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From the collection of the 

San Francisco, California 

The Naval History 





- t 

. ^ 








Edited by U. Comdr. E. A. McDevitt, USNR 


F O R'E-W O R D 

Treasure and Yerba Buena Islands, connected by a causeway and 
collectively known as the U. S. Naval Training and Distribution 
Center, San Francisco, form the principal Naval personnel gate- 
way to the Pacific area. Through this portal passed, during the war 
period, in the neighborhood of 4,500,000 of the world's finest fight- 
ing men. It is for them that this book was created. The develop- 
ments on these islands were generated by the needs of an expanding 
Navy under war conditions. The characteristics are in some re- 
spects unique among Naval stations. Unknown to many, it has 
been, during the war period, one of the largest stations the Navy 
has had. It appears at present that the two islands will become one 
of the Navy's permanent shore establishments. Its importance will 
probably increase with the passing of the years. 

The primary purpose of this volume is to serve as a souvenir 
rather than as a detailed history. The publication expenses were 
borne by non-appropriated Welfare funds derived from profits 
of the Ship's Service. It may be of interest to Naval personnel who 
have passed through this command to know that all entertainment, 
recreation and athletic facilities on the~e islands are ma ; ntained 
from these same funds. In this way it has been possible to return 
the Ship's Service profit to the men who created it, in the hope it 
would add something to their happiness by making the surround- 
ings as pleasant as possible under the exigencies of war conditions. 

It is hoped that this book will in the years beyond the war, remind 
those who passed through this Pacific gateway, of the Island's war- 
time accomplishments and recall some of the more pleasant feat- 
ures of their association with it. 






To the countless thousands of Bluejackets 
Who, in the course of their Naval service, 
Found Treasure Island a Port o' Call . . . 

To those who came . . . 
To those who have gone . . . 
To those who stayed . . . 

. . . this book is humbly dedicated. 


Welcome Home Well Done! 

Vice Admiral Greenslade, USN 

An Annapolis graduate with the class of 1898, Vice Admiral 
John W. Greenslade, USN (Ret.) is a veteran of the Spanish- 
American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Cuban Pacifica- 
tion Campaign, and both World Wars. In World War I 
Admiral Greenslade received the Distinguished Service Medal 
for his work during mine laying operations in the North Sea, 
and served throughout World War II, first as Commandant, 
Twelfth Naval District, and later as the Commander, Western 
Sea Frontier. ^Formally retired in December 1945, Vice 
Admiral Greenslade aided materially in the administrative 
development and wartime growth of Treasure Island. 

Vice Admiral Wright, USN 

Youngest man in bis Class (1912), and, at the time of appoint- 
ment, youngest Navy officer of that rank, Rear Admiral Carle- 
ton E. Wright, USN, added another "first" to his outstanding 
record when named Commandant of the Twelfth Naval District 
in 1944, thus becoming the youngest District Commandant in 
the Naval service. ^Commanding officer of the USS AUGUSTA 
at the historic conference of President Roosevelt and. Prime Min- 
ister Churchill aboard that ship, Rear Admiral Wright was later 
transferred to the Pacific Fleet, commanding a task force dur- 
ing the Japs' last attempt to relieve their forces on Guadalcanal, 
^Rear Admiral Wright succeeded Vice Admiral Greenslade 
as "Com 12" and was long identified with the later 
development of Treasure Island. 

Rear Admiral Osterhaus, USN 

Assuming command of the local Patrol Force, based on 
Treasure Island, in 1941, Rear Admiral Hugo N. Osterhaus, 
USN (Ret.), resumed a Naval career which had begun in 
1900. In the first World War he commanded one of the first 
transports to carry American troops to France, and established 
a Naval base in the Azores. Shortly after the war he was ap- 
pointed captain of the Mare Island Navy Yard, and again held 
that position when originally retired in 1935. ^Recalled to duty 
when the threat of Japanese aggression became apparent, Rear 
Admiral Osterhaus was long associated with the develop- 
ment and expansion of Treasure Island as a Naval Base. 

Commodore R. W. Gary, U S N 

Holder of the Congressional Medal of Honor, and wartime 
skipper of the USS SAVANNAH and USS BROOKLYN 
during the invasion operations at Sicily, Salerno, and Anzio, 
Commodore Robert W. Gary, USN, assumed command of 
TADCEN in April 1944, at a time when Treasure Island at- 
tained the position of the Navy's key Base on the West Coast. 
^Annapolis graduate (1914), Commodore Gary -was awarded 
the Navy Cross for heroic actions during the first World War. 
In this war he has four times received the Legion of Merit, three 
from the Navy, one from- the Army. $In the two years of 
Commodore Gary's command, millions of bluejackets 
have passed through Treasure Island on their way 
to or from our Pacific battlefronts. 

# * ippp^j 





Chapter I An Island Is Built 19 

Chapter II Life Begins in Forty .... 27 

Chapter III Growing Pains 37 

Chapter IV T. I. Delivers 47 

Chapter V Treasure Island Today ... 57 

Chapter VI The Armed Guard . . . . 143 

Chapter VII Receiving Ship 161 

Chapter VIII Operational Training . . . . 177 

Chapter IX WAVES 203 

Chapter X Radio Materiel 217 

Chapter XI U. S. Naval Hospital . ... 233 

Chapter XII Embarkation Barracks . . . 247 

Chapter XIII Marines 259 

Chapter XIV Frontier Base 265 

Chapter XV Lucky Bag 271 

Additional copies of this book may be obtained for $2.50 per copy. 

Make check or money order payable to Welfare Officer, U. S. Nai'y 

Training and Distribution Center, Treasure Island. 



Island u "BuiL 


REASURE ISLAND has made history 
as one of the world's great naval bases, not solely by chance nor 
destiny, but through an intriguing combination of both. It is a 
story to be told . . . 



San Francisco Bay joins the blue waters of the vast Pacific Ocean 
through a deep majestic strait, the Golden Gate. How nature cre- 
ated this magnificent harbor geologists may never know. But here, 
rimmed by spectacular hills on the central coast of California, are 
four hundred fifty square miles of sheltered anchorage with a mile- 
wide gateway to the sea. 

This Bay could accommodate at one time all the ships of the 

For nearly three hundred years after the discovery of the new 
world, vessels of the Maritime nations searched for this legendary 
harbor. Spain's treasure galleons, beating down the coast after the 
long voyage from Manila . . . and the navigators, Cabrillo, Drake, 
Viscaino, all missed the Golden Gate. 

What the sailors missed the soldiers found. A land expedition led 

< Court of Pacifica (just outside present Ship's Service) 

San Francisco from Twin Peaks. To the left is man-made Treasure Island 



by Captain Don Gasparde Portola discovered San Francisco Bay in 
1770. In 1775, Don Juan Manuel de Ayala sailed the first ship 
through the Golden Gate, charted San Francisco Bay, and the 
underwater shores off Yerba Buena Island. 

It was inevitable that there should be here a city worthy of this 
harbor. Yerba Buena was its childhood name ... a drowsy pueblo 
where the ranchers traded hides and tallow from their ranches for 
the things the shrewd New England traders brought. Then gold was 
discovered at Coloma, in the American River in 1848. Ships from 
all the seas set sail for the Golden Gate. In 1849, half a thousand 
vessels lay in the Bay abandoned by their gold-crazed crews and the 
city was born. San Francisco! Forthright, wholehearted, cosmopoli- 
tan, a city of the sea. 

One hundred years later, in celebration of the two great bridges 
across this harbor now rimmed by huge cities, centers of trade, corn- 

of San Francisco's Famous Cable Cars 



merce, and industry, California invited the world to visit the 
Golden Gate International Exposition ... a Fair built upon a newly 
created island in the center of the San Francisco Bay, unsurpassed 
in the spectacular beauty of its setting. With typical Western fore- 
thought, it was planned that this man-made island would become 
a metropolitan air terminal for trans-Pacific and transcontinental 
air transports in the years following the Fair. 

For two years millions came to view, to gaze in awe and wonder 
at the dramatic exhibits, at the beauty and color of the Pageant of 
the Pacific on Treasure Island. Here, where previously there had 
been a submerged shoal off Yerba Buena, there had risen above the 
tide an island over a mile in length and a little over three- fourths 
of a mile in width ... a magic-walled city of the Pacific, the Fair 
that thrilled the multitudes with mystic forms, giant Pyramids, 
muraled courts, long pavilions of light and shadow, and flower- 

On the north shore of San Francisco and inside the 
Golden Gate is the far-famed Fishermen's Wharf 

Across the Lagoon 

Foods and Beverages Palace, now the Main Mess Hall 

i 1 '> 



laden avenues. Towering skyward, the Exposition's Spire of the Sun 
translated mass into height matching the breathless loom of the 
Bay Bridge towers. 

Yes, Treasure Island had its days of festivals but they were 
ominous days, and there was treachery at the feast. Supposedly 
fostering better relations with the nations bordering on the Pacific 
Ocean the South Seas, the Antipodes, Central and South America, 
and the Orient . . . there was one amongst them whom we knew not 
"one of the most extensive exhibits of foreign nations was that 
of Japan. All materials, even the workmen, were brought from 
Japan aboard one of the palatial 'Maru' liners ... A picturesque 
tea garden provided a pleasant atmosphere for visitors to rest, sip 
fragrant tea, and eat cakes made from rice. The Japanese pavilion 
was the focal point of many such functions both in 1939 and 1940. 
Host and hostess were the genial Consul General and wife ..." 

Oriental Dancer 


tfe ^Begins in Jorty 

HREE months before the final 
curtain fell on the gigantic stage setting that was the Fair, in the 
Fall of '40, the wheels had been set in motion towards the acquisi- 
tion of Treasure Island for naval purposes. 

< Court of the Moon and Ere/ting Star Statue 



While California's original plan in ceding the Island to San 
Francisco, had stressed the use of the land as an air terminal the 
Navy, locally, was well aware of the important use that could be 
made of such an ideal spot, if acquired . . . 400 acres in the middle 
of the Harbor connected (by a six-lane causeway) to Yerba Buena 
Island (a Naval Station since 1898), provided excellent anchorage 
in the Port of Tradewinds, the Lagoon between the two islands; 
permanent buildings, roadways, and ferry slips, made Treasure 
Island unlike the site of many former Fairs a highly prized and 
coveted location. 

By letter to the Secretary of the Navy in July 1940, the Com- 
mandant, Rear Admiral John W. Greenslade, Twelfth Naval Dis- 
trict, invited the attention of the Navy department to the status 
of Treasure Island, and to the importance of acquiring it for use by 
the Navy. The Lagoon afforded an excellent sheltered mooring for 

Homes anil Gardens Building 

South Pier and Port of Trade Winds 



small craft, the Hangars would adapt themselves as Armories; the 
island offered unlimited facilities for storage, training station 
activities and a Receiving Station. The accessibility and con- 
venience'of location to other Naval activities was a further point. 

But the War was being fought in the Atlantic . . . and attention 
in Washington was focused in the East and not in the West, where 
World Fairs not World Wars, were the Topic of the Day. Due to 
the cost involved in leasing the site from the City of San Francisco, 
the Navy department said, "No!" 

The Fair closed in September 1940. The Commandant sent a 
letter to the Mayor of San Francisco, requesting that in the National 
Emergency (strong words for such peaceful times) the City grant 
permission to use the island. This was done with the understand- 
ing that it would be relinquished when the National Defense 
Emergency ceased to exist, and that its use would not impede the 
City's planned Airport. The City permitted the Navy to use the 
island in return for assistance in obtaining the Federal funds to 
develop the Airport. 

The Navy was "in." 

Three months later the Navy was in entirely. For, in November 

Stern-Wheeler River Boat, the Delta Queen 



the Secretary of the Navy by dispatch directed that negotiations 
be made to "take over at the earliest possible moment and for the 
duration of the emergency as much or all of Treasure Island with 
suitable buildings as required for a Navy Section Base with barracks 
for four thousand and to serve as a combined Receiving Station, 
Distribution, and Training Center" . . . Treasure Island was leased 
from the City and County of San Francisco on February 28, 1941 ! 

Interesting days followed. Construction of piers and slips for the 
berthing of district craft on the east side of the Island was started. 
Exposition buildings and Hangars found early use as barracks. 

The establishment of the Section Base in the Spring of '41 has 
all the background but hardly the color of Mark Twain's "Tom 
Sawyer." A Sacramento river boat, the Delta Queen, her great 
paddle wheel slowly turning to a stop, was made fast to the ferry 
slip. This was no casual visit . . . the stately Delta Queen, carrying 
her years with the grace and dignity of her title, was to be the bar- 
racks and classroom for all personnel of the Local Defense Force on 
the Island. To read the Supply Officer's account "The Supply 
activities of the 'Delta Queen Navy' consisted principally of mess- 
ing and this was accomplished after strenuous cleaning of the galley 
spaces. Grease was so thick that the best efforts failed to dislodge 
all of it, with the resultant galley fire, which thoroughly did the 
job of eliminating this grease hazard. 

"The office consisted of flat boards on saw-horses, which had a 
tendency to fall apart at the passing of each rowboat. When requisi- 
tions were made for desks the answer was, 'what for?' F'nally, by 
begging, pilfering, and other means, sufficient equipment was ac- 
quired to permit some semblance of an office." 

But at the other end of the Island, in the ultra-modern Admin- 
istration Building of the Exposition, the Navy was setting up its 
military organization in preparation of the defense of our coastal 
waters. There were rumors of sinkings of U. S. vessels in the At- 
lantic, rumors of submarine activities along the Western coast, and 
where the Axis wolf pack might strike next, no one was sure. The 
Commander, Patrol Force, Rear Admiral Hugo R. Osterhaus, 
USN, moved on to Treasure Island on June 12, 1941. 

Navy men were now reporting for duty and training. Inshore 



and offshore patrol, coastal lookouts, mine forces, net defenses, and 
Section Bases were the salty jobs that Treasure Island sailors now 
had to face. 

With "Captain Gulp as Commanding Officer of Section Base and 
Rear Admiral Hugo W. Osterhaus in command of Patrol Force, 
Treasure Island steadily converted from a deserted Fair ground to 
an industrious Naval Station. Barracks were set up in the old Hall 
of Western States, a galley was commissioned in what had been the 
Federal Building, fishing boats were converted to mine sweepers, 
and yachts to patrol craft. A Local Defense School under Com- 
mander Northcroft began the practical training of Naval Officers. 

Months went by rapidly; months in which the Patrol Force of 
Treasure Island had little time to organize for the terrific jolt that 
was to come. And come it did! December 7, 1941, found the entire 

First Draft Reports Aboard 




West Coast shocked by the news of the disastrous blows struck by 
the Japs at Pearl Harbor! 

Sneak Attack 



ITH the outbreak of war, there 
was great fear of an enemy-landing on the West Coast. The vigi- 
lance of all coastal patrols of the northern sector of the Western 
Sea Frontier rested with Treasure Island. It was an amazed Dock- 

Aerial View 1942 

Net Tenders Guard the Golden Gate 



master who on the morning of December 8, 1941, gazed out on 
the Island's Lagoon to find it jammed with fishing vessels, small 
craft and luxurious yachts released by their owners for emergency 
Naval Patrol service. 

While Coast Guard Patrols were immediately increased, one lone 
squadron of PBY planes (the 9th Squadron) covered the air patrol 
from Oregon to southern California. Combined Army-Navy look- 
outs, signal watchers, and plotters joined in the endless vigil. 

