Balboa Park History 1945
January 4, 1945, San Diego Union, A-1:3, A-2:6-7. Big bond issue urged for post-war improvements.
Presentation of a $14,000,000 bond issue for six public improvements, described as “absolutely essential,” was urged strongly upon the city council yesterday by representatives of the San Diego chamber of commerce at a luchamber’s program were these proposals:
Water system improvements, $6,000,000; new main library, $1,000,000; Mission Bay State Park, $2,000,000; war memorial, $5,000,000; administration building at Lindbergh field, $250,000; new airport on Linda Vista mesa, $150,000.
January 1, 1945, San Diego Union, A-4:1. Fast freeways proposed for San Diego after war; construction of Cabrillo freeway to start as soon as wartime restrictions on the use of materials and labor are removed
Glenn A. Rick, city planning director, in discussing the Date St. freeway said it will afford an excellent approach to the proposed mile-long group of governmental buildings planned for Cedar St., a block to the south. Ramps from the freeway will lead to the surface streets and to parking areas near the public buildings, the northernmost of which will be the war memorial group proposed for a six block area bounded by Sixth and Ninth Avenues and Date and Beech Streets.
January 8, 1945, San Diego Union, II, B-1:5-6. San Diegans have summer holiday; swim, crowd San Diego Zoo.
January 16, 1945, San Diego Union, A-4:2-4. First leaders of Natural History Society recall unit’s early days.
January 20, 1945, San Diego Union, A-4:1. San Diego Naval Hospital chapel to be dedicated.
Built to serve all faiths, the new San Diego Naval Hospital chapel will be opened next week with Catholic, Jewish and Protestant dedicatory services in which civilian and military religious leaders will participate.
January 27, 1945, San Diego Union, A-5:1. All faiths join in dedicating Naval Hospital chapel.
February 4, 1945, San Diego Union, A-5:2-3. Flamingoes’ odd antics absorb San Diego Zoo visitors.
February 14, 1945, San Diego Union, Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners.
The Director reported on a news story stating the City Council would hold a hearing on a Resolution of Intention to place on the April ballot a proposition to remove approximately six acres from Balboa Park as a site for a War Memorial Building; letter of protest to be sent to Mayor, City Council and City Manager.
The Director reported that on Saturday, February 10, the Army notified the San Francisco officer that they had vacated the portion of Balboa Park south of Upas Street and west of Richmond Street; a preferential permit of occupancy to be given to Boy Scouts.
February 14, 1945, San Diego Union, A-8:5. Park site use before City Council.
City councilmen will meet in a brief special session at 4:30 tomorrow afternoon to consider a Resolution of Intention to place on the April 17 city election ballot a proposal to vote six acres out of Balboa Park as a site for a veterans’ memorial building.
Yesterday, at request of Homer H. Hacker, chairman of the veterans’ memorial committee, the council authorized a survey of the land involved, lying between Park Blvd. and street car tracks north of the Canadian Legion Building.
Hacker told the council the site would be for a memorial building, without a convention hall and the theater originally planned by the veterans’ group.
Councilmen had indicated they were opposed to placing these institutions at that location, but they were willing, and believed it proper, for the public to express itself on the location of a veterans’ memorial building. The site would be administered under a state law giving veterans control over their own building. The city, it was stated, favors retaining direct control over its convention hall and community theater.
It will take a two-third vote to take the land from the park, and the proposal will go on the ballot only after the council has held a public hearing on March 20.
Monday the council will meet with 100 businessmen called by the chamber of commerce to consider placing a bond issue on the ballot for purchase of six blocks at Sixth Avenue and Date Street for a war memorial site.
The plan would include a war memorial auditorium and theater, and would tie in with a plan for an esplanade along Cedar Street.
February 16, 1945, San Diego Union, A-2:6. War Memorial plan given up.
Plans of the city council to place on the April 17 municipal election ballot a proposal to vote about six acres out of Balboa Park for use of a site for a war memorial building were abandoned yesterday when City Atty. Jean F. DuPaul announced that such a step would be illegal.
The plan had called for transfer of the land to the county. DuPaul said that the land could be transferred to a War Memorial District, but there is none at present.
The city attorney added that any such action appeared unnecessary, because the city could build a memorial without necessity for creation of a district, and lease it to some responsible veterans’ organization.
Homer H. Hacker, chairman of the veterans’ war memorial committee, attended the brief session at which the opinion was read, and said that his organization was not surprised, but was disappointed.
Also on file yesterday was a protest of the city park commission against use of park land for a memorial building.
Mayor Harley E. Knox assured Hacker the he believed it is the desire of the council to make some suitable site available to the veterans.
February 20, 1945, B-1:2-4. Organizations indorse mall, veterans’ building (drawing).
Discussion of the proposed Cedar Street mall and veterans’ memorial building yesterday at a meeting in the Gold room of the U. S. Grant hotel resulted in a strong vote of approval for the project from scores of civic organization representatives. . . . .
Fear that conventions might interfere with veterans’ organization drilling and fife and bugle corps practice was expressed by Homer H. Hacker, of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, who declared members of that organization “want a site in Balboa Park where we can run our own affairs.”
March 4, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:5-7. A Civic Recreation Committee yesterday okayed a plan to combine recreation, park departments.
April 11, 1945, Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners.
Communications were read from Walter S. Lieber and Joshua L. Bailey protesting the proposed demolition of Indian Village as provided for in the plan for the improvement of the Park Boulevard frontage from Upas Street to the Prado.
April 13, 1945, San Diego Union, A:2-4. Franklin Delano Roosevelt here on five visits; his death came as a double-shock to San Diegans yesterday who felt they knew the nation’s leader more intimately because of his local appearances.
April 13, 1945, San Diego Union, A:2-3. G. Aubrey Davidson recalled Roosevelt aid to City.
April 28, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:1. Newly elected officers of the House of Pacific Relations will be installed at tonight’s ninth annual installation dinner-dance at the San Diego Women’s clubhouse.
May 9, 1945, San Diego Union, A-1. GERMAN DEFEAT WORST IN HISTORY; Von Keitel signs final articles; Russian people hear victory news 10 hours, 10 minutes after allies.
May 9, 1945, San Diego Union, A-1:4. San Diego cheers, prays, works, City spends quiet, sober victory day.
May 10, 1945, San Diego Union, A-6:2. Leo B. Calland to coordinate city recreation on July 1.
Reporting to Calland will be William A. Kearns, city playgrounds superintendent, who will have the same duties as in the past, with Calland counseling and guiding him.
May 13, 1945, San Diego Union, A-10:1-3. Triplets born to ibexes at San Diego Zoo.
May 27, 1945, San Diego Union. Polar bear at San Diego Zoo has softest of snaps, with his pool, plenty of naps; bathes often, enjoys life even though caged.
