though the fort was still left as a sub-post to Fort McArthur On December 31, 1949, the Army declared certain portions of the Fort Rosecrans Mili- tary Reservation as excess. Finally on December 30, 1957 the Department of the Army declared Fort Rosecrans surplus and on March 12, 1959 it was discontinued as an Army facility and passed into the hands of the Navy. According to the Fort Rosecrans Historical Data Cards, the fort had a capacity for 3,647 soldiers, had 165 hospital beds, and covered 1,046 acres of land. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 106-114 )

1945/04/12 - Capt. George A. Ott was commanding the Naval Air Station San Diego -- now known as NAS North Island -- and 24 aircraft carriers were home-ported here. The 32nd Street Naval Station, then called the Naval Repair Base, was home port for about 300 warships that were being supported at the base under the command of Commodore Byron McCandless. Miramar was an auxiliary air station to North Island, and its northern half was Marine Corps Air Depot Miramar. The present submarine base at Point Loma then was the Fort Rosecrans Army Base.  The military used an area of Tierrasanta known as Camp Elliott as a firing range. After the war houses were built there, and in December 1983 two children were killed when a World War II-vintage shell -- undetected in earlier military searches for live ammunition -- exploded there. [ anniv of death of FDR 1945/04/12 ] ( San Diego Union, April 14, 1985. )

1945/08/10 - Vista Square: As result of voter approval of $200,000 bond issue, 6 classrooms to be built at Vista Square school, additions to F St school, and a new school in Bonita that will be the 5th school, with F St, Lilian Rice, Vista Square, Hilltop. ( Chula Vista Star, Aug. 10, 1945. )

1945/09/23 - Vista Square: USO attendance for Aug. was 16,242, a monthly high, highlights incl V-J Day dance attended by 768, a one-day record, also popular ere Tuesday and Sat night dances with live bands, up to 4 per month, avg attendance 700 on Tues and 500 on /Sat. The Vista Square Rec room has 200 at its weekly dances ( Chula Vista Star, Sept 23, 1945. )

1946/03/22 - Brown Field to celebrate 3rd anniversary Sunday, Mar. 17. -- name officially changed from East Field to Brown Field Aug. 25, 1943, in memory of Commander Melville Stuart Brown, USN, exec officer of USS Lexington killed in crash Nov. 2, 1936. Olla is Spanish for jug or jar, which were the original scuttlebutts in the wooden ship navy. ( The Star-News, Mar. 22, 1946. )

1946/06/07 - Concrete ships: Tavares Construction Co. has moved offices from NC at Concrete Ship to CV at 280? 3rd Ave, will occupy the entire 2nd floor of Francis Kinney bldg, has 10 full time employees. Tavares has recently completed negotiations for a tract of land directly north of Hilltop Village and east of Hilltop Dr. ( The Star-News, June 7, 1946. )

1946/12/13 - Concrete ships: Chet Wurster of Concrete Ship Corp in NC gave talk to Rotary - said 47 of 49 built are still afloat. The chief structural engineer Howard Antim of LA talked about the big industry in which many Chula Vistans had a part. Most of the concrete ships were used as barges to carry heavy supplies to South Pacific combat zones, and became supply depots when they were beached and camoflaged, hull was nearly 300 ft long and 50 ft wide, pipelines laid to stations off shore where submarines and other craft would come at night for supplies. The ships required only 1/3 to 1/2 the steel used in conventional ships. The NC company was one of 5 awarded contracts and was the only one to receive a second contract and the only one to complete a contract. The 5 companies built less than 100 ships, and the NC company built the most ships. ( The Star-News, Dec. 13, 1946. )

1947/02/07 - Vista Square: John A. Arvin, government housing director, said: "The city of Chula Vista could buy the Vista Square project, if Washington puts it up for sale, without any red tape. But the Hilltop property would have to be zoned as a part of Chula Vista before the city could buy it." Vista Square has 300 movable homes, but Hilltop Village has 300 permanent homes. ( Chula Vista Star, Feb. 7, 1947. )

1947/09/05 - Brown Field no longer used by Navy planes, is now site of private aircraft. Briese Flying Service will open air school and Air hotel cafe. Joe Briese was local dealer for Piper Aircraft Co. (see also full page ad) ( Chula Vista Star, Sept. 5, 1947. ) -- Briese Flying Service 1st mentioned in Union in Dec. 1945 -- prob started at Gillespie Field -- 1947/06/22 - Navy approved school lease at Brown Field (The San Diego Union; Date: 06-22-1947; Page: 10)

1948/03/02 - Camp Hearn: budget allocated and plans approved to build new school at northwest corner of old Camp Hearn [will be West View Elementary School] (The San Diego Union; Date: 03-02-1948; Page: 7)

1949/01/18 - Camp Hearn: West View Elementary School in IB is built on site of Camp Hearn. (The San Diego Union)