Our Coastal tankers were the target of enemy submarines. 
Merchant vessels demanded gun crews and escorts, and until the 
quick arrival of four destroyers from San Diego, a grey-painted 
fishing vessel with good lines, fair speed, a couple of gun mounts, 
and a Navy crew, served as a "blind date" escort for anxious 
Merchantmen as they slipped through the huge net which spanned 

Convoy Escort 



the Golden Gate channel guarding the Harbor from submarine 

But trys was the mere beginning, the first pebbles of an avalanche 
that was to descend on Treasure Island; for war in the Pacific meant 
a Naval War. Overnight, enlistments and recruit figures soared. 
Washington deluged the Twelfth Naval District Headquarters and 
the Island with new men, new directives, new tasks. It was now 
that Treasure Island wished her creators had mixed rubber with 
the nineteen million cubic yards of sand dredged from the bottom 
of the Bay to build a man-made island. Then perhaps Navy tugs, 
anchored to the Island's corner, but headed away and pulling hard, 
could s-t-r-e-t-c-h the four hundred acres to make room for the 
newcomers . . . And they thought the Fair was crowded! 

The Spring of '42 saw the Island growing like Topsy ... it just 

The late President Roosevelt witnesses drawing of first Selective Service number 




grew! New activities, new schools, new commands, joined in the 
mushroom growth that was part of the Navy's mustering strength. 
These sudden arrivals placed a heavy demand on Section Base and 
the Island command; turning toward the "Ship's Company" for 
working personnel, building materials and supplies which somehow 
were nearly always delayed and followed far behind the newcomers. 
In June of '42 the Command was reorganized in an effort to pro- 
vide maximum service to the many new units dependent on the 
station for a multitude of services. Mess halls, GSK, Disbursing, 
Dispensary, Public Works, Transportation, Fire Protection, Secur- 
ity, General Detail, Ship's Service, Welfare, Recreation, and a host 
of other important functions of each new Command were to be 
provided by the station. Thus, a Coordinator-of -Services was desig- 
nated to handle all matters regarding services directly with any 

Spit 'n Polish 

Traveling Sailsmen 

unit on the Island; matters involving change of policy were taken 
up with Commander Patrol Force. This arrangement, operating 
with gratifying success, saw the development of many of Treasure 
Island's present attractive features. The huge galley "K" whose vast 
pavilion formerly housed the Fair's food and beverages exhibit was 
completed, serving chow to seven thousand men an hour. Where the 
Fair's Billy Rose Aquacade had thrilled the visitor there now stood 
a mammoth gymnasium to provide athletics and combat training. 
A giant Ship's Service, two theaters, an athletic field, a beautiful 
chapel became realities while thousands of men poured on the island 
for intensive training and sea duty. They came from everywhere. 
Men who had followed the sea for years stood shoulder to shoulder 
with young lads from the farm lands of Dakota, and the wheat 



fields of Kansas; lads who had never seen the ocean, many who 
had never so much as set foot in a rowboat. 

The ancient Receiving Ship on Yerba Buena Island had experi- 
enced nothing in World War I to equal the over-crowded condition 
that developed in the first year of Pacific war. Recruits, transfers, 
survivors crowded over the hilly little station like a swarm of ants. 
Overflows of men from Yerba Buena Island were continually ar- 
riving in drafts at Treasure Island, where despite the huge num- 
bers there was always room for more. The giant Exhibit Palaces 
offered what seemed to be almost inexhaustible barracks space. 

Because of her central position the Island became the focal point 
for movement of personnel as well as a Training Center. The Mili- 
tary Command was enlarged to include Camp Parks and Fleet City, 
these stations forty-five miles inland from the Bay. 

From Farm Hands to Deck Hands 

>T'-- ' v "'' '- ;--''-. '..-. 

I *~ 


Treasure Island ^Delivers 

URING what seemed a United 

Nations' war policy to place secondary emphasis on the Pacific area, 
the Spring of '43 found the "Hitler First Methods" denying Pacific 
land and naval forces the resources necessary to a total war effort 
against the Japs. 

0900 Saturday 

Closer to the Pacific than any spot within the continental limits 
of the nation, Treasure Island felt the impact of each naval battle 
with the Nips sending replacements of trained bluejackets and 
officers, and commissioning new fighting ships on the one side . . . 
and on the other, standing ready to give immediate hospital care 
to the wounded veterans or comfort and new strength to the weary, 
who stepped off the battered ships. 

Rapid expansion of all training programs highlighted the feverish 
activity of those troubled days. Fleet Operational Training School, 
Radio Materiel School, and the Advanced Naval Training School, 
devising new methods and intensive courses, stepped up their 
schedules to meet the needs of the growing Fleet. 

Throughout the entire period of unprecedented growth, con- 
tinued improvements were made in the administration of the 
Island's many operations by maintaining and establishing clear-cut 
relationships and responsibilities between the many independent 
units on the Island, and the Commander, United States Naval 


Training and Distribution Center, more generally referred to as 

In May of '44, Rear Admiral Osterhaus, after three years at the 
helm during which the Island expanded from a fledgling naval in- 
stallation to a vital shore establishment, was relieved by our present 
Skipper, Commodore (then Captain) R. W. Gary, who had recently 
returned with a distinguished service record as Commanding Of- 
ficer, of the Cruisers, USS SAVANNAH during the amphibious 
assault on the Island of Sicily and Salerno, and the USS BROOK- 
LYN at Anzio. 

An organizer and administrator, Commodore Gary undertook a 
complete and searching analysis of the many and complex rela- 
tionships which had developed during the rapid growth of the 
Island in both size and importance, with a view to streamlining its 

Eyes Right 

"Tokyo Bound" 

effectiveness in internal operation and in services to forces afloat. 
Preparations to 'meet even greater demands in both training and 
distribution of personnel were considered necessary, and were un- 
dertaken. A pre-embarkation barracks area was constructed at 
the north end of the Island to handle the movements of large over- 
seas drafts, in a smooth, rapid and accurate process. Further con- 
solidation of general services and increases in berthing, messing, and 
recreational facilities found Treasure Island equipped to handle, 
in the following and final year of the war, three times its supposedly 
maximum capacity. 

Active in every phase of supporting the advance of the Fleet 
even to the extent of huge War Bond Drives and Blood Bank con- 



tributions that rocketed skyward, Treasure Island stepped from 
high gear to overdrive. 

But we're getting ahead of our story. The tales of the individual 
commands that have made history here are worth the telling, and 
might well be told before we attempt to keep pace with the Island's 
swift headway toward the present. 

However, in order to give a clear picture of the many and com- 
plex operations of the Island, it seems wise to go first behind the 
scenes and show Treasure Island as she carries on her day-by-day 

The Wounded Get Back 

Abandon Ship Drill 
Refueling Drill Prepares Men for Actual Operation Such as This, etc. 

Operational Training 

(opposite page) 

Giant Mess Hall (8000 meals 
an hour) 

Nats Inspects Engine Overhaul 

ft .'.. : ^ F : ^ 




Treasure Island Today 

EHIND the everyday happenings 

at this great Naval Center are many stories of the men who com- 
prise the Island's character . . . men who live, eat and sleep; study, 
work, and play here. In back of these men are the multitude of 

^pr, , \^" 

tlfr '" 
. . 

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tasks, the countless supplies and materials, the many facilities and 
services that are provided to help make each day a success. Each, in 
its way, is part of this Island's story . . . 

Operating under three main groups Supply, Personnel, and 
Operations are some twenty separate divisions each charged with 
several specific responsibilities to the proper operation of the Island, 
under the administration of the Chief Staff Officer. Let's first take 
a look at the Divisions under the 


The Supply activities began the very first day the Navy De~ 
partment took over here. Responsible for the food, clothing, 
equipment, and pay of all personnel places Supply in the "No. 1 
Spot." It's another case of "delivering the goods." 

Commander R. E. Ramcy, Staff Supply Officer; Captain E. H. McMettemy, Staff 
Operations Officer; Captain R. S. Morse, Chief Staff Officer, anil Captain E. W. Young, 
Staff Personnel Officer 






No one cares to deny the interest every healthy hard-working 
bluejacket has in good chow. Three galleys have provided the 
chow f6r the men stationed on or passing through Treasure Island. 
Galley "K," in the former Foods and Beverages Palace of the Ex- 
position, and probably the largest mess hall under one roof in the 
entire world, is a food preparation plant whose record rivals that of 
Kaiser and Ford in their respective fields. It serves one man a sec- 
ond, operating six feeding lines at once; and seating three thousand 
men at one time, Galley "K" has on occasion fed eighteen thousand 
men in a two-hour period. 

To satisfy its huge patronage, the galley employs a total of one 
hundred cooks and five hundred mess cooks, including all watches. 
Modern machinery in bakery, galley, and scullery makes the task 
easier for the cuisine creators. 

Sometimes We Waited in Line 



In the bakery at Galley "K" are produced all the bread and pastry 
consumed on the entire Island. This work occupies one hundred 
bakers. They prepare five thousand pounds of bread daily, and 
fifty thbusand doughnuts when these are on the menu. 

If the menu calls for pies, about four thousand are baked. The 
apple pies served on Christmas required over five tons of apples, 
which were cored, peeled, and diced by special machines. 

Statistics on quantities of food used for a single meal are stag- 
gering. Three hundred gallons of soup are served. About fifty gal- 
lons of mayonnaise, prepared fresh every day, go on the salad. Two 
tons of steak are needed, and on it go two hundred gallons of gravy. 

Where does all this food come from? "Right from the grower, 
producer, or slaughterhouse, and from every state in the Union," 
says the Chief Commissary Steward. 



"Our fowl comes from Iowa and Missouri. We receive apples 
from Washington. Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa ship us our 
butter. California supplies most of our fresh fruits and vegetables. 

"Since we purchase by carloads right from the producer, our 
provisions do not go through storage. Thus they are better than 
many of your folks can buy at home. 

"You may wonder where we get our recipes. Our individual cooks 
come from the north, the south, the east, and the west. The Navy 
welcomes these men with their varied experiences, but it tells them 
to keep their recipes for home cooking. 

"The Navy has its own cookbook. It consists of tried and true 
recipes which are used uniformly throughout the naval service. It 
gives approved techniques, temperatures, and principles of food 





r V 




"If you like Navy chow and want your wife or mother to use 
Navy recipes at home, don't ask the chef for a copy of his cook- 
book. Its quantities are based on a minimum unit of 100 men, and 
they are multiplied by tens to serve a large number." 

Prior to October 1944, all food provisions were handled by the 
Commissary Officer, but such quantities required the construction 
of a provision warehouse to not only service the Island but all 
ships here or calling in, all Navy troop trains, the Fleet Post Office, 
and District messes. Handling over fifty million pounds of food- 
stuffs in 1945 alone is the astounding job accomplished by this unit. 

Ready to dish out anything from a box of paper clips to 1 5,000 
gallons of Diesel fuel oil at a moment's notice is the promise of 
General Storekeeping of Treasure Island's Supply Department. 

GSK works a 'round-the-clock schedule to meet the supply needs 
of Treasure Island activities and ships temporarily or permanently 
based on the Island. 

More than two hundred workers are on hand to procure, store, 
keep records for, and issue the $1,000,000 stores on hand. Two 
trucks daily bring in stores from Naval Supply Depot, Oakland, 
and occasionally from Mare Island, so that a three months' supply 
of all gear can be maintained. 

Here, two trucks stand by to deliver some of the three hundred 
daily issues. 

The GSK warehouses are located in different parts of the base, 
according to security and convenience. 

Small, "over the counter" items are issued in Building 260, the 



main GSK office. The other buildings are the Metal Locker for 
heavier gear, and the Paint Locker for paints and fuel. 

Fuel tanks are equipped with underground pipes to help facili- 
tate the handling of fuel for ships at the piers or for use here on 
the Island. 

Since no tank trucks are allowed on the Bay Bridge because of 
their potential fire hazard, all fuel is brought in to Treasure Island 
by barges. 

GSK maintains a "clearing house" topside in Building 260 where 
records of all incoming, present supply, and outgoing material is 
maintained. A running inventory is kept so that there is no neces- 
sity of "closing shop" at any time. 

This clearing house also acts as the department's purchasing agent 
and is able to obtain "anything," whether current in the Navy's 
supply depots or not. 

More GSK 





The operation of General Storekeeping is a thing often over- 
looked and taken for granted by the men who benefit from it. The 
heat in the barracks, the gasoline in the vehicles, and galley gear 
all come to the attention of the men of GSK. 


The Salvage department of Supply is not so much interested in 
issuing as it is in collecting. They are able to salvage and resell as 
scrap or garbage approximately $10,000 worth of thrown-out gear 
each month. Tons of paper, cardboard, scrap iron, cloth, and food 
garbage is collected daily by the department's unusual looking 
"dumpsters," to be sorted out by detentioners for resale or to be 

An estimated $20,000 worth of gear collected is still usable and 
is returned to departments where the articles may be applied. 






This department also operates a magnetic mechanism which 
tours the Treasure Island streets, picking up nails and other metal- 
he objects which would otherwise play havoc with vehicle tires. 


Preceded only by the Mess Hall in the popularity poll, the Dis- 
bursing Office is visited eagerly every two weeks. Strictly in the 

TT i?f , 1 bfaC ^ tS)M the Pavmaster ' s department lets a million 
and a half dollars slip through their hands every month. 

For eac h man on the Island there ^ ^ ^ Disbursing Office a 

small metal plate with his name, service number, and other data 
pertinent to each particular pay day. It is this small plate combined 
with an addressograph machine and pay chit that makes for ac- 
curacy in adjusting pay records. 

Besides writing over twelve thousand checks for each pay day 

Pay Day 


TO/J Destroyer Depth Charges 
Lower Bow^/ Drive Rally 



and the task of boosting the morale of every man on the base twice 
a month, Disbursing Office is assigned numerous other duties. In- 
cluded is the constant stream of hurried sailors who "haven't been 
paid for three months," or who were "in the dispensary last pay 
day." Also on the list are such things as expense accounts, travel 
allowances, insurance deductions, disciplinary deductions, not to 
mention war bond allotments, and family allowances. 

This office showed the way when Treasure Island personnel set 
a record in the mighty Seventh War Loan Bond Drive, purchasing 
over half a million dollars. 


While a retail clothier would pray for this kind of business; to 
men working in Clothing and Small Stores the thousands of items 
going over the counter are part of "just another day." Small Stores 

Small Stores 

Pay Day Aboard Ship 








sells about fifteen thousand dollars worth of clothing daily to about 
three thousand customers. But probably the biggest job of the issu- 
ing room is that of taking care of all survivors. These veterans who 
arrive at any hour in any number require complete re-outfitting 
within a few hours notice, and such issues have run more than two 
thousand a month. Last winter when the "magic carpet" brought 
thousands of our fighting men back from the tropics, Small Stores 
took on the job of supplying blue dress jumpers, trousers, and over- 
coats sorely missed in San Francisco's chilly weather. In three winter 
months, eighty-eight thousand heavy pea-coats alone were handed 

Besides doing a 4.0 job for the island receiving station and intake 
center, Small Stores has the reputation with Fleet and Districts as 
"the place to go." 

The Bank 



Ship's Service represents one of the Navy's biggest businesses 
and to the bluejacket it represents the "Main Street" of his home 
town, for the list of its activities reads like the store fronts in the 
shopping district of the average American community. 