The three on display at the San Diego Zoo are a family group, composed of the mother, the father, and the new-grown son, a native Californian, for he was born in the zoo here.
June 2, 1945, San Diego Union, Classified, 1:4-5. Percy C. Broell notified of separation from job as assistant city park superintendent.
W Allen Perry, park superintendent, said that his action was taken effective immediately to promote better morale in the park service. He said there frequently had been disputes between Broell and his superiors and that some excellent park workers, subordinates to Broell, had been lost to the park service because of recurring controversy.
June 7, 1945, San Diego Union, A-7:6. Governor signs Memorials bill.
A major obstacle to construction of a war memorial building in San Diego was removed when Gov. Earl Warren signed Assembly Bill 44, exempting memorial districts from provisions of the district investigation act of 1933 (?), Capt. Homer H. Hacker, a chairman of the war memorial building committee, was notified in a telegram from Assemblywoman Kathryn T. Niehouse in Sacramento.
Hacker said that under the act signatures of all property owners in San Diego would have been necessary before the committee could begin circulating petitions advocating creation of a district to finance the memorial.
The memorial committee chairman said work would be started immediately on preparation of the petitions. Plans for the proposed war memorial group have been prepared for some time and include facilities for a convention hall and meeting rooms for various veteran organizations.
Known also as the Mattoon act, the district investigation act was amended in 1933 to include memorial districts. The act was passed originally as a curb on formation of highway districts which the residents of the districts were not financially able to support.
June 14, 1945, San Diego Union, Classified, 1:1. City making new park plans.
Creation of a large rose garden in Balboa Park, north of the bowling green, is one of five projected park developments as soon as labor is available, the city planning commission was informed yesterday.
The commission was hold a public hearing on park commission plans for development of five park areas.
The rose garden, northeast of Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street entrance, can be made an outstanding attraction, Roland Hoyt, park commissioner, said. He asserted that San Diego soil and climate produces the finest roses on the Pacific coast.
Tentative plans for the Plaza call for removal of the fountain now in the center and for replacement of present trees with others that will not be a hazard to passerby. The entire surface would be tiled, and there are several alternate treatments proposed for arrangement of benches, entrances and small pavilions.
Other plans call for improvement of Balboa Park along Park Boulevard, from the Spanish Village to Upas Street; for enlargement of Morley Field park athletic area; and development of De La Cruz, an unimproved park area in East San Diego.
June 17, 1945, San Diego Union, A-8:3-5. Masons plan Flag Day fete at City Park.
San Diego County Masons will hold their 19th annual Flag Day observance today and will highlight the service with a special ceremony in which Old Glory will be restored to its pre-war mast on Inspiration Point in Balboa Park. A breakfast and parade will precede the flag raising.
June 27, 1945, Teletype; Originating: COM11 (PWO) S DGO CALIF; Release: MR V N BRANDON; Action to: BUDOCKS F-5-8 QASH D C; GR 111 8T; National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
S DGO CITY ATTORNEY HAS ADVISED THAT RELEASE WILL BE EXECUTED BY CITY OF S DGO MODIFYING CONDITION ONE RE RESTORATION OF MUSEUM BLDGS BALBOA PARK TO READ AS FOLLOWS X QUOTE X THAT WHEN THE GOVT SHALL RELINQUISH THE USE AND OCCUPANCY OF SAID BLDGS IT WILL RESTORE EACH OF SAID BLDGS TO THE CONDITION IN WHICH IT EXISTED AT THE ORIGINAL DATE OF OCCUPANCY THEREOF BY THE GOVERNMENT MARCH 5 1943 DAMAGES RESULTING FROM ACTS OF GOD AND OR EARTHQUAKES FLOOD AND OR DISASTER EXCEPTED UPON DEMAND BY CITY X UNQUOTE X REVISED RELEASE WILL BE FORWARDED AS SOON AS EXECUTED X IF MODIFICATION SATISFACTORY CONFIRM BY DISPATCH
June 29, 1945, Memorandum; From: Lucius W. Johnson, District Medical Officer, 11th ND; To: District Planning Officer; ND11/HH16/?; National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
Subj: Space for Expansion of Facilities of Naval Hospital, San Diego.
- Between the Zoo and the Indian Village, on Park Blvd., is a considerable area of open ground with a number of buildings. This is very near to the Naval Hospital and would be valuable as a space in which tents could be set up and expansion rapidly accomplished, if necessary.
- A part of this area is now occupied by the 204th Army Anti-Aircraft Unit, under the command of Major Willison, whose telephone number is Franklin 8911.
- It is requested that negotiations be undertaken to determine if this land could be made available for the use of the Naval Hospital, San Diego.
LUCIUS W. JOHNSON
District Medical Office
June 30, 1945, San Diego Union, Classified, 1:8 The municipal pool in Balboa Park at the foot of Georgia Street will be opened to the public at 9 Tuesday morning, the City Recreation Department announced yesterday.
July 4, 1945, San Diego Union, Classified, 1:5-6. City gets appraisal on Vet Buildings site.
Cost of six blocks of land needed for the proposed veterans’ memorial group of buildings was set at $864,000 in an appraisal submitted to the city council yesterday by City Manager Fred A. Rhodes.
The six blocks are those bounded by Sixth Ave, Beech St., Date St. and Ninth Ave. Most of the area has improvements which the appraisers estimated could be salvaged for $90,000. The purchase price to be paid by the city, if the appraisers are correct, would be $954,000, less the salvage value.
The council was advised that four other blocks below the memorial group, those bounded by Sixth Ave., Date St., Fourth Ave. and Beech St., would cost about $805,000 net. The salvage value of improvements and the gross value were not stated.
The city’s plans call for construction of a large convention auditorium, a veterans’ building and a municipal theater in the veterans’ group of buildings along Sixth Ave.. They would be the upper group of a row of government buildings extending along Cedar St. from the Civic Center to the top of the hill.
On the four blocks below Sixth Ave. and fronting of Cedar St. it is proposed to place a new public library, a state building and city schools administration buildings. Others will be constructed along the lower reaches of Cedar St. as the need arises.
The appraisal submitted yesterday had been made by James C. LaForte of the city auditor’s office and Planning Director Glenn A. Rick.
If the plan for a memorial group and for the mall between it and Civic Center is to be carried out, it was stated at the council conference, it probably will be necessary to call for a vote on a bond issue and to seek new revenues from sources other than land taxes. It was suggested that the city may find it advisable to work out a business license tax similar to that now being evolved in San Francisco.
July 12, 1945, San Diego Union, A-12:5. City needs park to entertain Navy, says Knox.