1950 - Fort Emory: In 1950 the Army transfered Fort Emory to the Navy and who incorporated it into their Imperial Beach Radio Station. ( Hinds, James W. "San Diego's Military Sites," typed mss, San Diego Historical Society, 1986. )

1950/06 - Brown Field: In January of 1951, the Navy began the re-activation process for Brown Field, and the students were in need of a second temporary home. Mar Vista High School had started there in Sept. 1950, but had to move out. ( Hawes, "An Epigrammic History," 1994, pp. 49-50. )

1950/10 - Ream Field: The Korean War brought renewed activity as the first helicopter squadron arrived in October 1950. Ream eventually became home base for all helicopter squadrons of the Pacific Fleet and was known as "Helicopter Capital." The station was redesignated NAAS Imperial Beach in July 1955. The Vietnam War brought modernization with additional construction including a new hangar and a 500-man barracks. On January 1, 1968, the Navy upgraded the station to an NAS. The end of the Vietnam War caused Imperial Beach to be disestablished on December 31, 1974, and the facility became an ALF once again. Today, Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach is used by helicopters from North Island and as a Navy Supply Center. Copied with the permission of the author from United States Naval Air Stations of World War II. ( The California State Military Museum, )

1950/10/10 - Vista Square: Application For Purchase Of Federal Housing Projects - It was moved by Councilman Hobel, seconded by Councilman DeWolfe, and carried, that the City Administrator prepare the application forms and necessary resolutions for the proposed purchase of Vista Square Housing Project for submission to the Council at their next meeting. ( City Council Minutes )

1951 - North Island: Out Patient Clinic: relocated outside the maingate of Naval Air Station, North Island, on the west side of Alameda Boulevard, between 3d and 4th Streets in 1951, after the North Island Family Hospital was demolished to make way for runway extensions. In 1952 a new Dependents Hospital opened in the remodled Buildings 605 and 607. But this new hospital only lasted until the end of the 1950s. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986. )

1951 - Naval Amphibious Base: Silver Strand Navy Housing: current Navy housing adjacent to the Amphibious Base for officers and enlisted personnel consisting of three and four bedroom duplexes. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986. )

1951/08/09 - Brown Field: Alta Loma School, built in 1888 as one room schoolhouse on five acres on SE corner Brown Field, to be removed for a 1850-ft runway at Brown Field built for the Navy, the cost of the property and school and well is $40,000. The school voted to remain independent and not affiliate with CV school district. -- HRB #411 - Auxilliary Naval Air Station Brown Field Historic District Alta School Site, designated San Diego Historical Landmark 2/24/2000 ( Chula Vista Star, Aug. 9, 1951. )

1951/12/06 - Charles Truman Bent owns Bent Brothers Boat Works in Otay, is a retired navy vet, is working on his first govt contracts, a 36-foot landing craft and a 50-foot motor sailor. he began his business last Jan. He served in ww1 and ww2, and was a deep sea diver at one time. ( Chula Vista Star, Dec. 6, 1951. )

1952/07/10 - Vista Square Coordinating Council for the federal housing project is 4 and a half months old, and "has made remarkable progress in improving recreation facilities for the children and youth of the project, including sand boxes for small children, softball diamonds, volley ball courts and a regular schedule of events in the recreation bldg including teen age dances and free movies." ( Chula Vista Star, July 10, 1952. )

1954 - Paradise Hills: Bayview Hills, current Navy housing for enlisted personnel consisting of multi-unit structures containing one to four bedroom units. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986. )

1954 - Naval Station, San Diego: On April 19 1954, in correspondence with the Chief of Naval Operations letters, the U.S. Naval Station, San Diego 36, California was reorganized and at this time the U.S. Naval Repair Facility, U.S. Naval Station, San Diego was established. On January 1, 1965 the Naval Repair Facility was changed from Active (fully operational) to Inactive (mobilization) status and ship repair function at the Naval Station was discontinued. The Naval Station today forms the major West Coast logistic base for surface operating forces of the Navy and for dependent activities and other commands. There are 48 tenant activities aboard the station, including major commands such as Fleet Training Center; Navy Public Works; Supervisi'5n of Ship Building; Conversion and Repair; Service School Command Annex; and Shore Interme- diate Maintenance Activity. There are approximately 6,000 military and 52200 civilian personnel aboard the station, with a transit population of 1,200 attached and a student population of 1,500 attached to schools on the station. In addition, there are about 36~000 officers and enlisted men attached to the 87 ships homeported at the stations Piers. The Naval Station has grown to over 19012.9 acres representing an investment of more than $510 million at today's replacement costs. Naval Housing: Homoja Housing Project No. 1 (406 units) and Public Quarters Project No. 1 (596 units) were located on the Naval Station. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 117. )