The Island's Ship's Service consists of three main stores and one 
store with restaurant on Yerba Buena Island, with branch services 
covering everything from a tire change to a permanent wave. Visit- 
ing the main store is equal to a visit at Macy's. Under one roof is the 
general merchandise section, cigar, drug, and candy counter, res- 
taurant, barber shops, photograph studio, travel bureau, jewelry, 
watch repair shop, magazine, luggage, book store, florist, frosted 
malt shop, officers' clothing store, and dining room. Sales figures 
reveal that a million candy bars are sold each month and at one 

Snack Bar 



time cigarette sales soared to thirty-two thousand packs a day. 
Homeward bound bluejackets, after months in the tropics, deluge 
the frosted malt counters for that long-dreamed about milk shake. 
Ten thousand frozen malts have been sold daily, and in the open- 
ing two weeks, the malt shop sold eighty- four thousand cones. 

In its branch services there are two restaurants, five barber shops, 
a laundry, cobbler shop, three tailor shops, gasoline station, auto 
service shop, six snack bars plus a chain of coca-cola, cigarette and 
candy vending machines. The laundry has a weekly quota of ten 
thousand bundles. The Army may travel on its stomach but the 
Treasure Island cobbler shop knows otherwise about the Navy, re- 
pairing fifteen hundred pairs of shoes each week. Saturday morn- 
ing inspections bring twelve hundred daily customers to the barber 
shops. The'Travel Reservation Bureau working in conjunction with 

Clip Joint 

Top Tobacco Shop 

Center Jewelry and Watch Repair 

Lower Left Frozen Malt Shop 

Lower Right Gas and Oil 


! * " 




railways, airlines, and bus lines makes complete arrangements for 
tickets, Pullman, and reserved seats. Also aiding the traveler through 
cooperation of the Bank of America branch office on the Island, 
more than two hundred thousand dollars in Traveler's Checks are 
sold monthly. 

It has required as many as seven hundred fifty civilian employees 
and a Navy crew of eighty enlisted men to stock, distribute, sell, 
and account for Ship's Service merchandise. The value of goods 
sold plus that of services rendered has totalled a monthly gross of 
almost a million dollars. Every dollar of profit is turned over to 
the station Welfare Fund to be allotted subsequently to the Island's 
Welfare Department activities, for the benefit of naval personnel 

Top Right Laundry 

Top Left Travel Office 

Center Tailor Shop 

Lower Left Chief Gets Commission ' 

Lower Right Cobbler Shop 

Long Distance Phone Calls 







- "1lfi|^^B pPP^^ 


here. All athletic and gymnasium equipment, the four motion pic- 
ture theaters, and their entertainment, are provided by this fund. 
The Recreation Center Building, Hostess House, Library, are 
operated with this money. Picnics, dances, printing of the Mast- 
head, even flowers for the Chapel are furnished through Welfare. 
Each separate command on the Island receives a monthly welfare 
allotment derived from Ship's Service profits. 

With so many "good buys" the bluejacket bids "goodbye" to 
his spare cash, and understands why the Navy hasn't bothered to 
put pockets in his jeans. 


What is now known as the District Publications and Printing 
Office, was at one time a little shop belonging solely to Treasure 
Island. The transformation to the present excellently equipped 
printing establishment housed in the Island's Administration Build- 
ing took place as the result of an official survey ordering consoli- 
dation of the district's fifteen printing offices. Two print shops were 
designated to serve the entire district, Mare Island being the other. 

The division has control of publications and the distribution and 
composition of forms; in other words the plant now receives every 
printing order in the district and determines whether the job is to 
be handled here, at Mare Island, or by a commercial establishment 
and when it is to be done. 

Three or four hundred printing requests are being processed at 
all times both here and at Mare Island. The shop is equipped with 
both letter press and offset. When work orders pile up, a tempo- 
rary priority system is used and naturally during the war the Fleet 
received first preference. All printing is done in accordance with 
Navy regulations and while shortages of personnel, paper, type, and 
film made the wartime job a difficult one, the boys managed to keep 
the presses rolling. 



Of the many divisions responsible to the Staff Personnel Officer, 
the one which most vitally concerns every man and woman in uni- 
form is the Personnel Office, itself; for through its handling of 

< Print Shop 



records and files, it has you "coming and going." All papers in 
relation to personnel (and they are legion) ; the education program, 
benefits and insurance, and Naval housing are the important jobs 
by. whfch "Feather Merchants" helped to win the war with paper. 

From the day the enlisted man or officer reports aboard he be- 
comes a stepchild of the Personnel Office. Preparing applications 
for housing, leave, commuted rations, vouchers for pay adjust- 
ments, maintaining service records, and processing qualification 
records and fitness reports merely scratches the surface. 

Besides moving Navy men around as a master-mind moves the 
chess pieces, determining what job a man will do and where, this 
office has the additional duty of handling all papers in connection 
with discharges, transfers, or matters involving disciplinary action. 

While taking care of your arrival, your stay, and your eventual 

Shipping Over 


I'* f 



departure, this foster mother looks after your education through 
courses of study, advancement in rate, and applications for ap- 
pointment to commission. The Personnel Office is directly con- 
cerned with your family and relatives, handling the benefits and 
insurance problems of each man under the administrative com- 


The growth of the Dispensaries on Treasure Island parallels the 
story of expansion which took place in every activity here. In July 
of 1941 four Medical Officers and one Dental Officer opened the 
first Sick Bay. Charged not only with providing medical, dental, 
and dispensary services; the sanitation of personnel, buildings, mess- 
ing and water were responsiblities of the medical division. 

In the first year the drainage system on the Island consisted of 

"Take this back to your Division Officer and get it signed ..." Education Office 



S L A N D 

the remains of the Fair's temporarily-planned set-up, and required 
constant repair of bogged-down sections. Because of excellent pre- 
ventive measures, and viligant check-ups of the sanitary conditions, 
there Has been no serious epidemic during the entire four years. 

Early dispensary records report that the Fair buildings which 
were converted into barracks provided excellent ventilation good 
lighting, and sufficient heat. The water supply, pumped from the 
municipal reservoirs of San Francisco, was of good quality and in 
sufficient amounts, sewage disposal was by direct outlet to the 
waters of the harbor, and garbage and refuse were hauled off the 
Island daily. 

With only nineteen corpsmen to provide care for the patients 
in the initial wing of a single-story stucco building, the Senior 
Medical Officer was immediately aware of the need for a large, well 
equipped dispensary. He requested space sufficient to house medi- 
cal and dental services consisting of forty dental units, five pros- 
thetic operating units, and a laboratory with medical facilities 
for the handling of all medical cases. In April of 1942 the first dis- 

Before and After 

Check Up 



in innn 



pensary was commissioned with Captain E. E. Curtis (MC) , USN 
(Ret.), as Senior Medical Officer, and Captain F. H. Delmore 
(DC), USN, named as Senior Dental Officer. 

The outbreak of the war had thrown terrific demands on the 
dispensary's staff and facilities. Dental work increased until it 
was encroaching on the over- taxed medical section, and new 
quarters were set up to accommodate sixty dentists. In order to 
medically process and screen transient personnel, and give final 
check-ups to drafts, a dispensary unit was located near Receiving 
Ship barracks at the north end of the Island. Continuing to expand, 
the medical division maintained dispensaries at Yerba Buena Island, 
on Market Street in San Francisco, and in order to give medical 
examinations to the overseas drafts a separate dispensary was 
operated within the Pre-embarkation barracks. 

Doing the job of the First Aid Kit and the medicine cabinet in 
the average home, the five dispensaries of the medical division hold 
three sick calls daily, admit patients to one of the seven dispensary 
wards when indicated, or make transfers to Naval hospitals. 

Over four thousand civilian Navy employees marched daily 
through the guard gates of Treasure Island, replacing many a sailor 
or dischargee at important tasks. From secretarial work to truck 
driving, almost every type of a job, is undertaken by these home- 
front patriots. In the industrial shops, marine and maintenance 
electricians, shipfitters, sheet metal workers, wood caulkers, pipe- 
fitters, drillers, and diesel machinists help repair destroyer escorts 
and patrol ships. The majority of positions filled are Civil Service 
ratings and personnel is governed by Civil Service regulations. Ma- 
terially contributing to the winning of the war the splendid service 
of civilian employees on Navy shore establishments has won the 
appreciation of all. On V-J day, Admiral C. W. Nimitz gave a 
special commendation to all civilian employees on a job well done. 


Perhaps no other branch of the Navy finds its tasks so inter- 
woven in the gamut of human emotions as the Chaplain Corps. 
From officiating at the joyful marriage ceremony of a happy young 
couple, to administering at funeral services represents the different 

The Home Front * 



ways in which the Chaplain provides for the religious needs and 
spiritual welfare of those in the service. 

As Treasure Island grew, the duties of the small number of 
Chaplains originally stationed here greatly increased, and where 
religious services had formerly been comfortably conducted in 
small barracks rooms, the large theaters were used as chapels. As 
each new command arrived, Chaplains were assigned to care for 
the religious needs of personnel there. 

The standard Navy sympathetic comment "tell it to the Chap- 
lain" may have its lighter side, but actually much of the Chaplain's 
days and evenings are spent individually advising, assisting, and 
counseling in matters of spiritual and family welfare. In a year's 
time sailors held over fifty thousand interviews with Chaplains here 
on the Island. 

Several commands have set aside their own small chapels, and 
the Station in the summer of 1943 dedicated our beautiful chapel 
where religious services of all faiths are conducted. Over twenty- 
two hundred newly weds have met the shower of rice as they stepped 
through the Chapel's arched doorway. The chapel's choir provides 
music for local services, as well as filling a complete calendar of 
outside engagements. 

, Chapel Altar 

Treasure Aisle 





Navy Relief cases, baptisms, invocations at ship launchings, 
hospital visits, and conducting services for the prisoners of war are 
ways in which the Chaplain finds the day too short. 

For those who need solace in the brig (and who wouldn't), a 
Chaplain is on constant call and thousands of interviews are re- 
quested by prisoners each year. 

The Chaplain Division also visits ships in the harbor and dis- 
tributes non-sectarian programs, each one containing subject mat- 
ter for Sunday services, to fill requests for religious matters made 
by vessels with no Chaplain on board. 

Carried aloft by the gentle breeze from the Bay, the soft tones 
of the carillon chimes go forth from the Chapel tower as a bene- 
diction and a reminder to all, of a place of understanding and 
spiritual comfort. 

Dii'inc Services 

Some Sunday Morning 

Ik II 

J. * 







A former Fair Ground for the entertainment of millions of 
visitors^ Treasure Island has carried on its tradition through the 
station's Welfare Division. No effort has been spared to provide 
for the comfort, contentment, and morale of the men since the 
inauspicious start which provided only a left-over athletic field 
and one small theater, when the Navy arrived in 1941. 

Undoubtedly the greatest single sacrifice made by our service 
men and women has been the severance of home and family ties 
during the war years. To fill that gap caused by the absence of home 
influence, the Island has steadily increased its entertainment and 
recreational facilities to provide wholesome and interesting leisure 
time hours. 

Conveniently placed throughout the station are three large 

Grand Ladies Doing a Grand Job A.W.V.S. Sewing Unif 
'Twas the Night Before ChristmasHostess House 




theaters, two gymnasiums, three swimming pools, three large ath- 
letic fields, bowling alleys, Hostess House, Recreation Center, and 
CPO club. All barracks have their own recreation lounges and read- 
ing rooms, and each separate command receives a monthly allot- 
ment from the station Welfare Fund to supplement the general 
Welfare program with its own special events, athletics, picnics, 
or purchases of welfare equipment. 

The Masthead, an eight-page weekly station paper entirely 
staffed by enlisted personnel meets a Saturday morning deadline 
with twenty thousand copies "put on the street" immediately fol- 
lowing Captain's Inspection. 


Hostess House, where guests may visit in an atmosphere of in- 
formal comfort, has all the serenity and beauty of a country home. 

Barracks Recreation Room 





Beautifully landscaped gardens, flower beds, and patio are viewed 
with complete relaxation from the easy chairs of the tastefully 
appointed lounge. Ceiling-high windows on either side allow the 
streaming sun to pour in during the day making the spacious room 
a house of glass. The ceiling is sound proof, most of the light is in- 
direct, and symphonic recordings complete the restful mood. One 
may join the group by the cheery fireside, enjoy a game of cards, 
or seek a secluded room for meditated reading. 

In the evening a "cup of Joe" and a snack from the kitchen, 
served by a gracious civilian hostess, are pleasant delays before 
returning to the barracks. 

Among its many features Hostess House provides dressing rooms 
for brides at the adjoining chapel, play-pens for the little tots, and 

Recreation Center Lounge 

Hostess House' 

I i tmamm 


!"* >' i"^S 



in cases of emergency make sleeping quarters available to the im- 
mediate relatives of critical cases at the Navy hospital. 


Latest addition to the chain of recreation buildings is the re- 
cently completed CPO club, whose interior decoration, furnish- 
ings, and modern appointments provide a place of good fellowship 
and pleasant hours for Chief Petty Officers and their guests. 


A two-story structure, this building has been the first bit of 
state-side for thousands of returning Navy and Marine veterans, 
and the last touch of home for thousands about to go overseas. 

Devoted entirely to indoor recreation, the building features an 
immense lounge with an abundance of divans and overstuffed 
chairs for reading, talking, or just relaxing. There is a Steinway, 

C.P.O. Club 

Recreation Center 

Recreation Center 

- -, ;:;>- ., 



Top Commissioned Officers Recreation Building 
. Lower Commissioned Officers Mess 

Hobby Shop 

1 1 , ,* 



and two radio phonographs for the musically inclined. The pool and 
billiard room accommodates fourteen tables, and in the adjoining 
Hobby and Craft shop, painting, drawing, leather, metal, or wood 
working tools, and materials are available. Making scale models of 
various type ships is a favorite pastime. 

On the upper deck a well-lighted library offers fifteen thousand 
volumes of the latest fiction, and best sellers, and has a newspaper 
room with at least one newspaper from each of the forty-eight 
states. Across the hallway is the music appreciation room, and a 
sixteen millimeter motion picture theater. 


"Sink or Swim Survive or Perish" might be the watchword of 
the Physical Training and Athletic staff of officers and specialists, 
for while operating a recreation and athletic program of popular 

Top Hometown newspapers 
Center Library and Music Room 
Lower Library and Bulletin Board 

Treasure Island Scores Again 




sports, these men conducted combat training courses, swimming, 
and lifesaving classes, abandon ship drills, and standard strength 
tests that prepared men for emergencies which might be encoun- 
tered overseas. 

Development of keen interest and rivalry in competition for the 
Commodore's Trophy highlighted a station-wide intramural ath- 
letic program that included all sports through a year-round calen- 
dar. Varsity teams for off -station competition gave creditable 
showings but continuous vacancies occurred through orders for 
overseas duty, which limited the number of top flight teams dur- 
ing the war; which is of course as it should be. We had our share 
of champions during the four years and now that peacetime 
has decreased the transient factor, Treasure Island stands in a 
favored position to consistently produce athletic teams of cham- 
pionship calibre. 