San Diego, a naturally hospitable city, needs its Balboa Park if it is to play host to the Navy in the manner in which Navy representatives desire, Mayor Harley E. Knox told a group of military and civilian men in his office yesterday.
They had asked to meet with the mayor to hear complaints of Navy men that recreation facilities for naval personnel is lacking here
“San Diego is famed around the world as a tourist city,” Leo Calland, city recreation director and recently recreation officer of the 11th Naval District, told the group. “The city knows how to entertain. Restore to it the recreation facilities the Navy has taken from it and it will entertain again.”
July 19, 1945, San Diego Union, A-7:2-3. City Service Commission drops Broell investigation.
Dismissal of Percy C. Broell as assistant park director is final and the case is closed as far at the city civil service commission is concerned, the body decided yesterday, after debating whether an investigation was mandatory under the city charter.
July 23, 1945, San Diego Union, B-6:2. Donal Hord’s “Cubana,” an obsidian carving. installed at Fine Arts Gallery, by Etta Mae Wallace.
The late Miss Kate Sessions, botanist, counted Hord her chief Pacific Beach “experimenter,” and was always taking him rare plants to see how they would grow. So, though his garden does hold many of the sturdy native California flora, it also offers those rare specimens which have given proof “they fit in.”
August 5, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:2-3. Veterans’ War Memorial plans ready Thursday.
August 5, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:1-8. Balboa Mounted Troop will stage its Eighth Annual Charity Horse Show today at Balboa Stadium.
August 7, 1945, Letter, From: G. M. Ravenscroft, Assistant Commandant (Logistics); To: ComWesSeaFron.; ND11/QA-SPECIAL (A7-Wr) Serial W-1975; National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
Subj: Alleviation of Overcrowded Condition Balboa Park Annex.
- The Army authorities have advised the Commandant that certain Army facilities in Balboa Park adjacent to the Naval Hospital are soon to be declared excess. These facilities have been used by the anti-aircraft groups of the army which will be inactivated. Enclosure (2) is a plot plan of the buildings involved. These buildings are located on City property by permit of the City, and no lease is involved. The Spanish Village is a part of the San Diego Exposition. The other buildings have been constructed by the Army and are very substantial as far as Army buildings do. Enclosure (3), a map of the City of San Diego, shows this site crosshatched in blue. The red crosshatching shows the main exposition buildings and Camp Kidd, now used by the Naval Hospital, San Diego. Enclosure (1) is a memorandum from the Medical Officer in Command, Naval Hospital, San Diego, requesting that these buildings be acquired for the use of the Naval Hospital and stating the uses to which they will be put.
- The Commandant is aware of the directive of the Commander, Western Sea Frontier, not to increase the bed capacities of Naval hospitals on the West Coast and for this reason the matter is being referred to him for preliminary consideration prior to requesting the U. S. Army Engineers to turn over these facilities to the Navy. As noted in Enclosure (1), it is not intended to use these facilities to increase the bed capacity of the Naval Hospital. These buildings, however, will be used to house patients and personnel now in overcrowded buildings and in some cases actually housed in tents located in the streets of the exposition grounds. The Spanish Village is so designed as to afford excellent recreational facilities in addition to the other uses for which it might be put. It is intended to use some of these facilities for the rehabilitation program at the Hospital. Some of the barracks can be used for storage and Red Cross work, as well as wards for housing patients. The use of this facility will involve practically no cost to the Navy other than the necessary maintenance work involved in painting and refurbishing some of the buildings. Particular attention is invited to the fact that this facility adjoins the Hospital and for that reason fits in so nicely with the Navy’s needs. It is therefore recommended that the Commandant be authorized to make the necessary arrangements with the U. S. Army Engineers for the transfer of these facilities.]
- It has been indicated that these buildings will be available for transfer about 16 August. In order that these buildings will not remain idle, subject to pilfering and damage, it is requested that the Commandant be advised as early as practicable with regard to the Commander Western Sea Frontier’s action on this recommendation. The Army usually allows the Navy a seven day priority on surplus facilities, after which they are made available to other Government agencies.
G M RAVENSCROFT
Assistant Commandant (Logistics)
cc: MOinC, NH, San Diego.
August 7, 1945, Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners.
The City Manager forwarded a letter from the San Diego Public Safety Committee calling attention to the hazardous manner in which the Navy permits cars to be parked on the west side of Park Boulevard, in the vicinity of the main entrance to the Naval Hospital.
August 7, 1945, San Diego Union, 1:7-8, 2:6. Atomic bomb may speed end of Japanese war; President Truman warns Nippon of ruin.
August 7, 1945, San Diego Union, 1:1-2, 3:1. Senator Hiram W. Johnson dies after 25 years in capital.
August 7, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1;5. Mayor Knox asks parley over War Memorial.
Request for a conference with members of the veterans’ memorial building committee before it attempts creation of a memorial building district was asked by Mayor Harley E. Knox yesterday in a letter to Homer H. Hacker, committee chairman.
The mayor pointed out that the highly controversial question of a war memorial site was to be ignored by the committee in petitioning the county supervisors to call an election to create the district.
The memorial district would be a new tax-levying body. It would have authority under state law, to levy three mills on each $1 valuation, in addition to whatever might be necessary to retire district bonds, the mayor said.
Hacker was quoted as having said that he planned to circulate petitions at once to have the supervisors call a special election for creation of the district, bounds of which would coincide with those of the city.
The mayor called attention to the lack of any provision in the veterans’ program for a convention building, which the mayor and the city council have regarded as an essential post-war project. He said it also took no account whatever of the city’s plans for a war memorial group of buildings one a six-block site at the upper end of Cedar Street, to be connected to Civic Center by a highly landscaped mall along Cedar Street from Pacific Boulevard to Sixth Avenue, westerly boundary of the proposed memorial area.
August 8, 1945, San Diego Union, 1:8. 2:4. 4.1 MILES OF HIROSHIMA DESTROYED BY SINGLE ATOM BOMB.
August 9, 1945, San Diego Union, 9:4. Camp Fire Girls concluded program at Loligro Cabin, Balboa Park, yesterday; Bluebirds’ Day today will close the season.
August 9, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:1. City Manager Rhodes said yesterday cost of Veterans’ Service Building on Courthouse Lawn will be $10,000.
August 10, 1945, San Diego Union, A-5:3-4. Veterans circulate petition for Memorial Building vote; cost would be about $1,000,000 which could be raised through a three-mill tax.
August 10, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:2. Navy granted tideland use of part of state building site at Pacific Highway and Grape Street.
August 11, 1945, San Diego Union, 3:1-2. SECOND ATOMIC BOMB WIPES OUT THIRD OF NAGASAKI.
August 12, 1945, San Diego Union, 2:1-2. Indoor sports ask funds to complete campaign for $50,000 Indoor Sports Clubhouse for disabled veterans; fund is past the $37,000 mark, by Henry Love.