1954/01/10 - Navy in South Bay: Indications that the Navy will have an important role in the waterfront development of the South San Diego Bay area was revealed here yesterday. Rear Adm. George C. Dyer, commandant of the 11th Naval District, in a letter to city, county and state officials, outlined the Navy's long-range estimated requirements along the waterfront. Among the Navy tieeds are an operating base for seaplanes along the east side of the Silver Strand and approximately 4,000 feet of waterfront propperty on the eastern shore of San Diego Bay for a loading facility, Dyer announced. The proposals came after both the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista had announced plans to annex the unincorpor-ated parts of South San Diego Bay in rival proceedings. Later, the County Boundary Commission approved the boundaries of the area both cities seek to annex "as correctly describing an area," The future development would also require considerable dredging to provide an improved deep-water channel to the Naval Station, along with a better anchorage and turning basin facilities. Dyer outlined the Navy's long-range development program so that it would be integrated with the future planning of San Diego and other civic groups in the South Bay area. He also indicated that the Navy would be willing to co-operate with municipal authorities in any move to obtain federal financial aid for the dredging projects. "The recent and growing interest in the development of San Diego Bay by adjacent cities, the California State Park Commission, the California State Legislature and others, makes it advisable for the Navy to state that it also has an interest in the development of South San Diego Bay. The long-range planning now under study by the Navy has taken cognizance of the limited water frontage in San Diego Bay. The commandant is endeavoring to resolve the future requirements of the Navy in such a manner as to recognize, and insofar as practicable, to be compatible with the planning programs of adjacent cities, local interests, and the State Park Commission "To better understand the future local requirements of the Navy, a brief description, consistent with security limitations, is outlined as follows: "A. Seaplane operations in North San Diego Bay are now seriously impaired by the heavy water traffic of Naval, commercial and pleasure craft. Seaplanes leaving the water must turn to the south to avoid Point Loma and fly very low over the entrance to the harbor until the open sea is reached to avoid land planes operating at higher altitudes from North Island and from Lindbergh field. In addition, the approach landing for seaplanes from the east is very hazardous by virtue of high buildings and smoke-stacks. It is not feasible for seaplanes to taxi from their base on the north shore to North Island to the seadrome area in South Bay because of the distance involved and the water traffic in between. Therefore the Navy is planning an operating base for seaplanes on the bay side of the Silver Strand to utilize the existing adjacent operating sea lanes for take-off and landing. Dredging to extend the sea-plane area southerly and the disposition of dredged material for the seaplane base are involved. B. Amphibious landing craft training is an important function of the Amphibious Training Base at Coronado. San Diego Bay is so situated that it alone, of all locations on the West Coast, offers facilities for both open sea training and quiet water training. Future planning for this facility will require dredging to the south of the present station east of the Silver Strand, and the disposal of dredged material to build out the land operating area on the bay side of the Strand. (The San Diego Union; Date: 01-10-1954; Page: 1)

1954/06/06 - Bayview Hills: Community Rises In Bayview Hills. A new community, which is costing 7.5 million dollars to build and will house 2000 or more persons when completed, is rising rapidly in Bayview Hills, a terraced plateau area that adjoins Paradise Hills just east of National City. Under construction since February, the 165-acre site is now a panorama of wooden framework. It Is the Wherry Act project of 896 rental units, being erected for the exclusive tenancy of Navy families, General building contractor is the Centex Corp. of Texas, The project is privately built, owned and flnanced, although under terms of FHA-lnsured financing, the rents are controlled by ceilngs imposed by the government, The average rent will be $76 a month. The apartments vary in size from one to three bodrooms, the larger units designed to accommodate families with children. Each apartment will be rented unfurnished, although each will be equipped with a kitchen range and re frlgerator, A carport also is being built for each apartment. Sixteen duplexes are included in the project. They are on the higher plateaus and will be reserved for senior officers, Other buildings range from four units up to two-story apartment houses of 16 units each, There are some 12-unlt and 8-unlt buildings. In the entire project, there will be 93 buildings in addition to an administration building all of frame and stucco constructlon. Progress has been so fast that all foundations have been poured and most of the buildings have been framed. Frank Lewis, assistant secretary of Centex, said the first apartments should be ready for occupancy by Navy families late this month, Although lthe contract calls for completlon of Bayview Hills in 24 months, the builders hope to beat the deadline by several months, Lewis said approximately 500 men are employed in all trades at the project, with payrolls running about $50,000 a week. About eight million board feet of lumber will be used in the 896 units. Although east of National City, Bayview Hills is within the city limits of San Diego, It is the second Wherry Act project to be constructed in San Diego. The first of 895 units was built two years ago on Kearny Mesa. Another of 1000 units is under construction in Camp Pendleton for Marine families. (The San Diego Union; Date: 06-06-1954; Page: 101)