Intramural Contest 

Top Combat Tank Instructors 

Center T.I. versus Calif. Bears 

Lower Station Tennis Courts 

Top Smoker in the Big Gym 
Lower Right Judo Instruction 


Intramural Athletic Competitions Climaxed by Commodore Trophy Award Banquets 

Top left Old Athletic Field; Center left Dis- 
trict Champions; Lower left Life Raft; Top 
right Gym No. 2; Center right Guest Mer- 
maid, National Champion "Sugar" Sahner; Lower 

*. f* 



Three theaters that ran a regular seven-day schedule of two 
shows every evening and matinees on Saturday and Sunday, 
brought Hollywood to Treasure Island both on stage and screen. 
The list of personal appearances of Hollywood stars behind the 
footlights of the Basilone, Miller and O'Hare theaters literally runs 
off the page. Frequent return engagements were greeted by new, 
but just as enthusiastic audiences in the pack-jammed showhouses. 
Besides the Hollywood stars, there were the USO Camp Shows, Inc., 
that brought a well-selected variety of stage plays from Broadway, 
swing bands, vaudeville, and musical comedy. Dance bands on tour, 
night club floor shows, the S. F. Symphony Orchestra, and na- 
tionally acclaimed musical stars gave generously of their talents 
to the men in uniform. 


Hollywood Constellation 




Station dances in the big gymnasium were held regularly with 
hostesses arriving by bus from USO Hospitality Houses, sororities, 
and civic clubs of the Bay area to dance with the four thousand 
bluejackets to the rhythms of spotlight orchestras or our own Navv 

Special events highlighted the crowded schedule of the entertain- 
ment section, including such mammoth shows as a complete three- 
ring circus, the Ice Follies, a championship Wild West Rodeo, and 
an Aquacade. To provide adequate background for such spectacu- 
lar shows, a well equipped work shop produced artistic sets and 
properties, on a par with those which made Ziegfeld famous. 

Most modern of the station's theaters, the Basilone, has a com- 
plete broadcasting and recording studio, from which nation-wide 
hookups of leading radio shows and special events have originated. 

Just listing at random a few of the artists who have thrilled 
Treasure Island audiences Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Jeannette Mc- 
Donald, Grace McDonald, Gracie Fields, Kay Kyser, Bill Robinson, 
the Marx Brothers, Jose Iturbi, Sonja Henie, Orson Welles, Carmen 
Miranda, and Linda Darnell, shows how "galaxy of stars" became 
a well-known expression in the waiting lines outside show palaces 
on Treasure Island. 

Hope and Crosby 

Wild West Rodeo 








Nationwide Radio Broadcasts 

Theatrical Workshop 




Shortly after the Navy acquired Treasure Island, the job of con- 
verting the numerous palaces and other structures to Navy use 
was undertaken by the district offices. Under private contract, on a 
cost-plus basis, the distinctive Fair features of the buildings were 
removed, partitions were set up, and plumbing and heads were in- 
stalled in preparation for arrival of the thousands who were to 
make the Island their temporary home. 

Many new commands made improvements and repairs within 
their own activity, with the guidance and approval of the Navy 
Section Base. But as the Island's purposes rapidly expanded a Navy 
Public Works Division took responsibility for the design, construc- 
tion, maintenance, and repair of all public works and utilities which 

Design Section 



came under the cognizance of the Bureau of Yards and Docks. 
There is no magic formula used to keep the Island's physical 
plant, barracks, training school, warehouses, piers, drydocks, and 
mechanical equipment in the best possible condition. The only 
magic is hard work, mental and manual labor. No one person can 
be solely responsible for such a gigantic task; it's a joint endeavor of 
all members of Public Works Section, both Navy and civilian. 

Five major divisions are under the administration of the Public 
Works Officer design, power, mechanical, maintenance, and 
transportation sections, and they stand ready to tackle any of the 
many problems which arise on both Treasure Island and Yerba 
Buena Island. 

The design section prepares the plans, specifications, and esti- 
mates for all types of construction, major repairs, and alterations. 



The ingenuity of the maintenance section is illustrated by an 
incident in which the transportation pool sent out an SOS for a 
heavy truck, one capable of hauling a thirty-ton load. Somebody 
said it was impossible to get one. But the pool had to find one, if 
important war materials were to be transported on schedule. So the 
Public Works garage built one. Not content with building one, 
they completed No. 2 and No. 3 in short order. Reversing the usual 
procedure of "off the road into a junk pile," the garage takes parts 
out of the junk pile and puts them on the road moving vitally im- 
portant Navy material. 

Fourteen men in the Paint Shop keep eight hundred official 
trucks and cars in a clean condition. They completely repaint two 
vehicles every day to keep up with their schedule. Doing fifteen 
thousand dollars worth of maintenance work a month, the shop 
has nine Navy men and sixty civilians working full time. It operates 
a furniture repair and paint office, a glass works; restripes the 
streets and repaints building fixtures. Painting of traffic and build- 
ing signs is also done in this department. 

Besides operating all weight handling equipment, the transporta- 
tion section maintains and repairs all vehicles of the industrial and 
district transportation pool and operates a check station for serv- 
icing over seven hundred vehicles. 

Much of the present day pleasure which the shrubs, hedges, trees, 
spacious lawns, and numerous varieties of plants afford the visitor 
is the result of the careful planning of the Public Works Nursery. 
Hiding their light behind a fence the Nursery men operate two 
green-houses, and in an adjoining outside area develop thousands of 
young plants and cuttings each month. Staffed by civilian garden- 
ers and Navy working parties, the division has transformed the 
pitiful remnants of the once beautiful Fair site when all top-soil had 
been paved over, trees cut down and lawns neglected, into the pres- 
ent abundant and colorful landscaping that adds so much to the 
Island's beauty. 


Established as a central headquarters in 1943, the Transporta- 
tion division handles the moving of all drafts of personnel and their 
equipment and is responsible for all official transportation within 

Public Works Garage * 




the Island and the Twelfth Naval District activities located within 
a one hundred fifty mile radius. Starting with a pool of only 
twenty -{our drivers this organization has moved over five million 
men and their gear in little over two years' time and has had a 
safety per mile record surpassing any commercial truck or bus line 
in the nation; a record that rivals that of the railroads. 

While a Navy activity, civilian personnel (and mostly women) 
fill the important jobs of "keep 'em rolling." Women drivers are 
put through a short but intensified training program which en- 
ables them to take over any vehicle and operate the machine as an 
independent unit or in a convoy with other vehicles. They receive 
a short course in mechanics, learn the best driving routes, loading 
zones and bus stops within each Naval base. 

Hub of the entire system is the dispatcher's office where requests 

Keep 'em Rolling 



for transportation are received, drivers are assigned, and in the 
shortest time possible buses and trucks are on their way for another 
load of men or equipment. 

When the over-crowded Island reached the population propor- 
tions of a big city the transportation pool inaugurated a twenty- 
four hour bus service on the station. At peak travel hours a total 
of eight tractor-trailer buses now circle the Island along two routes 
which begin and end at the main gate connecting with buses go- 
ing to the bridge trains. Reminiscent of the elephant trains of 
the Fair, the station's two bus routes run parallel but in opposite 
directions. Clockwise, the circuit is known as the red route, coun- 
ter-clockwise as the blue, and a red or blue rectangle on the side 
of the bus indicates which route it's traveling. Carrying sixty-five 
passengers these buses are a welcome sight to many a bluejacket 

Cattle Car 



whose sea legs are still with him. These shuttle buses have carried 
eight hundred thousand passengers in less than a year's time. 

Another innovation and important service of the transporta- 
tion division during the peak months was the operation of a water 
taxi service to San Francisco. Designed to relieve congestion on the 
bridge trains, the taxi service made the Navy phrase, "going ashore," 
a literal one for Island liberty goers. Ten motor launches carrying 
two hundred passengers made the trips across the Bay in eleven 


Holding the lines of a many-tentacled system, the Communica- 
tions Division handles a task so momentous that it would quickly 
have wing-footed Mercury running for extra help. All methods of 
communication are used from the oldest visual signalling to the 

Water Taxi to S. F. 



latest radio transmission. In the course of a single day over five 
hundred messages flash over the teletype in the communications 
office, while the radio relays approximately one hundred messages 
pertaining to Treasure Island activities. 

The registered publications section is operated under this de- 
partment and handles the coding and decoding of messages. 

In conjunction with the Pacific Telephone Company, the tele- 
phone section operates a switchboard which handles over eighteen 
hundred calls an hour with a staff of thirty operators. A directory 
service supplies information on the address of every staff officer 
and others on the Island corrected to within twenty-four hours. But 
they do not supply the address of that "sailor named Joe" who 
knows everyone on the Island, and wears a white stripe on his 

Teletype Signal Tower 



Going out of its way to please bed-ridden sailors, the telephone 
company has made bedside telephones available to those confined 
to hospifal or dispensary. 

Three visual communication towers, more commonly known 
as signal towers command masterful views of the Bay. Located atop 
Yerba Buena Island, at the Golden Gate Bridge, and at Point Bonita, 
these three giants are the seeing eyes of the Bay region and keep it 
posted on the activities of the various ships and stations. From Yerba 
Buena Island warnings of storms and other important information 
are quickly relayed to ships in the harbor. 


The extremely low fire loss sustained by this command during 
the course of the war is a direct credit to the Fire Protection Di- 
vision of the Operations Group. 

Big Town 



The natural fire hazards existing on the Island when the Navy 
took it over and the highly inflammable and flimsy structures 
hastily erected for housing personnel created a situation which was 
a definite invitation to the hazard of a conflagration. An incipient 
fire, undetected and aided by prevailing winds, could have swept 
the Island, caused losses that run into millions of dollars, and seri- 
ously handicapped the war effort. 

Starting with one fire engine and some passive equipment which 
had been used by the Fairgrounds, and faced with the problem 
of replacing and correcting the original water system, this division 
faced a gargantuan task. Fire protection development was predi- 
cated upon the four main principles without which no fire pro- 
tection program can be successful or effective: modern equipment, 
trained men, fire alarm communication system, and adequate de- 

Modern Equipment, Trained Men 




pendable water supply and distribution systems. Responding to an 
average of over four hundred alarms a year, the firemen, with one 
exception, have extinguished and controlled in its incipiency every 
fire occurring on the station. The one exception was a barracks 
building of temporary construction which was completely involved 
when the alarm was turned in. Efficiency of the department was 
readily demonstrated for within twenty-one minutes the fire was 
under control and completely extinguished. 

Protecting the waterfront piers, and ships berthed at the Island, 
a modern well-equipped fire boat, pumping two thousand gallons 
of water a minute, also answers emergency ship calls in the Bay, 
San Francisco and East Bay Harbor fires. 

The fire protection organization on this station is believed com- 
parable to that of any major city in the country and the efficiency 

Top Stairway to a Star 
Lower fire Boat 

Out in Twenty Minutes! 



of its fire prevention, protection, and extinguishment program 
have set an example in restriction of fire losses that has drawn praise 

from fire underwriters and other notable fire officials. 



Of the many interesting divisions on a Naval Station, the one 
which no bluejacket cares to become acquainted with personally 
is the brig. Granted that respect for law and order is a fine thing, 
most sailors will prefer to learn about the security division through 
pictures and the written word. 

Organized as a Security Office in July 1942, the division has 
responsibility for the protection of all installations and personnel 
under this command from all hazards other than direct open at- 
tack by the enemy, and the duty of handling all violations of regu- 

Top Brig Library 

Center Sick Call 

Lower Chow 

The Brig 


Operating as a modern police department for a city of sixty 
thousand residents (and here many of them are transients) the 
security^ division has an organization complete in every detail. The 
solitary and general confinement sections are modernly equipped, 
and provide all services necessary for the care, health, and welfare 
of prisoners. A dispensary, library, barber shop, laundry, mess hall, 
and recreation yard contribute to the rehabilitation and proper 
mental attitude of the prisoners. Much important 'economy work 
of the Island is performed by those confined. Laundry work is 
received daily, laundered and returned. Work parties of prisoners 
are organized and sent to various commands and divisions on the 
Island to perform necessary manual tasks. 

The security division has handled thousands of prisoners during 
its existence, without a single escape against its record. 

Modern in every phase of police activity the security office 
utilizes the polygraph (lie detector) to determine guilt, and the in- 
spectascope to curtail theft. One of the most important adjuncts 
in the security office is the Lost and Found Property Bureau which 
has restored thousands of dollars worth of valuable property, keep- 
sakes, heirlooms, and souvenirs to their proper owners. 

The Pass Office operates as a section of the Security Division and 
acts as the butler at the front door. Over two thousand persons 
crowd daily through this office to obtain visitors' passes, employees' 
passes, ID cards, vehicle permits, and numerous other authoriza- 
tions. Few persons know that the Pass Office prepares ID cards for 
several outside activities and ships of the Twelfth Naval District 
averaging fourteen hundred newly-made cards every day. 

This office also has the sad task of explaining to visitors that 
their sailor relative has already been transferred or shipped out. 

Sifting out invalid requests to come aboard the station is just 
part of the job. The case of the woman who applied several times 
for permission to visit her husband, each time giving a different 
name for her spouses is typical. 

Fingerprinting by the Pass Office of all new Civil Service em- 
ployees and referring the prints to the police and FBI has eliminated 
many an undesirable job applicant. 

Lie Detector 



Also under this division's jurisdiction were over thirteen hundred 
German prisoners of war who worked on the Island from June 1945 
until lat March. The station patrol is supervised by Security and 
handles direction of traffic, enforcement of station orders, and 
Navy regulations through the assignment of personnel from vari- 
ous commands to this important police duty. 

Through its vigilance and service twenty-four hours a day, every 
day in the year an excellent record of law and order, observance 
of regulations, prevention of crime and apprehension of offenders 
has been maintained. 


Mail a morale factor? One skipper put it this way, "The first 
thing that goes over the side when we pull in is the line and the 
Mail Orderly is tied to the end of it." The spirit of that statement 

"Do / look like THAT?" (I. D. Card) 



has been uppermost in the minds of those who organized and 
operated the Treasure Island Naval Activities Post Office and the 
command whose full cooperation enabled the activity to expand 
and keep pace with the tremendous task assigned to it. 

During its beginnings, the Post Office was operated by one CPO 
and five men, and emphasis was directed only toward delivery of the 
mail. Soon an officer was assigned, the organization began to take 
shape, and records were kept. A Directory Section of thirty-five 
civilian women was set up to maintain the files and handle the for- 
warding of mail to the thousands of men going overseas from this 

Expanding in July, 1944, the Post Office moved into a new build- 
ing to meet the needs of this rapidly growing activity. The new 
location provided three times the working space to eventually ac- 

Parcel Post 



commodate a crew of three officers, one hundred and twelve rated 
mailmen, and eighty civilian women. 

At its peak the Post Office handled an average of 205,000 pieces 
of incoming and outgoing mail per day, and a quarter of a million 
dollars worth of business in money order and stamp sales was trans- 
acted monthly. The Parcel Section alone was a job of herculean 
proportion. The "Christmas Season," extending from October into 
March, entailed the handling of approximately 3,000 parcels per 

In addition to the main unit in building No. 258, four branch 
post offices at Yerba Buena Island, Receiving Ship Annex in San 
Francisco, Radio Materiel School, and Pre-embarkation, providing 
both stamp sales and delivery of mail, and eleven sub-post offices 
set up in barracks were maintained for the convenience of service. 

Biggest Morale Factor Mail 

That Link with Home, Sweetheart, family Mail'. 



Six trips were made daily for the dispatch and pickup of mail to 
and from the Rincon and Fleet Post Offices in San Francisco a 
schedule which was augmented by additional trips and trucking 
facilities to handle the tremendously increased load during the holi- 
day seasons. 