August 12, 1945, San Diego Union, 3:4. City outlines program for Victory Day.
August 12, 1945, San Diego Union, 9:3. Patients enjoy old Lily Pond swimmin’ hole.
To provide a place to train non-swimmers and to give added recreation to convalescent patients, the Naval Hospital has made the lily pond two feet deeper and has resurfaced it. Several hundred men use it daily. . . . .
Overlooking the “swimmin’ hole” is the Balboa Park botanical garden which is open to visits by patients.
August 12, 1945, San Diego Union, 10:4-6. Camp Fire Girls aid war effort with waste paper drive; proceeds used for new kitchen at Balboa Park cabin (photo).
August 15, 1945, San Diego Union, 1:6-7, 2:1. TRUMAN ANNOUNCES WAR’S END; JAPAN ACCEPTS POTSDAM TERMS.
August 15, 1945, San Diego Union, 1:5, 3:1. City “explodes” in exuberance; inhibitions lost in mass observance.
August 15,1945, San Diego Union, B-12:3-4. Indoor sports project fund passes $40,000.
August 16, 1945, San Diego Union, 1:2-3, 2:2. Crowds celebrate end of war, gas rationing.
August 16, 1945, San Diego Union, 1:3. Funds available for city works.
San Diego has $5,412,000 immediately available in the city treasury for expenditure on public works and an additional $11,000,000 will be on hand before spring, it was reported yesterday as the first peacetime cancellation of wartime contracts brought to the fore the community’s potential unemployment problem.
August 17, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:2-3. Information Center to be moved Monday.
August 18, 1945, San Diego Union, 4:1. Indoor Sports Clubhouse fund in sight of goal.
August 19, 1945, San Diego Union, 4:1-4. Indoor Sports for returning disabled war veterans and other handicapped persons announce close of Clubhouse campaign; $47,613 already in fund with more still arriving, by Henry Love.
August 19, 1945, San Diego Union, A-12:1. San Diego Zoo features Russian bears during Peace Week.
August 19, 1945, San Diego Union, C-5:1-4. New techniques taught to Naval Hospital cadet nurses
All of the cadets at the San Diego Naval Hospital and other medical centers are girls who have completed 30 months of civilian training and need six months more schooling to finish their school work.
At the completion of their tour of duty at the Naval hospital they are returned to their home hospitals for graduation and then have the opportunity to enter the Navy, Army or Public Health, Veteran or Indian service, or to become civilian nurses.
Since the cadet program has been started at the San Diego Naval Hospital more than 100 girls have been trained there. Fifty more are students there now.
August 19, 1945, San Diego Union, C-8:4-5. Fine Arts Gallery, 2030 Sunset Boulevard, offers interesting displays today, by Reginald Poland, Director.
August 20, 1945, San Diego Union, 1:7-8. Japanese envoys get orders in Manila; surrender talks last for hours.
August 22, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:1-2. Deputy City Attorney Ed Law advises City funds cannot be used to finance construction of a Veterans’ Information Bureau, which had been planned as a joint venture of the city, county and various nationally recognized agencies for the benefit of service men and women returning to civilian life.
Immediately, the Council sought ways to be of assistance in construction of the building to be placed on the county courthouse lawn.
August 23, 1945, San Diego Union, 8:2. Choice of Veteran Memorial Site causes tiff.
Controversy surrounding the proposed veterans’ memorial building came into the open at a meeting of the realty board yesterday noon in the U. S. Grant hotel, when city officials and a representative of a group headed by Capt. Homer Hacker presented opposing views.
Glenn Rick, city planning director, and Councilmen Ernest J. Bond and Walter Austin backed plans for inclusion of the building in the Cedar Street mall project, which Rick said is second only to Mission Bay park in importance on the municipal post-war construction program.
Carl Zahn, commander of American Legion Post 6, declared the Hacker group was now not concerned over choice of a site.. That could be postponed until a veterans’ memorial district has been established at an election for which petitions are currently being circulated, he said. Hacker has previously contended that the only site acceptable to the veterans is Balboa Park and has led a fight against placement on the mall.
Zahn contended the best method of paying for the building — which both sides agree will cost $3,000,000 — would be through a three mil tax for $1,000,000 and grants of $1,000,000 apiece by the state and federal governments. He did not just what state and federal funds could be tapped. He held that ownership and control should go exclusively to veterans’ organizations.
Boud, reminding the realtors that he is himself a veteran of World War I, said the city council heartily favors construction of a memorial building and is willing to turn over control by perpetual lease to veterans’ groups, but feels that if the building is to be paid for by taxation it should be publicly owned. Its use should not be limited to veterans and the city should always have the right to place it at the disposal of any large convention, Boud maintained.
The 3-mill tax, which Boud styled “30 cents a hundred,” would be more painful to taxpayers than a bond issue, he declared. Under the tax plan all the money would have to be raised within five years, he pointed out, while bonds could be paid off over a long period. He expressed confidence that state and federal funds would be as available to the city as the Hacker group.
Rick disclosed that the planning commission has rejected 10 possible sites before settling on the mall location. He cautioned against creating “another taxing agency,” referring to the proposed veterans memorial district and its five-man board of directors. The commission wants no further “scattering of public buildings all over the city,” said Rick.
Austin, who is a member of the reality board, presided as program chairman and introduced the speakers.
August 26, 1945, San Diego Union, 12:2. Red Cross Club to hold picnic in Balboa Park.
The seventh annual Red Cross First Aid Club picnic will be held in Balboa Park at Sixth Avenue and Quince Street next Sunday. The picnic and afternoon program of entertainment will be open to the public. Those attending are to take a basket lunch.
August 31, 1945, San Diego Union, 8:6 Local layoffs since surrender total 10,836.
August 31, 1942, San Diego Union, 8:7. Gas, Electric Co. employees to get $135,000 in back pay.
September 2, 1945, San Diego Union, A-1:7-8. JAPANESE SIGN FORMAL SURRENDER.
September 2, 1945, San Diego Union, A-6:1-4. Navy completes new warehouse on Harbor Drive.
September 2, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:1, B-12:1. Navy may return part of Balboa Park to City; Civil Agencies Work to Smooth Restoration; Hospital structures still inadequate for U. S. needs.
Return to civilian use before the end of the year of one or more Balboa Park buildings, used by the navy as annexes to the huge Naval Hospital here since the outset of the war, was considered a definite possibility yesterday.
Civilian agencies — both governmental and private – are working toward that end and the navy reportedly has urged the city to appoint a committee to survey all navy-occupied property within the park with the aim of recommending what will be necessary to restored the gardens and buildings to their pre-war state.