1954/07/29 - Vista Square: FHA has reached a deal with the city to allow Chula Vista to buy the Vista Square housing project of 603 units, plus 100 units of private land nearby. Rents last year were $110,000. ( Chula Vista Star, July 29, 1954. )

1954/09/09 - Vista Square: City bought Vista Square project, takes over 603 units Oct. 1, cost of 50.52 acres was $71,768. One section is made up of 150 buildings housing 299 units, the other 38 buildings with 304 units, also included paint shop, maintenance shop, managers office, quonset hut. Project employs 12 full-time personnel who will take civil service exams to work for the city. None of the housing units can be removed without permission of 11th Naval District. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Sept. 9, 1954. )

1954/09/14 - Vista Square: Purchase of Vista Housing. City Administrator Floyd read a letter from the Public Housing Administration listing the assets to be turned over to the City at the time of purchase of Vista Square, Projects Cal 4099 and Cal 4259. Councilman Hobel stated it might be wise to use some of the income from the property to have a title search made, in case it proved to be clouded. -- RESOLUTION No. 1606 - Authorizing purchase of Federal Housing Cal 4099 and Cal 4259 (Vista Square) -- RESOLUTION No. 1607 - Relating to the demolition of Federal Housing Project known as Vista Square Project Cal - 4700 ( City Council Minutes, Sept. 14, 1954. )

1955/01/13 - Bayview Hills: Navy's mammoth Bay View Hills Wherry Act housing project east of NC, only 200 vacancies remain of 896 apt units. Some arrived this past week in the nation-wide "Operation Happy Dependents" to move some 400 Navy dependents from East to West coast by special train from Norfolk, VA, this is result of changing of home port of 33 ships from East Coast to SD.-- Bayview Hills in Paradise Hills ( Chula Vista Star-News, Jan. 13, 1955. )

1955/04/11 - Vista Square Housing Project to be continued by the city for next 3-5 yrs, city will improve service and raise rents ( Chula Vista Star-News, Apr. 11, 1955. )

1955/04/21 - Highway 805: map on front page of proposed 110-mile Inland freeway for navy - US 395 extension will become I-805 ( Chula Vista Star-News, Apr. 21, 1955. )

1955/04/28 - Highway 805: U. S. Public Works study - "Proposal of the Navy for an inland 110-mile highway [will be I-805] to connect military installations between the Long Beach and San Diego areas has brought about renewed discussion of the 4,000-foot loading facility or pier to be located on the east side of San Diego Bay. A team of representatives of the U. S. Public Works Office is expected in the near future to begin an overall study of cities surrounding San Diego Bay and what their planning is concerning the bay development. The study will also include all local planning as to roads, streets and highways, it was learned."(Editorially Speaking by Jerry Freeman, Chula Vista Star-News, April 28, 1955. )

1955/06/20 - Vista Square rents to rise 10% for 250 Navy and 301 civilian families; city takes over maintenance Aug. 1. ( Chula Vista Star-News, June 20, 1955. )

1955/08/11 - Vista Square: Boys Club will lease land at Vista Square, northeast corner of 5th and I St, site of three Vista Square apartments each holdng 8 families ( Chula Vista Star-News, Aug. 11, 1955. )

1956/02/23 - Hilltop housing goes on sale, built for Navy in 1942, 300 units will be sold and moved off the land, vets get first choice. The 40 acres of land will then be sold; School district will get 10 acres, fire station 1 acre. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Feb. 23, 1956. )

1956/03/22 - Vista Square: Two 2-story apt buildings in old Vista Square will be demolished for the new Boys Club on northeast corner of 5th and I, will have 25-year lease from City Council, cost of Club will be $100,000 and half that has been received by the Anderson Trust ( Chula Vista Star-News, Mar. 22, 1956. )

1956/04/19 - Vista Square: tornado (actually strong wind storm) hit Vista Square and school on Friday, tore off tarpaper from 30 rooftops, blew down trees and broke 30-35 windows, damage was $2343 ( Chula Vista Star-News, Apr. 19, 1956. )

1956/12/20 - Seaplane base: one Seadrome runway in bay to be closed (The San Diego Union; Date: 12-20-1956; Page: 100)

1957/08/18 - Brown Field satellite tracking station, will have demo on Sunday to public. (Aug 15) The radio tracking system called Minitrack is the 2nd of 10 proposed stations. Will track Vanguard satellites, operated by Navy. Has 8 antennas, each 10 by 60 about 3 feet high (Aug. 18). ( Chula Vista Star Aug. 18, 1957. )

1958/04/03 - Vista Square: heavy wind and rain damaged 11 Vista Square units, roofing ripped off, trees down, power off, soggy easter ruined annual rihr easter egg hunt, continuing rain amd storms increasing water supply above normal - "Area growers welcome record March rainfall" ( Chula Vista Star-News, Apr. 3, 1958. )