The history of the Post Office has been a sensitive barometer to 
the expansion and development of Treasure Island. The personnel 
who shared the responsibility of "carrying the mail" for Treasure 
Island, and the forwarding of mail overseas from this station should 
be proud of a job well done. 


K 2 




' V CQ H K CO tO 

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6 5 8 I 


a s ce s 
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Rear Admiral H. W. Osterhaus, USN, (Ret.) 
Commodore R. W. Gary, USN 


Comdr. G. A. Miller, USN (Ret.) 
Captain H. E. Schonland, USN 
Captain E. H. McMenemy, USN 
Captain R. S. Morse, USN 


Captain G. C. Tasker, USN (Ret.) 
Comdr. W. E. Gist, USN 
Comdr. R. E. Ramey, USNR 


Lt. Comdr. G. N. Lantz, USNR 
Lt. Comdr. K. L. Adcook, USNR 
Lt. D. E. Worcester, USNR 
Comdr. W. E. Scott, USN 
Comdr. H. F. Hake, USN 
Comdr. D. A. Vann, USNR 


Lt. R. A. Russo, USNR 

Ens. L. R. Smith, USNR 

Lt. R. E. Eggleston, USNR 

Lt. (jg) H. R. McCarthy, USNR 

Lt. (jg) R. S. Nohlgren, USNR 

Comdr. O. A. Dole, USNR 

Lt. Comdr. D. P. Andross, USN 


Lt. R. H. Van Iderstein, USNR 

Lt. Comdr. C. F. Lindsley, Jr., USNR 

Lt. P. Finnel, USNR 
Lt. W. A, Kinney, USNR 
Lt. Comdr. W. A. Martin, USNR 
Lt. C. H. Roderick, USNR 
Lt. Comdr. A. L. Corbin, USNR 

Lt. Len P. Himmelman, USNR 
Lt, Chas. de Young Thieriot, USNR 
Lt. E. M. Manning, USNR 
Lt. C. S. Smith, USNR 
Lt. W. E. Price, USNR 


Comdr. E. M. Moore, USNR 
Captain E. W. Young, USN 


Lt. C. S. Smith, USNR 
Comdr. E. M. Moore, USNR 
Comdr. J. C. Compton, USNR 


Captain E. E. Curtis, USN (MC) 
Captain C. K. Youngkin, USN (MC) 
Captain A. S. Judy, USN (MC) 
Captain W. E. Epstein, USN (MC) 

Lt. H. D. Ellett, USNR 
Lt. Comdr. E. M. Hazzard, USNR 
Lt. A. G. Bergesen, USNR 


Lt. Comdr. F. T. Barkman, USNR 
Lt. Comdr. M. Forgy, USNR 
Comdr. R. Schmieder, USN 
Captain H. G. Gatlin, USN 

Lt. R. S. Kimbell, USNR 
Lt. C. W. Easterbrook, USNR 
Lt. Comdr. J. C. Fennelly, USNR 
Lt. Comdr. E. A. McDevitt, USNR 
Comdr. E. M. Moore, USNR 




Comdr. G. A. Miller, USN (Ret.) 
Comdr. J. C. Fennelly, USNR 
Comdr. W. A. Kinney, USNR 
Captain E. H. McMenemy, USN 


Lt. Comdr. G. A. Dierking, USNR 
Comdr. C. E. Langloif, USN 
Comdr. A. L. Kuykendall, USNR 
Comdr. H. H. Mahon, USNR 
Comdr. A. T. Roth, USNR 


Lt. Comdr. G. Schulter, USNR 
Comdr. H. G. Rhodes, USNR 


Lt. Comdr. S. J. Pass, USNR 
Lt. Comdr. W. Munter, USNR 
Lt. Comdr. E. B. Gamble, USNR 
Comdr. E. H. Schubert, USNR 


Comdr. R. E. Delaney, USNR 


Comdr. W. J. Quinn, USNR 


Comdr. G. P. Maushart, USNR 
Lt. L. D. Turner, USNR 
Lt. jg() M. DuCoty, USN (WR) 
Lt. (jg) W. R. Russell, USN 


Capt. H. J. Abbett, USN 
Capt. C. A. Bailey, USN 
Capt. E. S. Helmkamp, USN 

Comdr. H. E. Stone, USNR 
Capt. C. J. McWhinnie, USNR 
Capt. H. D. Wolleson, USN 
Lt. Comdr. R. W. Mackin, USNR 


Lt. Comdr. I. Williamson, USN (WR) 
Lt. M. E. Bruns, USN (WR) 


Captain H. G. Breckel, USNR 


Captain E. C. Curtis (MC), USN 
Captain F. L. McDaniels (MC), USN 
Captain J. H. Robbins (MC), USN 
Captain B. P. Davis (MC), USN 
Captain G. G. Herman (MC), USN 

Captain H. S. Doulton, USNR 


Capt. E. D. Flaherty, USNR 
Comdr. E. E. Jaques, USNR 
Comdr. E. C. Miller, USNR 
Lt. Comdr. W. W. Cowan, USNR 
Lt. Comdr. B. Costello, USNR 


Major C. R. Milham, USMC 


Captain R. S. Gulp, USNR 
Comdr. J. Heintz, USNR 
Comdr. M. Carlson, USNR 
Comdr. S. Hansen, USNR 
Captain Jokstad, USNR 
Captain C. Jokstad, USNR 

^Chronological order in which they served. 


The zArmed Quard 

WELVE days after Japan's sneak 
attack on Pearl Harbor, the Armed Guard Center (Pacific) came 
into existence. Created of necessity and sired by adversity the 
Armed Guard, despite it all, has grown to be one of the largest 
single commands of the United States Navy. 

Fantail Five of a Victory Ship 

On opposite page: A3" dual purpose demontsration and practice- 
A 5" 38 caliber dual purpose gun manned by the Armed Guard aboard a Victory 

In the fearful and threatening first days of the Pacific War our 
defending forces, struggling to maintain a foothold on their al- 
ready battered bases were pleading for men, munitions and supplies 
to carry on the fight. 

Here, on a Coast line plunged into the blackout darkness, the 
arc lights of teeming shipyards cast a tell-tale glow against the 
blackened sky. Merchant ships, fighting ships, were sliding down 
the ways . . . smooth hulls dedicated to the task of carrying sup- 
plies and reinforcements to our fighting men. 

To every Merchant ship and Transport vessel that set a west- 
ward course the Navy department ordered a crew of sharp-shoot- 
ing bluejackets. It was the job of the Armed Guard Center to 
assemble, train and equip, and assign these vitally important crews, 
to protect the slow-moving, heavily laden cargo ships from 

I f ' 






marauding enemy planes and submarines. It was a task fraught 
with obstacles from the outset, but now, in the closing days of its 
career Armed Guard proudly looks at its record of a job superbly 

Indicative of the pre-war Navy's inability to envision the magni- 
tude of the task ahead of Armed Guard is this excerpt from the 
directive authorizing the establishment of the Center: "It is con- 
templated that the administrative load will not exceed a maximum 
of one hundred fifty officers and one thousand two hundred men 
both at the Center and on duty at sea." 

The first type Allowance Lists for Armed Guard units provided 
among other things for only ten pounds of cleaning rags and two 
gallons of dark grey paint. Special clothing was limited to a set of 

< Hydro-electric turns this mighty weapon 

Gunner's Mate instructs on the breech mechanism of a 3 -inch 

Eyes Aloft 

Armed Guard crew members 
under instruction as to use of 
telephone and proper reporting 
t'ia telephone. Shipboard com- 
munication instruction. 



rain gear including pants, hat, and coat for each member of the 

The first Armed Guard crew was assigned to duty aboard a 
Merchant vessel on the 20th of December 1941, at the request of 
the Port Director who had gathered all available data on new con- 
struction and arming in Bay region shipyards from the War Ship- 
ping Administration, Assistant Industrial Manager, and the ship- 
yards themselves. On January 13, 1942, the Officer-in-Charge was 
relieved by a Naval Reserve Officer, Lieutenant Commander, fresh 
out of civilian life, now Captain E. D. Flaherty. The new Officer- 
in-Charge was to serve in the activity until after the war as 
Officer-in-Charge, Assistant Commanding Officer, and Command- 
ing Officer, in that order. 

As an organization the Armed Guard Center at that time had 
no status, the activities which dealt with it locally had little or no 
knowledge of the Center's functions and delays and difficulties in 
operation pressed hardships on men charged with the task of sup- 
plying gun crews to Armed Merchant vessels. Gear was limited and 
so were men, in fact officers were so scarce that many a crew went 

Special ^livery TOKYO 


to sea in charge of a Petty Officer. Trained personnel to handle 
office requirements were rare as the "Goony Bird." Despite these 
handicaps thirty-six vessels were equipped in the ten-day period 
between 26 January *nd 5 February 1942. While every effort was 
made to speed up the training program from headquarters, the 
manpower shortage continued and in April, the Bureau of Naviga- 
tion sent a representative from Washington to make a first-hand 
inquiry into personnel problems and needs of the Center. There 
was an air of hushed expectancy as the day approached for the 
Bureau of Navigation Captain's visit. The Center was getting some- 
where, everyone figured. Came the day! A telephone call and the 
Officer-in-Charge r.ushed to the office of the Island's commanding 
Admiral. Intr^ i vns were made and the Officer-in-Charge was 

Sending a "visual." Armed Guard signalmen being 
utilized by the Signal Tower on Yerba Buena Island 

directed by the Admiral to conduct the Bureau visitor on an in- 
spection of the Armed Guard Center. 

The inspection party came to the enlisted personnel office. 

"Who are these people?" queried the Captain from BuNav, indi- 
cating a group of enlisted men, gunners' mates and coxswains 
working typewriters and huddled over files. 

"Yeomen, sir," responded the Officer-in-Charge. 

"Yeomen?" the visitor's eyebrows raised as he pointedly glanced 
at a right arm rating. 

"These people actually are gunners doing yeomen work," quali- 
fied the Officer-in-Charge. 

"Send them to sea!" roared the visitor. 

The Officer-in-Charge pointed out that the men were needed 



and that only six ratings had been assigned to the Center for ad- 
ministrative purposes. 

Faced with convincing arguments the visiting Captain with- 
drew his order to send the office workers to sea with the under- 
standing that they would be sent out after a ninety-day period, 
the first humble beginnings of the Rotation Programs. 

In June '42, the Twelfth Naval District designated the Center 
as a Command. In its six months of activity not once had a ship 
been delayed in sailing for lack of a crew. After one year there 
were over 8,000 Armed Guard men and four hundred officers 
aboard Merchant vessels and Transports plying their way across 
the treacherous ocean waters. Rumors of numerous sinkings re- 
sulted in Armed Guard men being singled out as men on "suicide 
duty." Such scuttlebutt humor created Armed Guard mottos of 


Night Vision 

"Sighted sub ... blub . . . blub . . . blub . . . ," and "Ready! Aim! 
. . . Abandon ship!" Such discouraging chatter was taken in stride. 

Establishment of a system of Armed Guard pools was under- 
taken by the Center in December '42 when it transferred a draft 
of officers and men to Com. 14, at Pearl Harbor. Under this pool 
system men were sent to advance areas to fill vacancies in gun crews. 
The pools were also to serve in relieving crews assigned to inter- 
island and advance base shuttle service. Records were retained at 
the Center and periodical replacements were sent to the pool. Pearl 
Harbor and Melbourne pools were the first of many such units to 
be established throughout the Pacific in the next two years. 

In '43 as the Yanks hit the center of Jap Defenses in attacks on 
Munda, Makin, Tarawa, upwards of seven hundred new Merchant 




Owr Allies Enroll. Foreign seamen, as well as American, 
were trained at the Armed Guard Center schools 

ships were constructed on the West Coast, and with the increase 
of gun crews from ten to eighteen men per crew Armed Guard 
Center was supplying over a thousand fighting men each month. 
The end of this. eventful year saw a total of twenty-five thousand 
personnel on the Center's rosters. At the peak, about the end of 
June '45, there were forty-five thousand enlisted personnel and 
over two thousand officers attached to the Command. 

And so it goes . . . through page after page of a brilliant 
record. Probably no other branch of the Naval Service placed 
on its officers and men a higher degree of responsibility than did 
the Armed Guard. Once assigned to a vessel they were responsi- 
ble for the defense of that vessel wherever she sailed in addition to 
their responsibility for the maintenance and operation of armament 

Award Ceremony 

and all Naval installations aboard. In hot combat areas where they 
were exposed to attack from the air, day after day, the Armed 
Guard officer faced the limitations which did not permit the com- 
plete manning of all guns by Naval personnel and endeavored to 
fill the gaps by using Merchant personnel. But he found in many 
cases he could not rely on them, and Masters were either out- 
wardly stubborn to the plan or reluctant to have their men per- 
form gunnery duties. On Foreign Flag ships to which he was as- 
signed the Armed Guard officer found he must fight a lone battle 
against the various agencies concerned in the arming of vessels. He 
accepted as routine the sailing over dangerous waters for weeks on 
end without benefit of radar and sound apparatus and other highly 
technical apparatus possessed by the fighting ships. The crew looked 


upon it as part of the job when the ship underwent ceaseless attack 
from the air for weeks waiting to discharge her cargo. And when 
the ship was sunk and some of them were lost, the weary crew con- 
sidered itself lucky to be alive and took comfort in the fact that 
they had done everything within their power to knock off their 

Deep in i^he affections and high in esteem of Treasure Island, 
Armed Guard closes a colorful chapter in our history. Besides her 
brilliant record afloat, her men have contributed much to be cher- 
ished at her home port. Cheerfully and willingly assisting in the 
many chores required to operate a great naval base the officers and 
men of Arnfied Guard take their rightful place as the Big Brothers 
of Treasure /Island's mighty family. 


ECEIVING SHIP'S story begins with 
the early chapters of California's history, when Yerba Buena Island 
in San Francisco Bay was ceded to the United States by Mexico in 

USS Boston 

Old Spanish and Mexican charts referred to the Island as Yerba 
Buena Island, which translated means "good herb." But hardened 
and more practical Yankee gold miners preferred the name Goat 
Island. The more homely cognomen stuck and it was not until 1931 
when a group of civic minded women in San Francisco wrote to 
the Bureau requesting that it be changed to Yerba Buena Island, 
that Yerba Buena Island became its official name. 

In 1898 Congress made an appropriation for the establishment 
of a Naval Training Station and Receiving Ship for apprentices, 
on the island that was the home of many legends, tales of pirate 
treasure and irrepressible smugglers of olden days. The Training 
Station was first commissioned by Rear Admiral Henry Glass, USN, 



and operated as a Seamanship School and Receiving Barracks from 
then on. 

In World War I the Island became overcrowded, but when hos- 
tilities ceased and the Navy reduced in size, the Island went back 
to its usual peacetime existence. 

In August 1923, the Training Station was decommissioned and 
transferred to San Diego, leaving the Receiving Ship in sole control 
with a complement of approximately five hundred men to dis- 
charge the function of receiving and transferring men to and from 
the Fleet. 

In 1940 after having been alongside the dock for more than 
twenty years the historical cruiser USS BOSTON, last remaining 
unit of the famous White Squadron and the only ship that was hit 
at the battle of Manila Bay took a new lease on life. She was used 

"Where's the Red Cap?" 

