First Draft Narrative
Prepared by the Historical Section,
Naval Operating Base, Terminal Island







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,
Historical Officer,
U.S. Naval Base, Terminal Island.


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