Although much of my focus has been on those who served in the United States Army during WWI, there were other branches of the armed services equally involved, including the marine corps and the navy. The Sextant, a web site maintained by the Naval History and Heritage Command states that starting in 1916, “the United States began a gigantic six-year program of naval expansion … from 1916 to 1922, the Navy added 10 battleships, 1 aircraft carrier, 287 destroyers and 88 submarines to the fleet…”
Once WWI was declared in the U.S., it became a necessity to set up camps to train those would would soon staff these ships for the United States Navy, and the Portsmouth Navy Yard Camp was among these. In addition, several of the above mentioned ships and submarines were built at the Portsmouth Navy yard. That topic will involve a great deal of research, and so for now I will just list the primary U.S. Naval Schools and their locations, as found in the Nashua Telegraph newspaper of Wednesday September 18, 1918 page 5.
Following is a list of United States naval stations and various special schools where men of the navy are being trained.
1st Naval District, Boston. Portsmouth, N.H., Navy Yard Camp; Boston, Mass. Bumpkin Island Training Camp; Hingham Training Camp, Aviation Ground School; Harvard Naval Unit. Cambridge Mass, Navy Radio School. Readville, Mass., Meteorological School.
2nd Naval District, Newport R.I., Naval Training Station. New London, Conn., Submarine Training. Providence, R.I., Brown University Naval Unit.
3rd Naval District, New York. New Haven, Conn., Yale Naval Unit. New York, N.Y., Electrical School; Naval Reserve Training Camp; Compass School. Bensonhurst Long Island N.Y. Diving School. Bay Shore, Long Island, N.Y., Aviation Ground School. Rockaway, Long Island, N.Y. Aviation Mechanics’ School. Keyport, N.J., Aviation Mechanics’ School.
4th Naval District, Philadelphia. Philadelphia Pa., Aviation Mechanics’ School. Cape May, N.J., Naval Reserve Training Camp. Princeton, N.J., Princeton Naval Unit.
5th Naval District, Norfolk. Norfolk, Va., Naval Training Station. Hampton Roads, Va., Naval Training Station. U.S. Naval Academy, Reserve Officers’ School.
6th Naval District, Charleston. Charleston S.C. Naval Training Camp.
7th Naval District, Key West. Key West, Fla., Naval Training Camp.
8th Naval District, New Orleans. New Orleans, La., Naval Training Camp.. Gulport, Miss., Naval Training Camp. Pensacola, Fla., Aviation Mechanics’ School.
9th, 10th and 11th Naval Districts, Great Lakes. Great Lakes, Ill., Naval Training Station. Chicago, Ill., Naval Traning Station. Minneapolis, Minn., Aviation Mechanics’ School; University of Minn. Naval Unit. Ann Arbor, Mich., University of Michigan Naval Unit.
12th Naval District, San Francisco. San Francisco, Cal., Navy Yard Camp; Naval Training Station. San Diego, Cal., Naval Training Camp. San Pedro, Cal., Naval Training Camp.
13th Naval District, Bremerton. Bremerton, Wash. Navy Yard Camp. Seattle, Wash., Univ. of Washington Naval Unit; Naval Training Camp. Keyport, Wash., Diving School.
[Editor’s Note: this story is part of an on-going series about heroic New Hampshire men and women of World War I. Look here for the entire listing].