New Construction on Filled-in Land, ~Yerba Buena Island 

as a Training Ship for Navy Radio Operators. Affectionately re- 
ferred to as a "land mark" at Yerba Buena Island, the Boston's 
colorful history endeared her to Navy men. Originally commis- 
sioned in 1 8 87, she joined the Navy's White Squadron on a courtesy 
visit to European waters returning in time for the Chicago World 

At the battle of Manila Bay the BOSTON was struck twice, the 
Spanish shell passing through her smoke stack and the other pierced 
her hull and landed in the wardroom but failed to explode. After 
completing her regular sea service the craft had been moored at 
Yerba Buena Island to act as a Receiving Ship. 

In 1937 it was planned to sell her for scrap but while being towed 
off the mud she began leaking so badly the plan was cancelled and 
the veteran cruiser was allowed to remain alongside the dock. 

The outbreak of the war found the Receiving Ship's compact 
organization sorely inadequate in manpower and facilities to serve 
the great volume of men, even the theater and library buildings 
being used for housing space. Excess transient personnel were 
berthed in barracks and fed in the galleys at Treasure Island. Addi- 
tional buildings were rented on Market Street in San Francisco and 
more barracks were built on Yerba Buena Island, at what is now 
known as Army Point. 

In spite of all the berthing space allocated, the demands of the 



Fleet were so great that the men could not be accommodated. This 
resulted in a reduction of Receiving Ship's function primarily to 
that of Deceiving only men returning from overseas to be pro- 
cessed, sent on leave, or to other assignments. The liberal policy of 
granting liberty to men from overseas did much for their morale 
and enabled Receiving Ship to handle a far greater number than 
could have been otherwise. 

At this time new office space was provided on Treasure Island 
for the Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, Personnel and Dis- 
bursing Departments of Receiving Ship. 

In 1943, approximately six and seven-tenths acres were added 
to Yerba Buena Island by fill-in ground. Most of this new area was 
devoted to recreational facilities, athletic field, theaters, gymnasium 
and bowling alleys. 

Grand Hotel 

In 1944, with a continued increase in barracks space on Treas- 
ure Island, Receiving Ship turned over its medical, dental, supply, 
and public works departments to TADCEN, eliminating duplica- 
tion of services. 

During the course of the war Receiving Ship handled an average 
of one thousand five hundred men daily and has handled as high as 
twelve thousand men in a single day. 

When the Magic Carpet of Aircraft carriers, huge transports 
and liners brought returning veterans "stateside" at the end of the 
war, the Receiving Ship work was rr\ore than doubled. An intake 
center was established to assemble the thousands of men who came 
off the ships destined for various separation centers and their ulti- 
mate discharge. Wearily but audibly thrilled as their feet touched 

' X* 



good American soil for the first time in many months, these men 
were checked physically, re-outfitted if necessary, paid, and sent 
quickly on their way to their homes for well earned leaves, before 
returning to either a separation center or further duty. The intake 
center shuttled out approximately three thousand five hundred 
men each day despite transportation and railway tie-ups and the 
constant arrival of four thousand returning veterans daily. 

As the men returned, each individual received a personal inter- 
view to determine his future billet, transportation was arranged 
and new clothing issued. The Intake Center operated a square-deal 
system of assigning men to draft lists, selecting names from the top 
of muster sheets; newcomers were placed on the bottom. In that 
way first come first served. This attitude of fairness to all hands 
extended even for plane seats to Boston and New York, seventy- 

Welcome Home Well Done! 

* First Stateside Chow 



S'*^*'"'' 'r^t^^ *H/ 8N 






two seats being available every day and the lucky occupants chosen 
by the same method of first come first served. 

The weeks of hectic experience when the first deluge of veterans 
swarmed down on Receiving Ship, pyramiding to one hundred 
thousand in a single month, quickly developed into a streamlined 
system which received a man, processed him, and sent him speedily 
on his way in an average time of seventy-two hours. 

Recently Receiving Ship has been officially designated by the 
Navy department as Receiving Station Treasure Island. 


Lodging for the Night 


W -^ 


Operational Training 

T MIGHT be said that as the Navy 

grew so grew the Operational Training School at Treasure Island 
. . . but it might equally be said that as the Operational Training 
School grew so grew the Navy. 



First training on the Island was started by the Commandant, 
Twelfth Naval District, just prior to the outbreak of the war. 

From a humble beginning as a Local Defense School attached to 
Section Base and directed by Captain P. W. Northcroft, USN 
(Ret.) , the school completed the training of twenty-five hundred 
Reserve Line officers, and gave deck training to numerous crews 
in the first eighteen months of the war. 

Developing and expanding as the primary training unit for the 
Precommissioning Center, the Operational Training School has 
formed and prepared crews for fast hitting cruisers, for destroyers 
of the rugged Tin Can Navy, for the large auxiliaries of the vital 
"A" Fleet, for "work horses" Coast Guard Cutters . . . and has 
given post-graduate refresher training to thousands more, mostly 
from combatant and auxiliary ships of the Pacific Fleet, but also 

Captain's Inspection 




including Armed Guardsmen and ratings of the Royal Canadian 

Operational Training School combined with Precommissioning 
Training Center comprised a "Treasure Island University" for the 
Navy ships that steamed out the Golden Gate. From this "campus" 
Operational Training professors have imparted the facts of Navy 
life to more than one hundred thousand officers and bluejackets. 
This institution of higher naval learning trained thousands of crews 
to fight a winning war at sea. 

The first step in setting up a training program in the spring of 
'43 was to take inventory of the available training activities and 
to catalog them in some form so that information could be dissemi- 
nated among prospective commanding officers of crews awaiting 
their ship. Due to the fact that none of the personnel whose train- 

Knotty Problems 

Cargo Handling 

*/ ^< 

A. .--< 




ing he was responsible for reported to him made the problem of 
Precommissioning Captain O. C. Laird a rather difficult one. 

During this period the training consisted of fire fighting at the 
Navy Yard, Mare Island, gunnery training at Point Montara, look- 
out at the Navy Defense School, gunnery and gyro training at the 
Island's Advanced Fleet Training School, and whatever the ship's 
officers might give through the medium of lectures. Personnel were 
gravely concerned that there might not be enough students to 
keep the schools running. Little did they expect that their facilities 
would be increased four- fold and be strained to the breaking point. 

In May 1944, military control of the men was placed under the 
Commanding Officer. An orderly form of training was now able 
to take form. This was aided by the establishment of a classifica- 

Beginners' Navigation 





tion center which stressed placing the right man in the right billet 
and completing each crew with an even balance. The fact that ships 
were being manned by fifteen per cent who had sea experience and 
eighty-five per cent who had never been on the ocean shows the 
importance of this balance. 

To accomplish training afloat Captain Thornton and later Cap- 
tain R. H. Smith, successors to Captain Laird directed a tidy force 
of training ships, an AP, a Destroyer, a PC, a YP and the beautiful 
converted yacht Palomas CIC training vessel whose services are 
described . . . 

All officers and men of each Auxiliary type ship being newly 

commissioned obtained a minimum of one week afloat on board 

the Auxiliary training vessel. Officers and men usually embarked 

Engineering > 

Dryland Sailors for Awhile 




on Monday and debarked on the following Saturday. The first 
few days aboard were occupied with at anchor instruction in 
ship's organization, watch, quarter and station bills, deck sea- 
manship, etc. The remainder was spent underway with instruc- 
tion and practice in gunnery exercises, seamanship, shiphandling, 
communications, radar, engineering, fueling at sea, streaming 
paravanes, etc. 

(2) A Destroyer USS HAYNESWORTH 2200 ton class de- 
stroyer which was rotated every three months. The majority of 
officers and men of each crew or destroyer being newly commis- 
sioned obtained a minimum of one week afloat aboard the de- 
stroyer training vessel. For purposes of taking afloat training the 
crews was organized into the following teams: Combat Informa- 
tion Teams, Fire Control, Gunnery, and Engineering Teams, 

"This dial represents ..." 

k I V 




(Fireroom, Engine room, and electrical) . Selected teams went 
aboard ship on Sunday which day was spent in indoctrination 
and ship's organization. Usually the first half of the week was 
spent on a round-trip to San Clemente Island. During this trip 
the following exercises were conducted: 

(a) Simulated shore bombardment. 

(b) Boat handling. 

(c) Fighter director and radar countermeasure. 

Underwater Repair 



One day per week, usually Thursday, was spent at anchor. The 
latter part of the week the ship was underway conducting gun- 
nery Sind torpedo firing exercises. An unfortunate experience 
occurred with the training destroyer while moored at the South 
Pier on Treasure Island, the training destroyer in pumping out 
its tanks proceeded with a wrong hook-up which resulted in 
pumping contaminated water from the Bay into the entire 
Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island water system, which 
caused a holiday in drinking water for a period of several days, 
and a highly chlorinated drink for the following week. 

(3) P. C. (Together with ASW target such as YP) . 

This type of ship used primarily for training Anti-submarine 
shore teams of DD's. Also used for deck seamanship, signalling, 
helmsman and quartermaster training, conducting daily ASW 
operation inside San Francisco Bay with formed ASW teams 
using Y.P. as target vessel. 

(4) Y.P. 

Used for deck seamanship, helmsman, gunnery, signalling, and 

Damage Control 



quartermaster training vessel, conducted daily operations inside 
San Francisco Bay with signal and deck force trainee personnel. 
(5) Y.F. 843 

Specially equipped Anti-submarine training barge, used pri- 
marily for anti-submarine refresher training proceeding daily 
to alongside ships in the San Francisco Bay where instruction 
was conducted in anti-submarine warfare. 

To accomplish training ashore the Command worked in close 
coordination with Commander Huford E. Stone, USNR, and later 
with Captains C. J. McWhinnie and H. D. Wolleson (then Com- 
manders), Commanding Officers of the Operational Training 



School where precommissioning and refresher training curriculums 
were carried out. 

Frorn the Fleet, from the boot camps and from Class "A" Naval 
Training schools, the bluejackets reported to Treasure Island Uni- 
versity, slated perhaps for the DD pool or the auxiliary pool, then 
for assignment to an individual ship's company, precommission- 
ing training ashore and afloat and finally duty aboard a newly com- 
missioned ship. 

For instance . . . Strawfoot, Joseph (n) , 999-99-99, S2c, USNR, 
newly deposited on Treasure Island, was shown where to park his 
seabag and himself. "Aha," said a classification specialist, "just the 
man for deck hand on an APA." So Joe's service record, pay ac- 
count, I.D. card and dog tags were checked, his bag was inspected 
and his teeth examined. 

Certified okay, Joe Strawfoot became a full-fledged member of 
the auxiliary pool and was put through a hectic little routine called 
"basic processing": simply training in first aid, chemical warfare, 
ammunition handling, night lookout and fire fighting and tests 

Shipboard Communication 



for night vision and swimming ability and physical conditioning 
and perhaps some military drill. 

Next Joe and two or three hundred other bluejackets were 
formed into a balanced crew. Their ship's Prospective Executive 
Officer took over, and Joe and his new mates were moved to a sec- 
tion of a barracks all their own, henceforth to sink or swim to- 

As a prospective deck hand, Joe got more processing: three weeks 
of gunnery recognition and reporting, seamanship, physical condi- 
tioning, telephone talking, day lookout, helmsman's training; then 
a week's firing at AATC, Point Montara, Calif.; then a week's 
hatch and winch training back on Treasure Island. 

Joe, by this time, knew something about being a seaman. He 
had learned, first, from the instructors, second, from those of his 
shipmates who were already experienced deck petty officers. Mean- 
time, his other shipmates signalmen, yeomen, radiomen, shipfit- 
ters, cooks and all the rest had been studying too, or practicing the 
work they were to do aboard ship. 

The ship's officers from the skipper down had also been hitting 
the books. The exec., for example, studied fire fighting and chemi- 

Words a Minute 



cal warfare on Treasure Island, spent a week at the CIC Indoctri- 
nation School in San Diego and another week at the NTS (Damage 
Contrdl) in San Francisco. 

An ensign assigned as a watch and division officer dug into fire 
fighting, chemical warfare, O.O.D. duties, sound-powered phones, 
lookout and recognition, transport doctrine, tactics, basic gun- 
nery, AATC firing and the fine points of mustering and adminis- 
tering a division. He then took a deep breath and, if time permitted, 
went the rounds of damage control, piloting, basic communica- 
tions, coding, basic CIC, winch operation and whew courts and 

A lot to know? Certainly, but there's a lot to running a ship, Joe 
and the rest of the crew found that out when they got their first 
taste of sea duty ashore on the "USS Apakamok," Fleet Train- 
ing Center's dry-land training ship, built for practice in ship's 
evolutions and battle drills and their first taste of sea duty (the 
wet kind) aboard one of Task Group 14. 5 's training ships. 

Auxiliary engineering and deck trainees, which included friend 
Joe, got their third week of deck training aboard the auxiliary 
training ship. All officers and men spent at least a week aboard the 
training ship. 

The Center tried to coordinate the schedules of their training 
destroyer and their training APA so the two could operate in com- 
pany one or two days a week for fueling-at-sea exercises, tactical 
and signal drills and formation steaming. 

Even before precommissioning training had ended, certain of- 
ficers and key ratings reported to the commissioning detail for dutv 
in connection with fitting out the ship. Then on commissioning day 

Night Lookout Trainer 


VSmff^ ^ * j*** 

dM^^^M . MI jfc W m 

'x- > " ; 

Hr "N ^Jr 

More Firefighting 



all hands reported aboard. They included, naturally, Seaman Joe 
Strawfoot, most likely convinced that he knew as much about sea- 
manship as a Chief warrant bos'n with 30 years. 

Well, Operational Training Center, as was to be expected, had 
made a pretty good man out of Joe. 

(But he may still have a bit to learn.) 

Should you be around Treasure Island University one year later, 
you might see Joe Strawfoot again. It is several invasions later, and 
Joe's ship has returned to the West Coast for repairs. Joe is a cox- 
swain now, and he and several other officers and men off the ship 
are back on Treasure Island for refresher training. 

Refresher training is designed to make better ships out of good 
ones. It gives officers and men new skills, teaches them to do their 
jobs as you can teach only men with experience behind them. Joe 
may get his refresher training in gunnery or as boss of a winch 
team; there is training available for every shipboard rating. 

Shortly after it steamed into the Bay area, a destroyer, for in- 
stance, was informed as to the minimum training requirements. 
It was requested to furnish the liaison officer with plans for re- 
fresher schedules and quotas, and prior to departure it is requested 


< Gunnery 

Eyes and Ears 

to tell the liaison officer what training was actually accomplished. 

Recent additions to the Treasure Island University were the 
facilities of the six Naval Training Schools, Treasure Island: Fire 
Control, Gunner's Mates and Electric Hydraulic, Gyro Compass, 
Rangefinder Operators, Advanced Welders and Underwater Cut- 
ting and Welding. The schools were originally commissioned by 
BuPers to give advanced training to graduates of Class "A" Schools, 
later changed to accommodate men direct from sea duty. Now they 
are incorporated into Fleet Training Center. 

Comdr. J. H. Falge, USN, CO of the Schools from their estab- 
lishment in 1942, to their decommissioning in 1945, had expressed 
satisfaction that the schools service the forces afloat. "During the 
school's existence," he said, "we graduated over 8,000 enlisted 
trainees from comprehensive courses averaging 12 weeks in length 
. . . many additional thousands of men had received short pre"com- 
missioning or refresher courses." 