At the same time, the navy, lacking facilities within its present permanent Naval Hospital structures to care for the tremendous increase in casualty and veteran patients resulting from the war, is said to be seeking additional park lands from the city for expansion of its permanent buildings.
Navy officials have declined to make public whatever developments have taken place since the war ended and the public has been left to sift rumors.
City park officials are known to have requested Rep. Ed V Izac, member of the house naval affairs committee, to get from the navy department in Washington some clear indication of when it intends to relinquish occupancy of the numerous exposition buildings, the three public museums and other facilities in the park, barred to the public almost from the start of the war.
Two weeks ago, it was learned yesterday, a number of chamber of commerce, city administration and civic and business leaders met with officers of the 11th Naval District and the Naval Hospital in an effort to learn from them the navy’s intentions regarding release of park property.
At that meeting a representative of the district public works department recommended that the city manager appoint a committee to study the entire area of the park taken over by the navy since the war.
It is believed that this would provide the navy with some basis on which to proceed once it is decided to return the property to the city.
Fred A. Rhodes, city manager, said yesterday he has not yet named the committee but said it would be composed of outstanding citizens, including at least one member of the city park commission and the city parks’ director.
The city manager said the committee probably will tour the navy-occupied part of the park with naval officers, and that the navy undoubtedly would be asked to leave intact many of the wartime improvements it made on the city’s property, while other construction would have to be removed.
One source estimated the navy has spent millions of dollars on improvements in the park.
Many of the exposition buildings, as well as museums, have been drastically remodeled into hospital wards, rooms, barracks, mess halls, quarters and training facilities.
When the navy took over the property it had a gentlemen’s agreement with the city to restore all buildings and grounds to their original condition, but whether this would be done by the navy’s bureau of public works, or by the city with navy funds, is not known.
Apparently the city has no written agreement with the navy for restoration of the property, and some observers anticipated yesterday that an act of congress would be necessary before funds for the refurbishing and remodeling could be provided.
It is understood that the navy will relinquish the buildings within six months after the war emergency is officially declared at an end.
Out of the civic-navy meeting, Aug. 20, came these conflicting reports:
One prominent conferee said navy officials, in answer to a direct question as to how soon the buildings would be turned back to the city, said the group was told the navy expects to vacate park buildings, other than the Fine Arts Gallery, the Museum of Man and the Natural History Museum within six months after the end of the war.
A navy spokesman reportedly added that the city “might hope to have possession by January 1, 1946.”
An even more optimistic report was prevalent concerning the once-beautiful House of Hospitality, after 1936 the setting for receptions honoring distinguished out-of-city guest (President Roosevelt once was entertained there), weddings and quasi-public meetings of a number of San Diego clubs.
Taken over by the navy, must four days after Pearl Harbor — the navy urgently needed quarters for nurses poured into this port to help care for streams of casualties being returned to the states after the nearly-disastrous Japanese attack — the House of Hospitality has housed hundreds of Naval Hospital nurses.
Yesterday, however, William M. Brooks, owner of the four-story, 100-room Embassy Hotel at 3645 Park Blvd., reported the navy will take occupancy of the building Tuesday for an indefinite time. The 250 nurses now living in the House of Hospitality will be moved into the hotel immediately after the navy gets permission, Brooks said.
The Embassy was occupied by Spars, from Nov. 8, 1943 to April 5, 1945, with Brooks as manager, but under the new lease he will relinquish all rights except ownership. Details of the lease have not yet been negotiated.
A representative of the House of Hospitality said yesterday the group of leading San Diego women volunteers who operated it before the war had been told the city might regain use of the building before the end of the year, and that activities of the House possibly can be resumed by next April. The organization’s board of directors will conduct its first meeting after long adjournment before Sept. 15.
Another often-heard report concerning the park is that the navy is seeking permanent use of all the area south of Laurel St.
One city official who attended the meeting said the navy men did not indicate any specific date for vacating park buildings, other than to suggest the probably order in which navy-occupied facilities in this area would be returned to civilian control.
This was reported as, first, the Naval Hospital annex at Rancho Santa Fe (not, however, a part of Balboa Park); and second, that area of the park known as Camp Kidd. Located in the area southwest of the Spreckels outdoor organ, Camp Kidd was used primarily in the early war days for training of the recruit overflow from the Naval Training Center, and in later years for training of hospital corpsmen.
Navy officials reportedly told the group that undoubtedly the last of the park buildings to be returned would be the New Mexico Building, now a beautifully-furnished club for officers of the 11th Naval District and the old Canadian Legion Building, now an officers’ club for commissioned Naval Hospital personnel.
The city recreation department is anxious to repossess the Legion building as a site for Friday and Saturday-night teen-age dances.
In addition to park buildings it took over from the city, the navy was compelled to construct a number of frame barracks and other facilities of a temporary nature as the hospital’s work expanded, and it is believed that it must continue to use many of them until the permanent facilities of the Naval Hospital itself are enlarged.
Izac said any decision on relinquishing the park buildings by the navy must wait on a complete analysis by the navy of its post-war hospital needs in this area. He added that until a veterans’ hospital is built here the Naval Hospital must continue to serve not only wounded and ill military personnel but discharged war veterans as well.
To perform this dual function, Izac said, the hospital’s permanent facilities must be augmented by new construction, thus accounting for the navy’s request to the city for an undisclosed amount of additional land. Where or how much city property is wanted by the navy has not been revealed.
Rhodes, at the Aug. 20 meeting, suggested that the navy prolong use of city-owned buildings in the park until a four-story addition to the Naval Hospital can be built, rather than ask the city to give up more park lands for a separate permanent hospital annex. The city manager also suggested that the navy “raze a lot of the temporary buildings” it has built in the park.
Izak has said that any navy request for additional land here must come before the house naval affairs committee and would have to have that committee’s approval.
The congressman said that as soon as he returns to Washington, he plans to confer with the navy department on its plans for Balboa Park.
September 2, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:2-3, B-12:2. San Diego’s big park unfamiliar to many; much of 1400-acre tract, fair buildings, museums barred to public during war.
San Diego’s 1400-acre Balboa Park is pretty much a mystery to thousands of the city’s new residents who have made their homes here since the war. Their knowledge of the park is limited to visits to the zoo, covering about 200 acres; to Balboa Stadium for sports events or other programs, and in some cases to the Ford Building, in which city schools have operated a vocational school throughout the war.
Only the pre-war residents can recall the summer open-air concerts in the Ford Bowl, leisurely walks through to botanical garden, the organ recitals by noted musicians on the Spreckels outdoor organ, afternoons at the San Diego Fine Arts Gallery, hours spent studying the relics of older civilizations housed in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology — better known as the Museum of Man — or days of study and relaxation in the Natural History Museum.
