Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sampson World War II Navy Veterans Memorial Museum

At the beginning of World War II the United States Navy had four Boot Camps (Training Stations), they were located at at San Diego, CA; Bainbridge, MD; Newport, RI; and Great Lakes, IL. Because the need was so great during the war, three more camps were added, one at Norfolk, VA; Sampson, NY; and Farragut, ID.
  When World War II started, my father was drafted into the Army. When his papers came in the mail to report for a physical, he instead went and enlisted in the Navy.  He was forty years old and had previously served in the Navy when he was in his twenties.  He was sent to the Great Lakes Training Station near Chicago.  Because of his age and prior service, he was trained as a boiler mechanic and operator. After he completed his training he was stationed in New York at the  the newly built Sampson Naval Training Station, as a boiler maintainer.

  Sampson was built on the shores of one of the finger lakes, Seneca Lake. It was a beautiful quiet area in central New York that soon became the size of a small town.  The base cost 56 million to build, had 498 buildings, covered 2500 acres, with large drill halls that were 600 feet long and 120 feet wide. The Sampson Naval Training Station was established in less than a year, 270 days to be exact, and opened on October 17, 1942. All but two of the building were built out of wood because the Navy predicted the war would not last very long. The base closed in May of 1946 after training 411,429 sailors.

Drill Hall Under Construction

  When recruits first arrived a three hour transition from civilian to "boot" took place. They were given a buzz hair cut, striped naked, given a extensive physical and shots, issued gear, and had all of their personal items including their clothes sent home. Training usually lasted about six weeks. WWII Navy Boot Camps like Sampson trained thousands of sailors to board ships and win the war.  

    A few weeks ago, I visited the Sampson Naval Training Station.  It is now Sampson State Park and the base has disappeared.  All but two of the buildings have been demolished and a lovely grass covered campground and park on the shores of Seneca Lake has taken its place.
  The Navy brig, a stone structure, was restored by Navy and Air Force veterans and now contains the Sampson World War II Navy Veterans Memorial Museum. The museum contains uniforms, mementoes, pictures, guns, souvenirs, and other artifacts from World War II.

Items from Sampson Naval Training Station for sale for at Reuzeit Emporium.
Legging or "Boots"
Worn by Trainee's
World War II 
mailing box
World War II 
Navy Garrison Hat
World War II 
Souvenir Pillow
World War II,  Navy Uniform, White, Shirt, Pants
Navy Uniform, World War II, Dress Blues
Navy Sailor's Hat
The Making of a Sailor, 
U.S. Naval Training Station
World War II 
Souvenir Pillow

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Another Ellie Conservation

My four year old granddaughter and I were playing a learning game of the computer and frankly I was getting just a little bit bored. In the middle of the umpteenth visual recognition game, Ellie suddenly turned around and gave me an appraising look.

"Nana, you're hair looks awful", she said

I was a little taken aback.  It had been awhile since I had my hair cut.

"Do you really think so?", I said
"Yes, it's really bad!"
 And with that she jumped down off the chair and disappeared leaving me to wonder why a four year old was concerned about the condition of my hair.  A few minutes later she was back carrying a shoe box sized plastic container.
"Nana, I'll fix your hair for you." 
And she proceeded to adorn me with every bow, ribbon, barrette, head band and flower clip in the box.
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