1959/02/12 - Vista Square: Council seeking Navy permission to raze the remaining 299 Vista Square duplex units, and an appraisal of the entire site will be made March 1 for the commercial and residential development of the 50 acres. Navy will allow the razing because apartments have been built in CV: 296 in 1957 and 805 in 1958 and 101 in Jan. this year. -- Vista Square housing project (Cal 4259) was built in 1943 ( Chula Vista Star-News, Feb. 12, 1959. )

1959/04/30 - Vista Square: Council renewed Boys Club lease with additional land in Vista Square for expansion, and will study what use will be made of the remainin 11.2 acres east of Elder. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Apr. 30, 1959. )

1959/09/24 - Vista Square: new shopping center at Vista Square to be called Vista Plaza, will included $2m Broadway dept store and a Sears store and a Penneys store [ CV Shopping Center ] ( Chula Vista Star-News, Sept. 24, 1959. )

1960 - Brown Field: United States Naval Space Survellance Station: commissioned in 1960 at Brown Field on 160 acres of land which the Navy retained when it turned Brown Field over to the City of San Diego in 1962. The mission of the Space Survellance Station is satellite tracking. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986. )

1960/08/18 - North Island: Chula Vista Day at NAS North Island tomorrow, All Weather Fighter Squadron 3 (VFAW-3) and NORAD sponsoring event, will dedicate a Douglas F4D-1 Skyray jet fighter to citizens of CV. VFAW-3 is the only Navy squadron engaged in Air Defense Command under control of AF. -- (Aug. 21 - photo of Mayor McAllister in jet named "City of Chula Vista" ( Chula Vista Star-News, Aug. 18, 1960. )

1961/09/03 - Olivewood Club remodeled, at 24th and F st. (The San Diego Union; Date: 09-03-1961; Page: 103)

1962 - Brown Field: The Navy transferred ownership of Brown Field to the city of San Diego. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986. )

Brown Field layout plan for city of San Diego, 2005 (see larger view)

1962/10/31 - Naval Radio Receiving Station: funds sought for Wullenweber antenna in IB, the first such antenna on the West Coast, to be done by 1964.

1963 - Submarine Base San Diego: on October 23, 1963 the Secretary of the Navy established the U.S. Navy Submarine Support Facility at Ballast Point. The Support Facility became a full fledge submarine base in October 1981. Submarine Base San Diego currently provides many services to the submarines and surface ships assigned to San Diego. Submarine Base San Diego is currently home for Commander Submarine Group Five, Commander Submarine Squadron Three, Commander Submarine Development Group One and the San Diego Submarine Training Facility. In addition Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Representative West Coast, the senior ranking submarine offi- cer on the west coastt makes his headquarters at Submarine Base San Diego. Within the boundries of the submarine base and used by its personnel are former coastal defense Batteries Calef-Wilkerson and White. ( Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," mss, 1986, pp. 117. )

1963/12/08 - Olivewood: developer for Claire Burgener Co. offered $1m to NC for the Olivewood housing project of 42 acres, will put up $8m condo apts ( Chula Vista Star-News, Dec. 8, 1963. )

1965 - Naval Radio Receiving Station: The FRD-10: An endangered species. In the early 1960s the U.S. Naval Security Group began deploying a network of large high-frequency direction-finding (HF-DF) circularly disposed antenna arrays, the AN/FRD-10s, to detect, monitor, and plot the location of Soviet submarines and other radio emitters in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Sometimes dubbed Elephant Cages or Dinosaur Cages, the FRD-10 arrays were enormous structures. In the centre of each array was a two-storey operations building, about 40 metres square, where the station personnel worked. Surrounding this building were two concentric rings of HF antennas, one for shorter HF wavelengths, containing 120 sleeve monopoles, and one for longer HF wavelengths, containing 40 folded dipoles. The shorter wavelength ring was about 260 metres in diameter and the longer wavelength ring was about 230 metres in diameter. Inside each ring there was also a large wire screen, supported by 80 towers, which was designed to prevent HF signals from crossing the array and interfering with its operations. The inner screen, corresponding to the longer HF wavelengths, was roughly 36 metres high. A horizontal ground screen about 390 metres in diameter surrounded the entire site. (Aerial views of an FRD-10 array here.) Fourteen of the huge arrays were eventually deployed by the NSG (not counting two built at Sugar Grove, WV, for communications rather than intelligence-gathering). (list of places). Another two were built by the Canadian Forces Supplementary Radio System: one at Gander, Newfoundland and one at Masset, British Columbia (both built in 1970-71). The FRD-10 arrays became the backbone of the BULLSEYE net, the Atlantic and Pacific HF-DF nets. In the mid-1990s, however, the NSG began to close down its FRD-10 arrays. The demise of their Soviet targets, a desire to refocus collection efforts and cut costs, and, presumably, a decision to rely on alternative ocean surveillance technologies has led to the near-extinction of the FRD-10. Canada's two arrays are the only ones left in service. Most of the others have already been dismantled. ( Lux Ex Umbra, June 2, 2005 )