Although the successful prosecution of the war had eased the 
need of training men in such large numbers, the need for refresher 
courses was constant. These finely equipped schools proved to be 
of infinite value to Fleet Training Center in providing necessary 
training within this area. 



^ ix MONTHS after the Japs struck 

Pearl Harbor, the first WAVES donned uniforms in the wartime 
Navy, pooling their talents and efforts with those of 3,000,000 other 
individuals in as tremendous a demonstration of teamwork as the 
world has ever seen. In November '42, seventeen reported aboard 



Treasure Island. As operations overseas called more and more Navy 
men, the WAVES took over an increasing number of jobs to keep 
the large station in running order until more than 800 officers and 
enlisted women were attached to fifteen different activities. Most 
of them came as seamen and a large number as third-class petty 
officers. Many have been commissioned from enlisted ranks and 
several are now chief petty officers. 

The largest group of WAVES were on duty at the Training and 
Distribution Center. Many of the offices, including the supply of- 
fice, the disbursing office, the dispensary, the commissary, and the 
fire fighters' school all had WAVES. 

Other activities on the island to which WAVES were assigned 
included the Operational Training School where men were taught 
such shipboard procedure as signalling, damage control, lookout 

T. 7. WAVES on Review 



recognition, and navigation. Ten of the WAVES served as gunnery 
instructors at the school. 

A large number of WAVES were on duty at the Armed Guard 
Center. There, storekeepers worked with enlisted and officer pay 
records, they processed applications for allotments and family 
allowances, and prepared mileage vouchers and travel claims. In 
the material office they typed invoices of issue to ships, gave out ord- 
nance publications, and prepared reports for the Port Director's 
office of issues and returns of material from ships. WAVES also 
taught gunnery, kept signal and school records, and typed cor- 
respondence for the personnel offices. 

Enlisted women worked in the personnel office at the Precom- 
missioning Training Center where crews of most of the new ships 
in construction on the West Coast were trained. Yeomen and sea- 

Eyes Right 


men were on duty at the Frontier Base which dealt with ships 
temporarily stationed there as well as with small craft such as 
SC's and'-YP's which were attached to Treasure Island and patrolled 
the Pacific. The majority of the WAVES were in the personnel 
office, while others served in the industrial division. Yeomen and 
storekeepers worked in the activity which issued ammunition to 
various ships. WAVES also were among the personnel at the Naval 
Training Schools and the Hospital. At the Receiving Ship WAVES 
worked in the personnel office and in the disbursing office. 

The Radio Materiel School boasted the only WAVE printer on 
the station and one of the few in the country. She worked on text- 
books used by men in their studies. A specialist (P) at this activity 
worked in photography, developing, and printing material for in- 
structional use. 

The Photographer's Mate Was NOT a WAVE! 

A Pleasure, I'm Sure 

Some WAVES who were attached to the Western Sea Frontier 
and District Local Defense Forces were located on Treasure Island 
and dealt directly with the operations of ship and aircraft in the 
Pacific. The communications division was manned almost entirely 
by WAVES. 

Six barracks and a separate mess hall for the Treasure Island 
WAVES and nearly all recreational facilities were enjoyed by 
them. Three theaters, classes in bridge, knitting, Spanish, and art 
as well as a sports program made for busy off-duty hours, while in 
addition the San Francisco Bay area offered endless opportunities 
for entertainment. 

An interesting first-hand account of the WAVES' arrival aboard 
is told by Betty Sayer, Chief Yeoman, who is the only WAVE of 
the original eighteen still on active duty. 

"We were welcomed aboard, 18 strong, amid shouts, whistles, 
and cat-calls, on 30 November 1942. Thus started our Navy career 
on Treasure Island. 

"WAVES were quite a novelty, so for a while we were stared at 
and I'm afraid not very welcome in 'this man's Navy.' However, 
when it became inevitable that we were here to stay things began 



to become 'squared away,' and we were considered a part of Treas- 
ure Island. 

"There was only one WAVES Barracks, one gymnasium and two 
theaters at that time. We ate in the CPO mess at Galley K and 
fared quite well. For a few months after our arrival we had flowers 
adorning our table, and no trays. Then, as all good things must, 
this came to an end. One morning in May of 1943, when we entered 
the mess hall we were greeted by trays. However, we didn't com- 
plain, and soon became quite used to them. 

"When we first reported aboard we were restricted to the bar- 
racks for a week. The main reason being no recreational facilities. 
That was soon remedied, however, and a section was set aside in one 
of the theaters for us, also certain hours were set aside for us at the 

Mail WAVE 

"si*^^ . 

f^^^^i -,*! 



*1SF **^ 

' ; f I/. 




"One of our first experiences on the Island was when we were 
given gas mask drill. Most of us had never seen a gas mask before 
and were fairly frightened to death. We went through the gas 
chamber, however, with not one casualty, and consequently felt 
we were pretty well initiated into the service. 

"With the advent of more WAVES we began to see many 
changes, new barracks, a WAVES beauty parlor, WAVES galley, 
etc. Seemed for a while the V-10's might take over T.I. 

"In February 1945, the number of WAVES on Treasure Island 
reached its peak with approximately 800 WAVES. Since that time 
many discharges have been effected and the number of WAVES is 
slowly decreasing. 

"Many of the first WAVES who reported here received commis- 
sions as Ensigns and returned for duty. A few were transferred and 

Short Wave 

Birthday Dance 
Good Sports 



others received discharges. By December 1945, there was only one 
WAVE from the original 1 8 left. 

"On s the whole, I can truthfully say that we all enjoyed and 
benefited by our experience as Navy WAVES." 

We of Treasure Island, join Betty Sayer in saying that we have all 
enjoyed and benefited by having WAVES with us. Their coopera- 
tion and hard work has been invaluable to the various commands 
which they served and all agree that their combined efforts were 
necessary so Treasure Island could do its share in winning the war 
with Japan. 

Admiral King's tribute to the Women's Reserve "An inspira- 
tion to all hands in the Naval service," continues to stand solidly 
against the hands of Time. 

Bon Apctite 

"Gracious but it's spacious!" 


s THE great task force moves 
through the blackened waters seeking out the enemy, its eyes and 
its ears are no longer the high-powered glasses of the look-out, nor 
the phones of the radio operator in the radio shack. Electronic 



equipment developed during this war leaps beyond horizons to 
sight the enemy or plunges under the surface to detect the slight- 
est movements of objects far beyond the horizon. The technical 
knowledge required to understand and operate this equipment in 
offensive and defensive actions of fighting ships requires skilled 
instructors, and intelligent students. 

Turning out skilled Radio Technicians was the wartime mission 
of Radio Materiel School, Treasure Island, from its commission 
date, February 1942, under the command of Captain Harry F. 
Breckel, USNR (then Lt. Comdr.), with Comdr. Ray H. Parker, 
USNR (then Lt.), as Executive Officer, Lt. Paul G. Fritschel, 
USNR, Educational Officer, Comdr. M. M. Holt, USN (then 
Ensign) , as Assistant Educational Officer. 

On V-J day the school had contributed more than 10,000 Radio 


S L A N D 


Technicians to the Navy, representing more than one-half f all 
Radio Technicians trained for the Fleet during that time. The 
Navy operated two other similar schools, one at Bellevue, with a 
somewhat smaller capacity than Treasure Island, and one at 
Chicago, with a somewhat larger capacity. But the latter did not 
open until June of 1944, at which time it was established under 
the technical and organizational direction of Captain Breckel, and 
the Radio Materiel staff here. 

Looking back, the first day when nine Officers, nine Chiefs, and 
six hundred students stepped into two incomplete buildings to 
start the school, seems a far cry from the complete and modern 
plant of today. The Bay Area rainy season was in full swing and 
remained so for the first forty-five days; the heating plant had 
blown up, a donkey boiler had been installed to provide warmth. 

Capt. H. F. Breckel, USNR 



Plans made several months previously in Washington, to supply 
the necessary books and equipment to operate the school had failed 
to materialize and the only material on hand was some radio equip- 
ment that could not be utilized for some months to come. Classes 
were started using mimeographed pamphlets brought from Belle- 
vue by some of the officers and men. 

Examinations were given previous to commencement of the 
school for the six hundred students, and the highest fifty that 
showed possibilities of being instructor material were chosen and 
in a very short time were given an outline of what would be ex- 
pected of them in the next few days as teachers instead of students. 
Fortunately among this first group were several Electrical Engi- 
neers, men of high caliber, who later became excellent instructors. 

The school had originally been planned to be double the size of 

A/op Ycrha BHCHU 



the school at Bellevue, conceived on the basis of turning out one 
hundred graduates per month. Within one week of the opening, 
shipboard demands showed that the number of graduates required 
would be at least two hundred or more. 

The plan to increase the figure to two hundred forty per month 
was accomplished, eliminating the first three months of the course 
at Treasure Island, and handing it over to advanced colleges 
throughout the United States, where the elementary and funda- 
mental subjects that were being taught in the early months could 
equally as well be taught in any civilian college. 

By June of '42, with the graduation of the first class, the primary 
phases of the course were no longer being taught at Treasure Island, 
and new students had started to arrive from the various colleges 
throughout the country. Soon the quota of students was lifted from 

Bed Springs 




two hundred forty per month to four hundred each month; one 
hundred graduates leaving the school each week for sea duty. 

With the first graduated class and every class that graduated 
since, each man has taken on board a questionnaire from the school 
asking the Commanding Officer to give constructive criticism that 
might aid the school in changing its methods in order to meet the 
needs of the Fleet. In this questionnaire there was also space pro- 
vided to rate the men as excellent, good, fair, or poor. More than 
eighty per cent of the returns received rated the men as excellent. 
Approximately two per cent of the men were indicated as poor, and 
there was usually an explanation accompanying such poor reports 
to show that the man was either a chronic sea-sick case, or in some 
instances, an outstanding student turned out to be nothing more 
than an outstanding student, who showed no initiative, no common 

sense, and no real ability. Judging from the large number of ex- 
cellent reports received through these questionnaires, and other rec- 
ords which show that twenty-five per cent of all students or gradu- 
ates have, during the war, received Warrants or Commissions, in 
addition to the numerous commendations received by the school, 
the mission has been accomplished and the job well done. 

From the very beginning Radio Materiel has enjoyed the local 
reputation of being able to do anything on short notice. Among the 
early students recruited almost every trade was in attendance. So 
it was the usual practice for many activities on the Island to call 
the school to find a particular skill or trade to handle a difficult 
repair or maintenance job. In one instance, a hurried call came in, 
reporting a plane call off the north pier and asked if any trained 
divers might be in attendance. In a very few minutes eight divers 


were dispatched to the pier; another outfit provided the suits and 
these men were able to salvage the Army plane that had unfortu- 
nately crashed. 

The Navy's recruiting campaign in the Fall of '41 had attracted 
most of the amateur radio volunteers throughout the country, and 
with the advent of the draft, it was necessary that a selection sys- 
tem be adopted by the Navy Department in order to get student 
material. This was accomplished through permission to examine 
e records of recruits in the training stations. The top seventeen 
per cent of the entire intake into the Navy was examined for radio 
suitability and thirty per cent of that top bracket were chosen. 
In the final analysis, this means the Radio Technician training pro- 
gram receiving the top three to five per cent of the Navy as indi- 
by the particular tests involved, although undoubtedly many 

Transmitter Lab 




a * 


Test Instrument Lab 

good men were overlooked through the strenuousness of the tests, 
and the speed with which selections, of necessity, had to be made. 

Clothed in secrecy, Radio Materiel carried on its important work 
in the quiet unobtrusive way that is so characteristic of people who 
really have something worthwhile to offer. The exterior of the 
school's nine buildings, other than the radar antennae, gave no indi- 
cation of the highly technical and costly equipment within, which 
totalled in the neighborhood of $20,000,000. 

One factor that caused the school to operate successfully during 
its early stages was the serious effort to hand-pick every graduate for 
his particular job. In this the school was more fortunate than most 
schools, receiving a variety of orders from the Navy Department 
direct to various types of ships. This permitted the school not only 
to give each man almost exactly what he wanted but to evaluate 
the men, and knowing what was required of each type of ship, place 
the right man in the right job at the right time. While this naturally 
could not be carried through in every instance a large percentage 
of the men were so placed, and undoubtedly this has had bearing 
on the good results obtained. 

Treasure Island's contribution of more than half the entire Radio 

Radio Physics Oscilloscope Lecture 

Technicians furnished to the Navy during the electronically 
fought was has been an important one. 

Some realization of the difference between V-J day and the pre- 
radar days of 1938 may be gathered from the fact that the ratio of 
men required to fight the war in Electronics on V-J day in August 
1945, was at a ratio of 200 to 1, while the Navy's overall expansion 
was roughly 30 to 1. Still more remarkable is the comparison in 
training time required. The addition of numerous skills such as 
radar and sonar had doubled the time and school hours required. 
Thus it might well be said that the training required to prepare 
a man for his job in the Navy's Electronic war was 400 times greater 
than required in 1938. 

As the story closes the Radio Materiel School is a permanent 
post-war Electronic School, operating on a full scale basis. Con- 
tinued expansion is planned to carry on the training of regular 
Navy students as qualified Electronic Technician's Mates for Fleet 
and shore bases of the post-war Navy and to perform the task of 
maintaining the complex electronic equipment so vitally necessary 
in modern warfare, where the sciences are playing an ever-increas- 
ing role. 



Outstanding in their work, the Officers and men of Radio 
Materiel School are also outstanding in the every day life of Treas- 
ure Ishmd. Eagerly participating and taking a leading part in ath- 
letics, socials, and all events of a civic nature, the men of Radio 
Materiel have earned and won the respect, admiration, and friend- 
ship of all those fortunate enough to have served the Navy with 

Navigation Fundamentals 

Six Months Along 

Plenty to Learn 

r ' - 


Parts Identification 

w-, ^^ 




U.S. Naval Hospital 

IRIMLY preparing for the return 
of casualties from the Fleet, the U. S. Naval Hospital at Treasure 
Island started its Naval career with commissioning ceremonies even 
before construction had progressed far enough for the hospital to 



accept patients. On 4 April 1942, Captain E. E. Curtis, (HC), 
U. S. Navy (Ret.) Senior Medical Officer of the Training and 
Distribution Center, was assigned additional duty as Medical Of- 
ficer in Command pending the arrival of the regularly assigned 
Commanding Officer. The first patient was admitted from the 
USS PYRO on 15 July 1942, and from this time on the Hospital 
has had a steady admission of patients, far greater than ever antici- 
pated even in the dark days of the first year of Pacific war. Captain 
F. L. McDaniel, USN, took command in September '42, when there 
were two hundred and sixty-seven patients, but as yet no perma- 
nent accommodations established for them. Designed as a general 
hospital of five hundred bed capacity to care for cases to be drawn 
from district activities and locally based ships, the hospital's space 
was soon found inadequate to care for the wounded. It was neces- 

Hello, Mom! 

Chief Nurse, Jap prisoner for three and a half years, receives national honors 

sary to limit patients to acute medical or surgical cases, and over- 
flow convalescents were then sent to other nearby hospitals. To 
quote the Medical Officer, in command in December of '42, when 
over two thousand five hundred patients had been cared for: 
"... even to take care of patients from the Island itself, ships and 
stations in the immediate vicinity of Treasure Island ... we should 
have a minimum capacity of eight hundred beds here." 

Carrying on through '43, with the duty personnel totalling less 
than sixty officers and nurses and about three hundred enlisted 
men, the hospital with its limited facilities established a record of 
admitting over ten thousand patients. 