Others may look back with nostalgia to formal public receptions in the Sala de Oro, the weddings in the loggia or luncheons in the Café del Rey Moro of the city’s House of Hospitality.
And too there are members of the 15 (now grown to 20) cottages of the House of Pacific Relations, each of which had a small meeting place of its own, reflecting the characteristics of the group’s national origin. These, too, have been dispossessed by war.
One of the largest parks in the nation, Balboa Park also offered a rich variety of recreation — golf, horseback riding, shuffleboard, archery, tennis, swimming — some of which have been continued during the war. But for the most part the institutional activities were stopped soon after the Japs struck at Pearl Harbor.
The navy asked and the city relinquished the exposition buildings, the House of Hospitality and the Pacific Relations cottages. The occupants were given as little as a day’s notice to move, so grave was the navy’s need for expanded facilities in connection with both the Naval Training Center and the Naval Hospital.
The House of Pacific Relations cottages were taken over for living quarters for naval officers. One-room and kitchenette apartments, they were built facing on a green. Each cottage was charged a $10 annual rental and was open to visitors on Sunday afternoons. Architecture here, as elsewhere in the park, was Spanish.
The Ford Bowl, built for the 1935-36 exposition and scene of the “Summer Symphonies Under the Stars” and the Spreckels outdoor organ were taken over by the navy for educational and recreational use.
The House of Hospitality was started during the 1935-36 exposition by a group of San Diego women, headed by Mrs. John M. Ward, and it continued after the festival as an integral part of community life, as a greeting place for visiting dignitaries and a place for dances, club meeting and similar functions. It had an auditorium seating 500 persons and seven other smaller ones.
The navy took it over, Dec. 12, 1941, for barracks for navy nurses, 200 to 300 of whom were rushed here immediately after the war began, and it has been used for this purpose since. The House of Hospitality became inactive and its furnishings were placed in storage.
The Fine Arts Gallery and the Museums of Natural History and Man continued to operate until March, 1943, when the navy took over these buildings for hospital patient overflow.
Lacking storage facilities here, the Fine Arts Gallery was forced to ship many exhibits to eastern museums. Its building, donated to the city by Mr. and Mrs. A. S. Bridges and built in the 1920s as a unique fireproof, earthquake-proof structure, was partitioned and remodeled into hospital rooms and wards. Windows were cut in walls and other structural changes were made to make it suitable for a hospital.
The Fine Arts Gallery now is temporarily housed at 2030 Sunset Blvd. For a time the navy obtained for the city rental of a private residence on Pine St.
The Museum of Man, too, was taken over for hospital patients, although the navy has since done extensive remodeling, including the flooring over of the rotunda balcony beneath the distinctive California tower, a San Diego landmark. The rotunda now has two full stories. The museum exhibits are stored in the basement.
The Natural History Museum was allowed to store some of its exhibits in the building and was given office space in the basement. Many of its staff, such as taxidermists and exhibit preparators, have scattered to other cities and are in the service. Curators and research workers have continued during the war. The building has been used by the navy to house hospital patients and for training of nurses and corpsmen.
About 30 acres of the park, south of the organ pavilion, soon after the war became Camp Kidd, and the four large exposition buildings in the vicinity of the Ward building were augmented by many frame structures, 32 of them former army barracks. Here the navy has trained more than 26,000 corpsmen since Pearl Harbor. It was the biggest school of its kind in the United States and in June was graduating an average of 135 corpsmen a week.
The old exposition café, across the plaza from the House of Hospitality, was taken over and enlarged tenfold into a mess hall in which thousands of meals were prepared and served each day.
At one time the Natural History Museum building was filled to capacity with scarlet fever cases.
September 5, 1945, San Diego Union, A-2:7. Question of War Memorial Building/Civic Theater referred to subcommittee; discussion held at request of Mayor Knox; committee opposed to proposed mall as site; mayor has a location in mind.
September 6, 1945, San Diego Union, A-1:3-4. Property owners protest; Planning Commission scraps plans for architectural control of proposed city mall at meeting in council chambers yesterday afternoon.
September 12, 1945, Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners.
The Director reported the program proposed by Mr. Leo Calland, assistant to the city manager, for recreation, for the use of those buildings in the Palisades area of Balboa Park for the future recreation program. The program would place general events in the former Palace of Entertainment, music in the former California State Building, badminton, basketball and physical education in the former Municipal Gymnasium and Federal Building.
Mr. Sessions and Mr. Bard reported on the inspection made by the Mayor’s committee on the proposal to develop an extensive parking lot for the Naval Hospital on the area of Balboa Park west of Park Boulevard and south of Pepper Grove. Both expressed their opinion that there was ample room for this development within the Hospital’s own area.
September 12, 1945, San Diego Union, A-8:1. Navy grateful for park buildings, by Bryant Evans.
The navy said “thanks” to the people of San Diego for the use of exposition and museum buildings in Balboa Park as an annex to the Naval Hospital here, then added it would return the buildings to the city as soon as it could.
Capt. Jesse W. Allen (MC), U. S. N., in command of the hospital, told a press conference in the park that he could not yet set a date for turning the buildings back because it had not been estimated how long the buildings would be needed. He pointed out that in January the Balboa Park area had cared for a patient load of 5000 men and that 3400 are there now.
Officers took reporters on a tour of the buildings, thus acknowledging publicly the use to which the handsome Spanish-type buildings — once the Mecca for world sightseers — were being put by the navy medial corps.
A suggestion that the navy might want to retain the exposition site as a permanent establishment was quickly disclaimed by officers.
“The buildings are in no way suited for permanent hospital use,” Capt. John Ruddock (MC), U. S. N., chief of medicine, declared. We do not want huge halls for wards, or buildings scattered as they are here. We are grateful to the people of San Diego for letting us have it when we needed it, but we shall also be glad when permanent facilities can take care of the need.”
Capt. Julius L. Waterman (MC), U. S. N. R. officer in charge of park hospital units, declared that the administration problem is tremendous. Because many of the temporary buildings are inflammable, constant vigilance is required and 183 men have been detailed to constant patrolling of the buildings.
Work being done falls in three classes — treatment, rehabilitation of patients, and training of navy medical corpsmen.
Largest hospital wards are located in the California Tower building, with 750 beds; the Fine Arts building, with 423 beds; and the Museum of Natural History, with 837 beds. Most of the large halls are densely crowded with double-deck bunks. Corner cubicles were built of plywood to provide office space. One of the most striking adaptations was made in the California Tower building where a second deck was added under the rotunda.
Life-sized statues of dinosaurs left in the Museum of Natural History because they were too large to move, have been completely incased, and the top of the casing serves as a “bridge” from which nurses and corpsmen oversee the war.
