Sampson Played Important Part In Attaining Victory
Sampson may well be proud of the part in turning out trained BlueJackets to man Navy's vast fleets during the European and Pacific wars.
Since this Center was opened officially by the late Secretary of Navy Frank Knox on 17 Oct. 1942, more than 400,000 men have received their recruit training.
On land where Seneca Indians once built their villages, Sampson now boasts more than 400 buildings, 53 miles of roadways and nine miles of especially laid railroad track. The Center area is twice the size of nearby Geneva, and is complete with all facilities of a city of 45,000 population
Little Steel Used
Probably less steel went into Sampson than any other project of its size. A total of 41,000,000 board feet of lumber was used for the frame buildings. Wood and plastics were utilized wherever possible. There are six drill halls, two telephone exchanges, theaters, recreation equipment, fire and police departments, and a water system supplying 6,000,000 galloons daily. A reservoir has a capacity of 2,000,000 gallons. In addition to a school unit, there are five training units, each containing a drill field, barracks, mess hall, drill hall, swimming pool, dispensaries, antiaircraft ranges, ship's service, storehouse and rifle range. A boat dock and "commando" course also are part of the training facilities.
Nine Huge Mess Halls
Surrounding each drill field, 1200 by 600 feet, are 22 barracks, each with accommodations for 224 men. There is a total of nine mess halls, each containing 1700 seats. The halls are 400 feet long and the men are fed cafeteria style, at the rate of 5,000 hourly. The drill halls, 120 by 600 feet, are constructed of laminated wood arches and are probably the largest buildings in the world. Six basketball games can be played simultaneously in each hall. The swimming pools, located at one end of each hall, are 85 by 60 feet. Each unit has two dispensaries, each with medical and dental sections.
The 10 Ship's Services located throughout the Center, are equipped with libraries, bowling alleys, pool, billiard and ping-pong table, cafeterias and stores. All training units use the boat dock adjacent to Edwards unit. the dock is 1800 feet long and houses 150 twenty-eight foot whale boats, each seating 12 and a coxswain. Commandant Harry A. Badt, USN the Center Commander was responsible for the organization of the training centers at Bainbridge, Md., and Farragut, Idaho, as well as Sampson. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1908, and his most recent sea command was the USS Tuscaloosa, 1838-40, when he cruised more than 70,000 miles.