1965 - Naval Radio Receiving Station: Imperial Beach AN/FRD-10 HF/DF Array. There were sixteen AN/FRD-10 high-frequency direction-finding arrays built by the United States and Canada during the 1960s and 1970s. These sixteen stations, along with a number of Pusher HF/DF arrays, comprised the US Naval Security Group's BULLSEYE HFDF net. Pushers was simply the name given to simpler CDAAs. The arrays operated in the range of 2 to 32 MHz. Their function was to detect, monitor, and plot the location of Soviet submarines and other radio emitters in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The largest array was some 260 m in diameter, 36 m high, and sat on a ground plane of 390 m diameter, with a two storey building at its centre, housing the main equipment and operators. Naval Security Group Activity San Diego's history began on May 20, 1920, when the Secretary of the Navy authorized a Navy Radio Compass Station to provide navigational aid at Imperial Beach. In 1932, the unit was renamed Navy Direction Finder Station, and in 1940, a permanent Direction Finding (DF) station was established on the Coronado Strand Military Reservation. By 1953, the station known as Naval Radio Receiving Station Imperial Beach became the Naval Security Group Department of Naval Communication Station San Diego. In 1965, the Wullenweber Circular Display Antenna Array, the last built, was commissioned at Imperial Beach. Finally, in 1998, Naval Security Group Activity San Diego was commissioned. The array was closed 30 Sep 1999. ( )

1965/01/24 - Ream Field: Navy Cmdr Arthur A. Giesser died, commanded Ream Field in IB 1955-57, "during his two years in charge, brought the field a complete change of face. Flying activity there was increased to such an extent Ream became known as "Helicopter Capital of the World'." After relinquishing command of the base in Sept 1957, "the Navy sent him to an office in Hollywood, where he was technical adviser to producers of the 'Navy Log' television series. Later he advised producers of the 'Whirleybird' and 'Border patrol' series." He was a Naval Academy grad and a test pilot in WWII. Has 4 daughters and 4 sons all in SD. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Jan. 24, 1965. )

1965/01/29 - History of U. S. Naval Training Center San Diego: The 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 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 (later Rear Admiral) 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 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, recruits spent their first three weeks of training under canvas in this Detention Unit. ( The Anchor, Jan. 29, 1965, U. S. Naval Training Center San Diego, Frank Curran Papers, Box 1 )

1967/01/07 - Japanese VFW Post - was Olivewood clubhouse (The San Diego Union; Date: 01-07-1967; Page: 11) - Olivewood Club vacated (The San Diego Union; Date: 07-30-1967; Page: 58)

1967/08/06 - Navy base names: Concrete Shipbuilding Co of WWI became Destroyer Repair Base, then Fleet Repair Base, then 32nd St Naval Station -- Point Loma Wireless Station of 1906 with call letters T M, then in 1912 N P L (Navy-Point Loma); In 1940 became the Navy Radio and Sound Laboratory (NRSL), the Navy's first West Coast laboratory; in 1945 was renamed NEL that became in 1967 the Naval Electronics Lab -- the waterfront part of NEL started as old Quarantine Station (known as Section Base, then in WWII as Frontier Base) used by Navy in WW1 to kill incoming rats -- Coaling station became the Naval Fuel Depot then Fuel Annex. (The San Diego Union, Aug. 6, 1967)

1969/01/01 - Ream Field: Helicopter Capital Of World. One of the newest installations at the Naval Air Station, Imperial Beach, is the aircraft operations building tower complex, honoring the late Major William Roy Ream, U.S. Army flight surgeon during World War II. The station was named for him after he was killed in an aircraft accident Aug. 24, 1918, in Illinois while participating in a British-American "flying circus." He had been stationed at Rockwell Field, North Island. The field, now the location of the "helicopter capital of the world," began its naval history shortly after World War I when it was a dirt strip leased from private owners for Navy use. It was then used as a private landing field for planes operating from the North Island Naval Air Station. But, according to historical records, the Army established the field in 1917, calling it Aviation Field. It was used at that time for landing practice and aerial gunnery. pter Capital One of the first uses of the field by the Navy was as a carrier-based airplane practice landing strip, and consisted of 631 -acres when the war ended. Ream Field was commissioned July 17,1943, as a unit of the Naval Air Center, San Diego. The next major command change was Aug. 10, 1944, when the field became a unit of Naval Air Bases, San Diego, under the command of the 11th Naval District. The field was decommissioned after World War II and came under the control of North Island Naval Air Station. Before it was recommissioned in 1955, it served as a base for two naval commands, Commander Utility Wing Pacific Fleet and the Fleet Airborne Electronics Training Unit (Pacific). Today the naval air station is known as the "helicopter capital," the home base for all Pacific Fleet helicopter squadrons. It also supports a Naval Air Maintenance TrainOf World ing Group and a Fleet Airborne Electronics Training Unit. The station lost its Ream Field title when it was renamed Imperial Beach Naval Air Station in December, 1967, when the Navy elevated its status to that of North Island and Miramar. With, the new name, it lost its designation as "auxiliary" air station. The renaming of the field confirmed its status as a fullfledged jet helicopter fleet support air station, with the Navy acknowledging that the old title was a misnomer. A naval auxiliary air station is a satellite field which draws its support from a nearby fullfledged air station. The formal transition of Ream Field to Imperial Beach Naval Air Station,was marked with a ceremony Jan. 4, 1968. The upgrading of the field apparently assures its future here. About 3,000 officers and men are stationed at the naval air field, with an addition al 400 men forecast for next year. The field employs more than 300 civilians and has an annual payroll in excess of $7 million. It became an auxiliary naval air station in 1943, when it got its first asphalt runways. The Ream Field designation is not entirely lost at the air station. The air field itself will continue to bear that name. ( The San Diego Union, Jan. 1, 1969. )