The nearby pond, remembered as a picture of tranquil lilies before the way, yesterday was a scene of joyous activity as convalescent sailors rippled in its water. The pond was transformed by raising its sides. It can be restored to its former use by removing the concrete collar around its top.
The Ford Building has become a vocational school. Within its circular hall students work on automobile and airplane engines. In smaller rooms they study such subjects as mathematics and typing. This is part of the program of rehabilitation.
The House of Hospitality is the center of navy nurse activities. It is used as a mess hall, lounge, headquarters and dormitory. Two hundred of the 500 nurses which have been quartered in double-deck bunks placed in tiny cubicles have been moved to the Embassy Hotel, recently taken over by the navy.
Other exhibition buildings and the uses to which they have been put by the navy include Ford Bowl, theater; Electric and Allied Industries Building, barracks; Federal Building, barracks for 1200 corpsmen; outdoor organ, patients’ theater; California State Building, cooks and messmen’s quarters; Hollywood Hall of Fame, bachelor officer quarters; Palace of Education, C. P. O. quarters; House of Pacific Relations, officer quarters; park board officers, wards; Globe Theater, theater; San Diego Museum, wards and ships service; House of Charm, nurses’ quarters; Science, Photography and Telephone Buildings, nurses’ quarters, ward and post office; Café of the World, mess hall and galley; Botanical Building, lath house; Canadian Legion Building, officers’ mess.
The Better Housing Building, now used as an administration unit, is being fitted to serve as a center for discharging men from the service. The exposition’s “nudist colony” space is used by the Red Cross as a recreation and handicraft center.
September 12, 1945, San Diego Union, A-8:4. Navy park use to be examined.
Appointment of the Balboa Park restoration committee, charged with determining what needs to be done to park buildings to be returned to the city by the navy was announced yesterday by City Manager Fred A. Rhodes.
Its members will be G. Aubrey Davidson, T. C. Macauley, Frank R. Young and Donald B. Smith, the three members of the park commission, Dr. Howard B. Bard, Roland S. Hoyt and Milton P. Sessions; Leo Calland, assistant to the city manager, in charge of recreation; Glenn A. Rick, city planning director, and W. Allen Perry, park director.
The first seven members will make the committee’s decisions. The others will be ex-officio members who will offer advice, but Rhodes said, will have no vote.
The city manager, in a letter to the council announcing the appointments, said that recent consultation with Capt. A. K. Fogg, public works director, 11th Naval District, had brought out the statement that such a committee working with the navy would be of definite benefit to both the city and the navy.
Rhodes reminded the council that the navy has occupied the buildings in the park under a verbal understanding that all of them would be restored to the city in good condition at the termination of naval occupancy.
“The time has come, ” he wrote, “when a survey should be made of each of the buildings and grounds to determine what should be done toward restoration.”
September 12, 1945, A-8:4. Navy asked to pay.
“Why doesn’t the navy pay the cost of that job?” Mayor Harley E. Knox demanded yesterday when a bid for reroofing the Mission Beach bathhouse was being considered.
The plunge has been used by the navy for more than two years without rent. City Manager Fred A. Rhodes said that the navy has refused to rebuild the diving tower. He was instructed to consult naval officials regarding roof repairs.
The manager has recommended accepting the $6339 bid of the Benton Roof and Paint Co. Acceptance of the bid was delayed one week.
September 12, 1945, San Diego Union, A-8:6. Officials view new parking site at Naval Hospital.
City councilmen and members of the city park commission yesterday inspected an area in Balboa Park where the navy desires to install a parking lot for the convenience of the 20,000 out-patients of the naval hospital. They also visited Balboa Stadium to consider whether to permit midget auto racing there.
The group convinced naval officers that the proposed parking lot, near Pepper Grove, could be rearranged so that fewer trees would be destroyed than under the original navy plan.
Councilman Charles B. Wincote and Ernest J. Boud favored midget auto racing, while Councilman Gerald Crary was opposed. Naval Hospital authorities said patients would not be disturbed by the noise.
The council will consider the racing question next Tuesday. City Manager Fred A Rhodes said the races would provide $6000 (?) revenue for the season.
September 14, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:1. Veteran Memorial squabble slows building plans; it is included for Cedar Street mall, but group seeking a special election for creation of a veterans’ district with power to tax for the building refuses to divulge what site they have in mind.
San Diego’s public buildings program is stymied by the controversy raging around location of the proposed veterans’ memorial structures, Councilman Ernest J. Boud said at a luncheon yesterday at the Republican Women’s Federation in U. S. Grant Hotel.
“The council can take no further action toward carrying out that phase of its post-war program until choice of a site for the memorial can be settled,” Boud said. “it is now included in plans for the Cedar St. mall, but the groups now seeking a special election of creation of a veterans’ district with power to tax for the buildings refuse to divulge just what site they have in mind.
“Meanwhile, $1,000,000 is available for the new library, $500,000 is held in readiness by the Board of Education for the schools administration building, and a $500,000 starter appropriation awaits use in erection of the State building.”
Direct opposition to the mall plan was traced by Boud to “misinformation” spread among owners of property that might be condemned for city acquisition. Estimates on property values now in the council’s hands, based on appraisals amounting to twice the assessed valuations of the lands and four times such valuations for buildings, have in no way been approved by the council, Boyd declared.
“The council intends to hire a recognized public appraisal agency to ascertain actual market values of all the property,” Boud said. But many property owners have been told that our tentative figures are final and that the appraisals won’t be changed. They think we want to take the property without proper compensation. That is fantastic.
“While other cities, among them Milwaukee, Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles, complete long-range plans like that upon which the mall proposal is based, we are faced with disputes threatening to bring the whole thing to a standstill.
“When we sought architectural control over the area involved, every attempt to explain its meaning and purpose was booed by a crowd that attended the planning board’s hearing. Ignorance became a barrier to progressive development. Few of those in the crowd knew that most of the city is already under architectural control.”
September 14, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:2. Buses at San Diego Zoo back in service as gas rationing relaxed.
With the relaxation of gas rationing, the familiar zoo buses made their appearance yesterday at the Balboa Park institution amid exclamations of joy from foot-weary patrons.
Belle Benchley, executive secretary of the San Diego Zoological Society, announced that hereafter two buses will be on the job on Sundays, and one bus on weekdays except Mondays.
The Sunday schedule will start at 9:30 a.m., with a bus leaving for its 3-mile tour of the 206-acre zoo each half hour, with the last one leaving at 4:30 in the afternoon.
The daily schedule, except Monday, calls for the first bus to leave at 9:30 a.m. and each hour thereafter, with the final tour starting at 3:30.
The zoo’s buses were the victims of gas rationing soon after Pearl Harbor, and have been laid up in the garage for three and a half years.
