A study was undertaken to
assess the feasibility of establishing a naval museum in San Diego with a purposed primary site at the former Naval Training
Center, and if other services about the history of NTC or the Navy in San
Diego were needed. If so, what would be feasible.
The research included
establishing an Internet web site, discussions with local community groups
and individual citizens, attending and listening to various NTC and
Peninsula Planning groups, looking at what kind of US Navy related museums
were available on the west coast of the United States, the history of the
city of San Diego and the US Navy, comparing youth oriented education and
training programs that were already in place to replace the programs that
were lost with the closing of Recruit Training Command and Service School
Commands at Naval Training Center San Diego.
The need for a Navy museum,
youth education and training programs and education about the US Navy in San
Diego and San Diego’s support of the US Navy were evident throughout the
A majority of citizens
surveyed of San Diego County found the concept endearing and didn't
understand why a naval museum has not already been established in San
Various NTC and Peninsula
planning groups discussed a Navy museum at some point in time in their
recommendations for the reuse of Naval Training Center.
The study researched naval
museums or archives on the west coast that documents the history of the
Navy in San Diego and NTC, what other institutions were available of a
similar nature and what kind of information is available on the west
coast. The findings were:
Five specialized Navy
museums on the west coast, The Undersea Warfare Museum in Keyport,
Washington, The US Naval Museum of Armament & Technology in China Lake
California, the SeeBee Museum in Port Hueneme, MCRD Museum at MCRD and the
Leatherneck Marine Museum at MCAS in San Diego California, respectively.
None of these directly relate to the Navy in San Diego or the NTC.
Navy ship museums on the
west coast include SS 383 Pampanito, a
submarine in San Francisco, CA;
"U-427" "Scorpion” a Soviet Submarine
Long Beach, CA; CVS 12 Hornet
Aircraft Carrier Alameda, CA and the
USS Midway approval to come to San Diego. To date none of these
concentrate in any degree on the subject of the Navy in San Diego or the
Several smaller naval
exhibits were found throughout the west coast such as:
§ A two room exhibit at
the Vallejo Museum in Vallejo California
§ The current submarine
exhibit at the San Diego Maritime Museum
§ A memorial in Old Town
San Diego to the service members of the U.S. Navy Ship Cyane for
claiming San Diego as part of the United States by raising the
American flag over San Diego for the first time.
§ A memorial to the
Sailors of the USS Bennington in Rosecrans National Cemetery
§ A couple of memorials
just south of Navy Pier downtown San Diego dedicated to a WWII task
force and aircraft carriers.
§ The Veterans Memorial
Center exhibit located in the chapel of the old Balboa Park Hospital.
The exhibit does include Navy items but in terms of inclusion of all
o The San Diego Historical
Society does contain information about the history of the Navy in San
Diego and NTC San Diego. This information is part of collections the
historical society has gained through collections of individuals and
businesses that documented the history of San Diego. Due to the nature of
archive collections and standard collections management most of the
information about the Navy in San Diego is not easy for the common person
to locate within the SDHS collections.
o A couple of thesis papers
have been done on Naval installations in San Diego.
· Research in the area of
publications about the history of the Navy in San Diego or NTC found that
complete local history of the US Navy and San Diego has not been made
available through any published book and information is relatively hard to
find. Two books about specific Navy commands have been published with a
third book anticipated that might document the history of the Navy in San
o “Jackrabbits to Jets”
covering the history of Naval aviation on North Island
o “Cradle of the Navy, The
history of Naval Training Center San Diego 1923 - 1997, only 500 of these
books were published and a copy of this book is extremely hard to locate.
o In May 2001 the Naval
Institute should release a book written by one the former NTC Commanders
will document the history of the Navy in San Diego.
o The largest amount of
information can be found at the San Diego Historical Society with a couple
of published articles that are relative to the Navy in San Diego and The
Naval Historical Center and Navy Historical Foundation in Washington DC.
· Research also indicated
that several facts about San Diego and the US Navy in San Diego are
relatively unknown to a majority of the citizens of San Diego County.
o The US Navy claimed San
Diego as United States property, if it had not been for the USS Cyane
and Marines attached to this ship, San Diego might had ended up being
part of Mexico instead of the United States.
o That there have been
three ships named after the city of San Diego. (There are no memorials
or tributes to any of three ships here in San Diego.) The second ship
named for San Diego earned the second most awards ever honored to a US
Navy ship of war. During this research a memorial for the 2nd
USS San Diego was approved. This memorial will be located south of the
o That the US Naval
Training Center was renamed from Naval Training Station in 1944 and that
the training station was originally established in 1917.
o The effect the Navy has
had on San Diego and the true significance the Navy has played in the
development of San Diego.
· The Internet Web site has
had over 39,000 visitors in the 15 months it has been up. The only means to
know about this web site by the general public was through word of mouth or
very specific searches of web sites on the Internet. To have 39,000 visitors
demonstrates the need for available information about NTC and it’s history.
· Also noted were the possible
duplication of efforts that could exist by establishing the aforementioned
objectives. The Maritime Museum, Aerospace Museum, MCRD Museum and San Diego
Historical Society are all well-established organizations. Additionally the
USS Midway and Veterans Memorial Center have plans that we might encroach
on. It will be necessary to work closely with each of these organizations
giving San Diego citizens and tourist a rich and diverse historical
presentation that all will be willing to visit many times.
These findings indicate a need
and a desire on the part of the citizens to have an established museum in
San Diego about the Navy operations in San Diego and the city’s support of
the Navy in San Diego. The findings were summarized into objectives of what
seems to be feasible considering the information obtained during this study.
Based on these findings the
following objectives are set:
· Establish a charitable
educational non-profit corporation.
· Establish general
· Establish a vision for
· Develop a concept plan where
professional diligence can verify the viability of a project based on
the general objectives and vision.