1972/11/12 - Ream Field: kids get a preview of the Navy helicopter pickup of the Apollo space capsule, scheduled for Dec. 19 off Samoa. (Chula Vista Star News, Nov. 12, 1972.)

1975/07/03 - Ream Field: helicopter squadron to pick up Apollo crew of Stafford and Slayton and Brand, commander ?dred E. Pellerin III of Cv is skipper, Lt. Cdr Sammy Stair of CV to command the helicopter, Lt. cmdr ?frie Wiant Jr to pilot the communications relay helicopter. The San Diego-based carrier New Orleans will carry the helicopters to the site. (Chula Vista Star-News, July 3, 1975.) ( Chula Vista Star-News, July 3, 1975. )

1984/11/22 - Telegraph Point: Hostile residents object to Navy housing planned at Otay Lakes and Telegraph Canyon during meeting with city council and Navy reps. In May 1985, City Council agreed to support Navy Telegraph Point housing project of 200 units at Telegraph Canyon site. ( Chula Vista Star News )

1985/02/20 - Telegraph Point: In a surprise move last night after a lively debate, the City Council authorized its staff to find an alternative site in the city for the Navy housing project now proposed for Telegraph Point. If a better site is found than one already purchased by the Navy for $3.65 million, the City Council may ask the Navy to change its plans. Rep. Jim Bates, D-San Diego, and a number of residents of the area have opposed the project, calling the site expensive and a waste of tax dollars. The Navy purchased a 34.3-acre site at Telegraph Canyon Road and Otay Lakes Road in November to build 200 housing units. The Navy plans to build the units by mid-1986 if $15.2 million is appropriated by Congress. "My motion is not to stop Navy housing, but to support it," Councilman Frank Scott said. "If in the final analysis, this is the only site (in Chula Vista), then so be it." Scott said the council did not have an opportunity to veto the site because when the Navy notified the city of its intent, it had already purchased the property. In response to the council's action, Capt. Peter Litrenta said the Navy needs 6,000 new housing units in the San Diego area. He also said that funding to build the units in 1986 may not be available if the site were changed this late. The staff has 60 days to develop its recommendation. The council had already approved the site for a 256-unit condominium project. The project was first proposed in 1979. A model home should be ready by late summer. ( San Diego Union )

1997 - Naval Base Coronado is a consortium of eight Navy installations: Naval Air Station North Island, Coronado (NASNI); Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado (NAB); Naval Outlying Landing Field, Imperial Beach (NOLF IB); Naval Auxiliary Landing Field, San Clemente Island (NALF SCI); Silver Strand Training Complex, Coronado (SSTC), formerly known as the Naval Radio Receiving Facility; Camp Michael Monsoor Mountain Warfare Training Center, La Posta; Camp Morena, La Posta and the Remote Training Site, Warner Springs (RTSWS). wikipedia: In 1997, Naval Base Coronado was created, incorporating seven separate Naval installations under one Commanding Officer. Those facilities include: Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI); Naval Amphibious Base Coronado (NAB); Outlying Field Imperial Beach (OLIB); Naval Auxiliary Landing Field San Clemente Island (SCI); Silver Strand Training Complex (SSTC), formerly known as the Naval Radio Receiving Facility; Camp Michael Monsoor (CMM); and the Remote Training Site, Warner Springs (SERE). ( Naval Base Coronado, )


