COMMANDANT, ELEVENTH NAVAL DISTRICT
NAVAL OPERATING BASE,
TERMINAL ISLAND (SAN PEDRO), CALIFORNIA
First Draft Narrative
Prepared by the Historical Section,
Naval Operating Base, Terminal Island
THE ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY OF THE
NAVAL OPERATING BASE,
TERMINAL ISLAND (SAN PEDRO), CALIFORNIA
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE Preface vi Chapter One - The Origins and Development of the Naval Operating Base Command 1 Introductory Matters 1 Establishment of NOB, T.I., (General Order No. 154) 12 Change of Command of NOB, 25 June 1942 21 Proposals for reorganization of NOB 26 Matters concerning intra-NOB relationships 27 Letter of the Secretary of the Navy, dated 22 March 1943 27 "Chief of Staff" title changed to "Chief Staff Officer" 30 Commissioning of ships assigned to ComdtNOB 30 Change of title from "Commandant" to "Commander", Naval Operating Base 33 District Manpower Survey 34 Matters relating to organization of U. S. Naval Base 33 Final Discussions 42 Chapter Two - The Staff of ComNOB 52 Part I, Introductory Discussion of Staff Development 52 Part II, Operations and Related Matters 66 SOPA Administrative Office 70 Liaison Officer for Forces Afloat 71 Navy Pilots 74 Commissioning of Ships 76 Staff Supply Officer 79 Public Works Officer 80 Transportation Officer 93 Legal Officer 94 Legal Assistance Officer 97 Security and Damage Control Officer 100 Fire Protection Consultation and Advisory Service 101 NOB Personnel Office 103 Educational Services and Training 106 Physical Training and Physical Maintenance Program 107 Welfare and Recreation 109 Benefits and Insurance Officer 111 NOB Chaplain and Navy Relief Society 112
Chapter Two (continued) Communications Department 115 Historical Officer 126 Venereal Disease Control and Medical Inspection of Ships 127 Marines at NOB 129 Public Relations 131 Ammunition and Ordnance Matters 133 Allen Center and Ships' Service 137 War Savings Bond Administrative Organization 142 Banking Facility at NOB 144 Proposed Commissary Store at NOB 146 Sewage Disposal Matters 153 Chapter Three - The Activities of the Naval Operating Base 170 Introductory Matters 170 Roosevelt Base 174 Small Craft Training Center 189 U. S. Naval Personnel Separation Center 203 U. S. Naval Drydocks 205 U. S. Receiving Station and the Disciplinary Barracks 223 Supply and Accounting Activities of NOB, TI 236 Navy Disbursing and Transportation Office 238 Naval Supply Depot, San Pedro 239 U. S. Naval Fuel Annex, San Pedro 241 U. S. Naval Fuel Annex, Elk Hills, Tupman, California 243 U. S. Navy Accounting Office, San Pedro 244 Aviation Facilities of NOB 246 Naval Air station, Terminal Island 246 Naval Air Facility, Litchfield Park, Arizona 257 Naval Reserve Aviation Base, Los Alamitos 259 Medical Activities of NOB 262 Naval Dispensaries, Long Beach and San Pedro 263 Army and Navy First Aid and Prophylaxis Station, Long Beach 265 U. S. Naval Hospital, Corona, Calif. 266 The Naval Hospital, Long Beach 267 Hospitals and Dispensaries 275 Target Repair Base 281 Naval Net Depot 282 Motion Picture Exchange and Sub-RPIO 284 Activities at Port Hueneme, Calif. 285 Fleet Post Office and Kindred Matters 294 U. S. Naval Firefighters' School, San Pedro 303
Chapter Three (continued) Wartime Merchant Ship Communications School 307 Landing Craft Boat Pool, NOB 311 U. S. Naval Training School (Electronics), NOB, T.I. 315 Land Acquisitions which concerned NOB 317 Construction Costs Statistics 320 Chapter Four - Security and Protection 344 Introductory discussions 344 Harbor Area Security 354 Oil storage and attendants hazards 363 Fire Protection 374 Sabotage, espionage, and other subversive activities 385 Intelligence 389 Other security matters 398 Local defense 420 Joint-Army defenses 425 Shore Patrol 427 Port Director, San Pedro 439 Chapter Five - Transportation 459 Introductory Matters 459 Tunnels 460 Bridges 466 Ferries 477 Railways 483 Roadways 491 Busses 499 Traffic control 513 Rubber shortage and Share-the-Ride Plans 518 Station transportation services 524 Chapter Six - Housing 537 Introductory discussions 537 On-station housing 538 Off-station housing 554 Chapter Seven - Civilian Personnel 612 Introductory matters 612 Civilian Personnel administration at NOB 613 The Long Beach Labor Board 615 Administrative Machinery 620 Personnel problems with which it dealt 621 Types of positions filled by the Labor Board 622 Relations with the Civil Service Commission 622
Chapter Seven (continued) How and Where personnel were procured 623 Statistics showing growth of civilian personnel employment in Naval activities in the northern part of the Eleventh Naval District 624 Personnel recruited for original construction at Roosevelt Base 625 Statistics on number of persons processed by the Long Beach Labor Board 626 Vocational training 626 Vocational training at NOB, T.I. 628 Vocational training at NAS, T.I. 630 Vocational training for clerical employees 630 Training in shipyards having Naval contracts 631 Training for aircraft companies having Naval contracts 632 Appendix - Appendix material follows the chapter arrangement of the narrative.