As the WAVES were added to the complement an "H" type 
building was constructed to house one hundred and eight enlisted 



women and four officers and designated WAVE Hospital Corps 
Quarters. The building formerly designated as SOQ overflow was 
converted to the women's ward to care for hospitalization of serv- 
ice women. The Physio-Therapy Department was added and placed 
in full operation in March 1943, with a WAVE Officer in charge, 
and manned almost entirely by WAVE hospital corpsmen. 

Six months later another important addition joined the staff 
when Epidemiology Unit Number 1 2 reported for duty after serv- 
ing in Panama. Assigned a small laboratory space in the Medical 
Storeroom Building this unit served the needs of the entire district. 

Facilities for hospitalizing service women were increased by con- 
verting an entire building to this use. The new Nurses' quarters 
were constructed complete with dining room, lounge, and visitors' 
rest room. With approximately the same number of working per- 

Men in White 






sonnel as in the previous year, 1944 saw the war's toll increase the 
number of patients to over seventeen thousand five hundred. 

Supporting and relieving the Fleet hospitals in the forward areas, 
all patients flown in by plane from the South and Central Pacific 
were sent to Treasure Island Hospital for care. 

Never refusing almost unsurmountable tasks, the hospital re- 
quired further construction for expansion. A new structure was 
erected to house the Clinical Laboratory, Epidemiological Unit, 
Blood Bank and School of Tropical Medicine. 

The Blood Bank in addition to handling all transfusions for the 
hospital, furnished whole blood elsewhere. It prepared plasma for 
ships being sent to the war zones. 

The response to the appeal for blood donors was excellent. 
In order to obtain an extra supply of plasma, several ships 
would send large numbers of their crew members to donate 


Blood Bank 



blood which converted into plasma, was then returned to the re- 
spective ships to supplement regular allotments from Supply 
Depots. Many donors were also accepted from the staff, Naval 
personnel, and civilian employees on duty at Treasure Island. 

The School of Tropical Medicine was established for the pur- 
pose of training Medical Officers and Corpsmen in the diagnosis, 
treatment, prevention and control of tropical diseases and condi- 
tions to be faced in the island-hopping war. The entire west wing 
of the new building was used for the school. The curriculum called 
for five weeks' training for Medical Officers and ten weeks for en- 
listed men, with the additional teaching material furnished by 
laboratory examination on blood smears from malaria. 

In order to bolster the hospital's small staff of both officers and 
enlisted men the district Medical Officer, through Com 12, assigned 

School of Tropical Medicine 



Medical Officers and corpsmen to the hospital on temporary duty 
from units being assembled and awaiting transportation overseas. 
This greatly relieved the working load. 

Turning to new endeavors in April 1945, the Hospital received 
one hundred and three repatriates, civilians returned from Japanese 
prison camps in the Philippines. Quartered at the hospital, they 
were given necessary treatment, physical check-ups and Red Cross 
assistance pending the return to their homes. Operating through 
the final year of the war with approximately the same number in 
staff, the hospital continued to have a patient census of over ten 
thousand and provided hospitalization for the Training Center, all 
ships in the harbor, and all activities in the Bay area. 

The hospital's history has its lighter side. Operating a Welfare 
and Recreation department to provide comfort and entertain- 

The Ole Bing - 
Sonja Henie Visits the Wards 
'Twas the Night Before Christmas" 



ment for both ambulatory and bed-ridden cases, the hospital ex- 
perienced many happy hours. Visits from stars of stage and screen, 
the Grey Ladies of the Red Cross, movies, hobby and craft shops, 
helped the battle-scarred veterans back on their feet. Captain 
Hermann, Medical Officer-in-Charge, smilingly observes: ". . . our 
busiest day of the hospital's history was V-J day when three com- 
plete surgical teams worked twenty-four hours around the clock 
doctoring casualties from the liberty celebration, including a whole 
ward of fractured jaws. But of the one hundred and twenty-five 
cases that night, not one of them was a corpsman!" 

V-J Day (there were casualties) 


Embarkation ^Barracks 

AVING expanded four times its 

regular size, Treasure Island Preembarkation Center, final point of 
organization for fighting men enroute to the Pacific war zones 
looks back upon a brief but successful career and a job well done. 

Fighting Men Fighting Git 

With the war in the Pacific being geared to its maximum tempo a 
continuous flow of men and equipment through this gigantic as- 
sembly pool the only one of its kind in the United States made 
it necessary to perfect its organization to a point where the time- 
table in the Pacific could be met on schedule. 

In the beginning of the war, getting men aboard ships for over- 
seas was the respon:ibility of the Port Director. Each ship desig- 
nated to carry troops was assigned a Loading Officer who pro- 
ceeded to make arrangements for the embarkation of the men. 
While this plan seemed adequate on paper it seldom worked 
smoothly in practice. Inability to properly control movements and 
arrivals of troops, to gather accurate musters, records, and pay 
accounts made the Loading Officer's assignment doomed from the 



start. Also in those days, overseas kits were not standardized and 
drafts frequently arrived at piers with improper or inadequate 
equipment for the type of duty to which they were being trans- 
ferred. In August of '43, an experimental embarkation barracks 
was placed in operation on Treasure Island, in the woefully in- 
adequate berthing space of Barracks "J" where six hundred bunks 
were made ready. 

Faced with all the difficulties of the Loading Officer, the barracks 
had these additional troubles: Shoemaker, a great Navy Distribu- 
tion Center and the main supply of manpower, was located some 
forty miles inland and the men and their gear were transported 
by trucks and buses. Loading operations started of necessity in the 
middle of the night so that drafts would be ready and organized 
for afternoon sailing. Inadequate shelter and the rainy season col- 

Barracks Construction 



laborated to make life generally miserable for many of the drafts. 
Finally the problem was made even worse by the fact that no par- 
ticular pier could be designated as a loading pier. Frequently a cargo 
vessel would be in the act of loading on the opposite pier at the same 
time troops would be loading on the other side. 

But despite these handicaps this being the period of our great 
mid-Pacific offensive, large numbers of men were embarked, the 
average being 20,000 to 25,000 per month. In spite of all difficul- 
ties, loadings had been speeded up from 300 men per hour to a 
thousand men per hour. It had been proved that the basic idea of an 
embarkation barracks was well conceived and effected; for a pat- 
tern of handling had been developed, and a plan for the future. 

Early planning conceived the unit as a function of Receiving 

Ferry Ride to the Loading Dock 

Plenty of Time to Read 
Pick-up Game 







Ship. However, to insure that the new facility would be operat- 
ing wholly along the lines intended and not be subject to possible 
conversion, it was finally determined that the embarkation bar- 
racks should be established as a separate command under Com- 
TadCen, with responsibility for its technical work to ComTwelve. 
By the time the new facilities were ready for occupancy in May 
1944, the basic processing procedure was well established under 
Captain H. S. Doulton (then Commander) , who has continued in 

When a draft arrives the job at times in keeping a man in the same 
condition in which he arrives until he shoves off, has become in- 
creasingly difficult; sometimes painstaking. Especially as the man 
needs a variety of services from getting a tooth brush and clean- 
ing his teeth, to getting a legal advisor to help clear up his domestic 

Divine Service 



entanglements. To give adequate service to men who need it there 
were several essential departments which required an extensive staff 
of Officers, ship's company, and ship's service personnel. Dispensary 
check-ups, legal assistance, Red Cross, and Chaplain's services all 
shared an important part in a man's departure. 

Much comment both within the service and on the outside has 
revolved around the "barbed wire confinement" of overseas drafts. 
Scuttlebutters have exhausted their vocal chords in dull conversa- 
tion about "why do they fence us in, we aren't prisoners, we're 
patriots!" While men destined for overseas duty might have felt 
they were in a brig there were two important reasons for the wire 

"First, shipping schedules changed rapidly, making it imperative 
to hold a muster any minute. In such event, the public address sys- 

At the Pier 



tern was used to hold a quick muster; and the men had to be on hand 
so they would not cause a delay in ships sailing schedules." 

"Second, all persons who went overseas had to go through a tre- 
mendous amount of processing. They were checked for dog tags, 
I.D. cards, service records; they were given last-minute medical 
and dental treatment; they were issued government equipment and 
outfitted with overseas gear from our small stores; they were 
checked against the certificate they brought with them from their 
old station to see that they were preserved in the same condition as 
they arrived. For example, a man having been processed if per- 
mitted to leave the area might wander up to ship's service and 
sell his dagger to buy cigaret lighter fluid. He shouldn't have lighter 
fluid because it's against regulations, as a fire hazard and source of 
possible light in a darkened ship's deck. Multiply this example by 

Hollywood Hope 

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hundreds of others and the Processing Officer, would have had an 
extremely difficult time processing the men." 

To make life as pleasant for the men as possible while confined, 
regular movie features were shown in the assembly shed. Hollywood 
stars made plane trips to entertain the men; lounge rooms were 
added to each of the eight barracks. Sports were favorite pastimes 
and all free areas within the center were utilized for games. 

Some idea of the expansion in the embarkation process during 
its brief period can be gained from the preparations that were made 
to handle 60,000 men at the time that the war was won. Due to 
V-J day, that figure was never attained but strangely enough the 
largest number of personnel was handled two months after the war 
was over, when 43,000 enlisted personnel walked the plank. Load- 
ings have declined rapidly since that time. 



Walking the Plank 


N MAY DAY 1941, a Marine Guard 
was quartered on the SS DELTA QUEEN, anchored in the lagoon 
between Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island. On detached duty 
from the Marine Barracks of the Receiving Ship Marine Barracks, 

4 Pulitzer Prize Photo Flag Raising at Suribacbi. AP Photo. 

its sole function was guard duty. In October of the same year a 
Marine Barracks was established with added responsibility for 
perimeter security and control of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. 
As the war progressed all enlisted Marines stopping at San Fran- 
cisco, enroute either to or from zones of separation in the Pacific, 
were quartered, fed, clothed, and equipped by the Casual Company 
established on the Island in November 1942. Another duty which 
devolved upon the Barracks and for which no precedent could be 
found, was that of providing Marine personnel for duty aboard 
civilian ships charted by the Navy as troop transports. These men 
were placed aboard the ships on a temporary status and varied in 
number from two men on the smaller ships to eight men on liners 
of the Matsonia or Lurline type. The pool grew from twenty ships 



in June of '43, to thirty-five ships in 1945, and from the original 
sixty non-commissioned officers, the Marine pool increased to one 
hundred and three men. 

Until 1944 almost all Marines passing through San Francisco 
were outbound but when rotation became effective the movement 
was both in and outbound. The total of men handled by the Casual 
Company from November '42, to August 1945, was in excess of 
fifty-five thousand, and in the final year of the war more than 
sixty-five thousand enlisted Marines passed through Treasure 

From the early days, the issue of proper clothing to outgoing 
Marines presented a problem which was always met and eventually 
completely solved, over a quarter of a million dollars aggregate 
value being distributed to transient Marines by the company. When 


"Square that hat, Sailor!" 

in the summer of 1944, Marine Barracks were consolidated on 
Treasure Island, the responsibility for the security of the Detention 
Barracks on Yerba Buena Island was added. 

Setting a military standard of precision and alertness, the Marines 
have contributed to the smooth operation of this Naval Station, 
and have exemplified in every task their slogan "Semper Fidelis." 

Top left Marine Jap Prisoners Return to U.S.A. 

Top right Color Guard 

Center right Vehicle Gates 

Center left K-9 Corps. 

Lower left Main Pedestrian Gate 

Lower right "Go on thru, Navy!" 


^^Kgf -*n"iww*iiiii(iiwiifci** 


^ -;-t 



HE LOCATION of this command's 
story in the pages of this book is in no way related to the import- 
ance of its contribution or place in the Island's accomplishment of 



its wartime job, for if such were the case Frontier Base might well 
have been the first story to be told. 

In the early part of the war there was established in the various 
Naval districts small shore establishments called Section Bases, 
whose functions were to provide support for Local Defense Forces. 
While the characteristics of Section Bases varied somewhat it may 
be said that in general they were to provide a foul weather refuge 
for small patrol craft, harbor and offshore; provide for supply- 
ing these small craft with stores, food, and undertaking minor re- 
pairs. Quarters and recreational facilities were provided for crews 
while in port for prolonged periods. 

Some of the larger of these Section Bases were subsequently re- 
designated Frontier Bases, servicing craft assigned to Sea Frontiers, 
as well as local craft. The original Section Base on Treasure Island 

Small Craft 

Repair Operations > 



was so redesignated and became one of the largest Frontier Bases, 
its repair facilities being expanded far beyond what was originally 
contemplated for a Section Base. 

Supplementing similar repair facilities around the Bay area which 
were overloaded, Frontier Base took on the important job of com- 
pletely servicing inshore and offshore operations, voyage and tran- 
sient repairs, to all craft up to and including twenty-two hundred 
ton destroyers. Its other functions of furnishing quarters for the 
crews of small craft, supplying them with fuel, food and general 
stores and paying the crews continued. 

The waterfront facilities of this Island were operated by and 
formed a part of the Frontier Base. 

The facility termed the Industrial Department of the Frontier 
Base, although small compared to other industrial yards, achieved 

Industrial Shops 



an enviable reputation for itself in both quality and quantity of 
the work completed. With work performed by Naval enlisted per- 
sonnel and civilian personnel in about equal numbers, they achieved 
an esprit de corps and a record of which they can well be proud. 
Paralleling an Horatio Alger success story with an expansion that 
equals that of the Woolworth Dime Stores, the original Section 
Base on Treasure Island might be compared to a tiny one-pump 
gas station which had developed into a gigantic overhaul garage 
providing the finest in repairs and service. 

After V-J Day the Frontier Base was disestablished as such and 
redesignated U. S. Navy Small Craft Facility whose previous func- 
tions continued on a reduced scale. 

LSM's ready for decommissioning 


ND so Treasure Island's Naval 
story reaches its final chapter. Telling it has been much like packing 
your seabag . . . you're bound to have a few things left over. Try 
to give 'em the "deep six" and they end up in the Lucky Bag. The 
following pages are our Lucky Bag turn 'em you're apt to find 


I ff 

^yMWt * 

? f : 


BU86U. CU^ ll B40l AN' H"/ 

"Sir, do we have a command on tb' island called 'Vacationland'?? This joker sez be bas 

tickets for it!!" 




The Editor has enjoyed working on 
this book. The task of preparation has 
been a pleasant and productive one be- 
cause of the generous assistance and co- 
operation of many agencies and indi- 

Appreciation is expressed to: Calif or- 
nians Inc., for use of photographs, color 
plates and background material; to 
Lederer, Street & Zeus Co., Inc., for their 
craftsmanship in printing; to PhoM2/c 
Brian De Graffenreid, and TADCEN 
Photo Lab for a continuous supply of 

pictures; to the Masthead staff for reporting material, and to Lt. J. Allen 
and the Public Information Staff for their numerous accommodations. 
Sincere thanks are extended to Rear Admiral H. W. Osterhaus, Captain 
E. D. Flaherty, Lt. Comdr. H. T. LeFavoure, Comdr. J. H. Whelan, and 
Comdr. R. A. Ibach for historical material; and to Commodore R. W. Cary 
for encouragement and advice. 

Most of the illustrations in this book are from photographs by the station 
Photo Laboratory, or were taken by staff photographers of the numerous 
commands and activities, and are official U. S. Navy photos. 



Chief Photographer