U-T San Diego, March 22, 2015.
2015/03/22 - "Navy Seals Aim To Update Old Facilities With $1B Plan.The Navy SEALs, a quiet part of San Diego County's military establishment for the past half-century, are proposing a new $1 billion campus that is probably the most ambitious real estate project ever for the sea service's covert branch. It's an acknowledgment of the growing importance of America's special-operations forces, which are being used for everything from old-fashioned ground fighting to diplomatic missions to high-profile hostage rescue efforts. The planned 60-acre Pacific Ocean complex would add 1.5 million square feet of development along the Silver Strand and shift the SEALs' center of gravity south ‹ from Coronado to Imperial Beach's front door. It also will generate more noise and traffic, which could cause friction with longtime neighbors in an area that prides itself on being the place where all SEALs are made. A final environmental report is expected in early April. If the project is approved, the first stirrings of construction would start later this year. Full build-out could take a decade. On a growth spurt since 2005, SEAL officials said their current World War IIera buildings are obsolete and force them to train away from home too often, on top of serving frequent deployments. Rear Adm. Brian Losey, the commander of all SEALs, recently gave a rare personal viewpoint on the group's gogo lifestyle. Losey's two children chose to become officers in the Coast Guard. "I asked my kids ... 'Why did you pick the Coast Guard and not the Navy?' " he recalled during a speech to the San Diego Military Advisory Council. "They said, 'Dad, you've been gone too much.' That resonated with me, obviously." Created at President John F. Kennedy's behest to counter communist guerrillas in Vietnam, the former World War II frogmen have become one of the U.S. military's elite forces. They fight on sea, air and land (hence the acronym SEAL.) The unit started with two teams on Jan. 1, 1962 ‹ 20 officers and 100 enlisted sailors. Coronado was the location of SEAL Team 1 and has long been the heart of Naval Special Warfare Command. Little Creek, Va., was home to Team 2. A lot has changed in five decades. Now, a new Silver Strand campus would contain a laundry list of buildings for SEAL Teams 1, 3, 5, 7 and 17. (Even-numbered SEAL teams are stationed in Virginia, while the SEAL underwater vehicle unit is based in Hawaii.) The list includes logistical support buildings, equipment-use and maintenancetraining facilities, space for classrooms and hands-on tactics instruction, storage, offices, food-service buildings, a mini-market and a fuel station. Also included would be a 120-foot-high parachute drying assembly that one Navy official described as looking like a clock tower. Otherwise, the new structures would be no higher than 45 feet (about four stories tall). While the proposed complex would provide more space for instruction, it wouldn't specifically house training ranges, Losey said. For that, SEALs would still need to travel to places such as La Posta in eastern San Diego County. The command's existing headquarters and training center where all budding SEALs are made ‹ home to a six-month course called Basic Underwater Demolition/ SEAL ‹ will remain where they are. That's just south of Hotel del Coronado. The end result, according to SEAL commander Losey, would be "bringing us into the 21st century and providing world-class facilities for a world-class force," he told the military advisory council. Many civilians may not see what the SEALs would put on their southern campus, which would be situated on the western side of Highway 75. That's because a berm along the highway blocks much of the view for passers-by. But U-T San Diego recently got a tour of the location from Capt. Christopher Sund, commander of the Navy's bases in Coronado. At present, the nearly 600-acre expanse is largely empty, covered with ice plant, weeds, a few cement squares and perhaps two dozen wind-battered Monterey pines. Building-wise, there's a hodgepodge of structures. Most of them are decades old. One is a massive World War II-era bunker covered in dirt and overgrowth. The bunker, called Building 99, is eligible for historical protection. The Navy is consulting with state and federal officials on the prospects of leveling it. Two small bunkers from the same era would stay. Otherwise, nearly all structures there are slated for demolition if the Navy's expansion proposal goes forward." ("Navy Seals Aim To Update Old Facilities With $1B Plan," by Jeanette Steele, U-T San Diego, March 22, 2015.)

The Wullenweber antenna dismantled Feb. 14, 2015


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Hinds, James W. "San Diego's Military Sites," typed manuscript, San Diego Historical Society, 1986.

Joyce, Barry Alan. A Harbor Worth Defending: a Military History of Point Loma. San Diego: Cabrillo Historical Association, 1995.

Martin, John, "The San Diego Chamber of Commerce Establishes the U.S. Naval Coal Station, 1900-1912 San Diego's First Permanent Naval Facility," The Journal of San Diego History 56 (Fall 2010)

Peck, Wallace R. "Forgotten Air Pioneers: The Army's Rockwell Field at North Island," The Journal of San Diego History 52 (Summer 2006).

SPAWAR (Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command). "Early Pt. Loma Photographs," at, retrieved Mar. 18, 2014.

Sudsbury, Elretta. Jackrabbits to Jets; the History of North Island. San Diego, California. San Diego, CA, Neyenesch, 1967.

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Walke, Julie M. Imperial Beach, California: A Pictorial History. Virginia Beach, VA: Donning Company, 2006.

This web page was created March 14, 2014, and revised Mar. 28, 2015, by Steve Schoenherr for the South Bay Historical Society | Copyright © 2015