This work is essentially an account of the origin, development, and operation of the administrative structures of the Naval Operating Base, Terminal Island. It has been prepared with attention concentrated upon the work and problems of the NOB command with due regard to the relations of that command to the Commandant, Eleventh Naval District, and to the various activities which comprised the Naval Operating Base organization. It should be clearly understood that this history does not purport to relate a completely detailed account of the internal development and technical operation of the various component activities of NOB. To do so would lead into matters far beyond the scope of such a work. A number of the NOB activities of NOB have prepared their own individual histories which in most instances will contribute to the story of the Bureau or Office to which the particular activity is responsible for technical direction.
For the most part, no attempt is made on the part of the Historical Officer to interpret the material presented. Rather, it has seemed advisable to search out the facts, to talk with persons who possess an on-the-spot knowledge of the story of NOB, and to
present that story as clearly as possible and with thorough documentation. The very nature of this history as well as the limited amount of time which it has been possible to spend in research and preparation have precluded any attempts at involved interpretation of the facts. Moreover, it has not appeared that the Historical Officer has been in a position to offer such interpretation.
Leaving such Interpretation out of consideration, the material to be found in this study has its foundation on facts garnered chiefly from two sources: The NOB Central Files and the memories of persons who were associated with the activities of NOB. To as great an extent as possible all statements and discussions have been documented with references indicating the source of the information. Indeed, this history is based on official records and, where not precisely official, on written statements. The notes and references for each chapter are to be found at the end of the respective chapters. In view of the material listed in these sections of notes and references, it has not been considered necessary or advisable to provide a separate bibliography. In the truest sense of the word, the notes and references at the end of each chapter are the complete bibliography for this history. Most of this material has been found in the files of NOB Central Files Office. Some has been obtained from some of the activities of NOB or from the Eleventh Naval District Offices
in San Diego. The numbers placed above the line in parentheses throughout the text of the history refer to notes and references at the end of that particular chapter.
Of course, it will be understood that the length of the chapters is not necessarily indicative of the importance of the facts therein discussed. Often it may require more words and figures to tell about one happening than about another of equal importance.
Some explanation is necessary concerning the use of the abbreviations "ComdtNOB" and "ComNOB". The first abbreviation, "ComdtNOB", is used to refer to "Commandant, Naval Operating Base"; this was the title of the commanding authority at the Naval Operating Base, Terminal Island (San Pedro), from the time the activity was established in September, 1941, until 1 June 1944. On that date the title was changed to "Commander, Naval Operating Base", for which the abbreviation "ComNOB" is used in this history. Where an abbreviation for the title of this officer is used without reference to any particular time, "ComNOB" is used as an all-inclusive term. "ComEleven" is of course used as the abbreviation for the title, "Commandant, Eleventh Naval District".
It is hoped that this history of the Naval Operating Base, Terminal Island, may serve as a useful work of reference for those officers to whom may be delegated the task of administering its successor, the U. S.
Naval Base. Also it is hoped that this history may contribute its part to the over-all account of the wartime history of the Shore Establishment of the Navy.
H. B. Rouse,
Lieutenant Commander, USNR,
U.S. Naval Base, Terminal Island.