WWII Naval Training Facility – Sampson NY


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

5 Replies to “WWII Naval Training Facility – Sampson NY”

  1. I have to believe there must have been a training center in Newport, RI. Both of my eldest two great-uncles who enlisted in the Navy show they were trained at Newport and their ship’s reports both show them being received on board from the training facility at Newport (along with a ton of other new recruits). Their two younger brothers, who enlisted from the same location but about 2-3 years after the older two, were trained at Sampson. Sampson was very new at that time. Perhaps it was a replacement for Newport?

  2. I attended sampson March 1944 and found it was very cold. They gave us test to see if we can qualify for any additional training. I was sent to great lakes naval station for torpeodo training and then to repair base in cal. for more training before sent out to sea.

  3. Tom,

    My brother had a long conversation with Pat Fedele, who confirmed that there was a boot camp during the beginning of the war in Newport R.I. I will see if I can find out more info about this when I visit the Naval Archives in Washington

  4. Tom,

    I researched the training facilities and Newport had a war college, but not a training facility for new recruits. I remember as a kid that the SeeBee’s also had headquaters near Newport.


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