WWII Naval Training Facility – Sampson NY

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My Father, as well as many other recruits for the USS Boston, was trained at the Naval Training Center at Sampson New York, on the edge of Lake Geneva.  Other centers included the Naval Training Center in San Diego California, Great Lakes Illinois,  Bainbridge Maryland, and Farragut Idaho.

Induction at the training facility was a two step process, for the first three weeks inductees where kept in a detention facility to ensure that communicable diseases were confined, this was a full training facility limited to the first three weeks.  Inductees were then transferred to the main camp for the remainder of their training.

Inductees were vaccinated, and carefully screened for medical and dental issues.  They were tested and evaluated for mechanical competence, mathematical skills, english and spelling.    They were also tested for hearing including pitch and rhythm.  Their scores were noted and they started to sort the trainees into their naval assignments.

The daily life of a Naval Trainee tried to approximate ship life.  Each separate barracks were treated like an individual ship.  At 5:45am everyone awoke, had 15 minutes to stow and clean their bed area, exercise for 15 minutes, shower and clean stations, have a muster formation, and eat breakfast.  After breakfast, their would be marching and three sets of drills.  Then remove bedding which was airing out, prepare your mess kit and noon was dinner.  After 55 minutes, drill call followed by an afternoon of march, assembly, drill, repeat.  At 16:30 retreat from athletic activities.  On liberty days there was a 45 minute liberty from 16:45 to 17:15 then you assemble your mess gear and march to supper.

Religious services on sunday were mandatory at Sampson, every sailor must attend.  Guests were permissible at Sampson, but only on sunday between 1300 and 1630.  The only permissible guests were Father, Mother, Wife, or siblings, no girlfriends or other friends.

Sampson processed thousands of Naval trainees in world war II.  For more info check out this link.

Bill Kelly

We salute our Veterans . . .

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The younger generations don’t always do a good job of expressing their gratitude to all the veterans who served and sacrificed on our behalf!

We’d like to call to attention the more than 3 million men and women who served in the combined naval forces in the Pacific during WWll.  In his summary of the War to Congress in March 1946, Fleet Admiral King presented this sobering statistic:

The casualties of the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard reached the totals of 56,206 dead, 80,259 wounded, and 8,967 missing.

Hats off and a moment of silence to honor the memory of this massive sacrifice.  Hats off to the rest of the brave men and women who returned home and helped shape this great nation of ours!

Bill and Steve Kelly

Square That Hat!

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The Personnel Section of the USS Boston cruise book has this unforgettable image of the naval photographer from the 1940’s
-Bill

Ulithi Atoll & Mog-Mog Island

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Ulithi Atoll in the Caroline Islands was found by the US Navy to be an deep water lagoon that could hold up to 700 ships.  The Island of Mog-Mog in the lagoon was converted to a rest an relaxation station.  The USS Boston stopped by a few times and the rations delivered for the day was 2 Cheese sandwiches and 4 cans of Beer.  Must have been an interesting time with thousands of sailors each with their 4 beer allotment having some R&R.

How I found my Father’s Naval Records

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Updated July 2012

Are you interested in seeing your father’s Naval Records?  You have to be the son, daughter or spouse of a person who served in the Navy.   I found this great website that takes you through the process of requesting his (or her) records.

My Father’s request came some 4 to 6 weeks later and it had about a ½ inch of information that I never knew.  It had his enlistment paperwork, including addresses and information about his parents, the records had his promotion records, his leave dates, and a VERY interesting summary of his service on the USS Boston.  The records list every conflict the ship was involved in while he was on board.  Other nuggets of information include when the ‘crossing the equator’ ceremony was held, of course presided over by Neptunus Rex!

The website is part of the National Archives, here is the link: Service Record Link

Before you start this online process, you’ll need some information:

  • His Social Security Number – You’ll need some of his old records for this
  • His Date of Birth
  • His Service number – I have my records on this website organized by service number, so if you search for the sailor, in your browser window you’ll see ?id=7618027 for Eugene Kelly for example.  This is your sailors Navy ID number in World War II
  • his approximate departure date from the service (guess 1-2 months after he left the ship)
  • You may need a copy of the death certificate

You may be charged for this request, in the past people were charged up to $40.

-Bill