The hour’s ride, conducted with a running lecture by Ken Howard, takes the patrons in every canyon, and on every mesa in the zoo, with a bus-view of the garden’s 2500 birds and animals.
September 15, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:6. Canadian Legion asks that it be permitted to resume tenancy of old Yorick Theater building at Park Boulevard and Laurel Street.
September 16, 1945 (?), San Diego Union, A-4:2-3. Glenn A. Rick, planning director, defends Board’s position on mall.
September 17, 1945, San Diego Union, A-6:1. City officials plan uses for park buildings.
City recreation officials, anticipating eventual return to public use of Balboa Park Exposition buildings now occupied by the navy for hospital use and training, are at work on plans for a diversified cultural, social and recreational mecca in the park to which an estimated 250,000 persons would be drawn each year
This was disclosed yesterday by Leo B. Calland, city recreation director, who reported that present plans are centered around five buildings in the Camp Kidd area of the park.
Since these buildings now are used by the navy as quarters for and training of hospital corpsmen it is believed they will be the first to revert to the city when naval activity is curtailed. A number of other buildings will be needed indefinitely for care of medical cases which the nearby Naval Hospital cannot accommodate.
City Manager Fred A. Rhodes said yesterday that he hopes most of the buildings in the park can be converted to public use when relinquished by the navy, rather than be returned to the private and semi-private groups, clubs and organizations which occupied them before the war.
“I don’t see any reason why a lot of special groups should be permitted to take over the buildings for use of their own members. The park should be for all the people of San Diego,” Rhodes said.
It is along this line that Calland is planning. The five buildings under consideration are centered in the area of the Ford Bowl and the Ford exposition building. Before the war the former was popularly used for summer open-air concerts. The latter, throughout the war, has been used by the city schools as a vocational training school. Aside from these Calland’s department plans to convert
- The Palace of Education Building, now the 11th Naval District Officers’ Club to an Events building.
- The State Building to a Music building for use of non-professional music groups.
- The Electricity and Varied Industries Building, before the war a municipal gymnasium, to its pre-war athletic use.
- The Hollywood Hall of Fame Building to a drama, arts and crafts center.
- The Federal Building to a city badminton headquarters.
Calland said the proposed Events building would be ideal for teenage Friday and Saturday night
dances, and could be made available to State college and high schools for dances, parties and other functions for which good facilities are not now available. It also could be used by civic clubs and other groups for banquets for as many as 300 persons.
Perhaps the most ambitious undertaking is that planned for the arts and crafts center, where all types of handicraft would be taught, including a drama workshop with its scene painting, costuming and related activities. A nearby stage, Calland said, could be modified for theatrical productions. Other activities planned for the center include ceramics, weaving, dressmaking, sewing, leather work and scores of hobbies appealing to both youngsters and adults.
“Almost everyone in San Diego should find some interest in the Balboa Recreation Center, either in athletics, social activities or cultural interests,” Calland declared.
Restoration of park buildings in general will be the topic for a joint conference of city park commissioners and city councilmen soon, when policy for use of park buildings and their restoration by the navy will be established, it was reported yesterday.
A committee already has been appointed to survey the city-owned parks property and, in turn, recommend necessary renovation to the navy. The navy occupies the property under verbal agreements with the city providing for restoration of the property to its pre-war condition.
September 19, 1945, San Diego Union, A-1:1. Vote on mall proposal set for November 26.
September 23, 1945, San Diego Union, A-15:1-3. Battle of park recalls start of war in San Diego, by Henry Love.
The Battle of Balboa Park, an engagement of World War Ii that never will get into the official records, was one of the interesting if little known skirmishes during the military occupation of San Diego, the week of December 7-14, 1941.
It has its inception when a thousand soldiers, hastily scraped up from the bottom of an unready-for-war manpower barrel, came into town a few days after Pearl Harbor, and found the city all wet.
Brig. Gen. R. E. Mittelstadt, who previously has been state adjutant general of California, was in command, and, as a former military leader of national guardsmen, he knew all about San Diego.
“To the park, men,” he ordered, and the outfit bore down on the buildings left from the city’s two expositions.
“Sorry, fellows, but you know how it is,” he told a bunch of American Legionnaires he found in the park’s War Memorial building.
“Say no more general,” they told Mittelstadt, and filed out, turning over the big hall and its messing facilities. The general housed his troops in various of the park buildings, taking over a city recreation building among other structures.
“Yes, we’re here,” he told the writer, who called to find out about this sudden park occupation.
But military censorship, then clamping down its iron hand, precluded an publication.
Thus, the army won hands down in the opening phase. But the skirmish had other phases.
The navy, it appears, long had planned to expand in Balboa Park when war in the Pacific would make it tragically necessary to expand local hospital facilities.
News of the army’s arrival and occupation of buildings already earmarked by the navy for its use caused hard-bitten seadogs to swear softly in their beards. Not publicly, of course. They couldn’t make a scene about it. Especially since the army promptly turned its public relations chores over to the navy.
The army was loathe to send its men out in the open for that was a wet December in 1941. The skies dripped as if loaded with the tears of a nation whose seapower had been crippled with a sneak blow at a Pacific bastion.
But finally the navy won out. The army moved out of the park buildings, but not before a start had been made at putting up some of the temporary shacks that blossomed all over the city and county within a few months.
The navy expanded its great hospital until it is now the largest of its kind in the world. It went the army one or two better. Instead of moving into just the buildings the army had seized, the navy came along and took everything else as well.
The army occupation of San Diego progressed from 1000 men in the park to 30,000 scattered in the city and county, their primary aim to smash any commando landings designed to break the production of the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corp’s. great plane plant. Landing fields were ripped out of the brush back from the city, while anti-aircraft guns and searchlights were rushed in to implement the defense forces.
Wealthy residents of Mission Hills, steeped in the doctrine of the rights of the individual, found their backyards filled with soldiers and guns. Every commanding eminence was a sentry post or an artillery bastion.
Skilled bomber commanders came here and estimated probable bomb runs that an enemy would make. These runs were carefully studded with artillery. One such run, along Harbor Drive in the Logan Heights section, looked like a junkyard, the piles of scrap and other debris camouflaging the snouts of long-nosed guns.
Flak towers, square buildings, two and three stories high, sprang up, their top levels crowded with heavy machine guns. The whole Presidio Hills area bristled with weapons to shoot down anything that got through the outer defenses that radiated from the city along all the probable bombing runs.
By night searchlights stabbed the sky, picking out target planes, while on the ground householders wondered when the first enemy blow would come.
For San Diegans knew, with a sureness that brooked no denial, that the toll of Pearl Harbor was much greater than President Roosevelt’s “one old battleship overturned and some other ships damaged” report would indicate.
Some grimly humorous episodes were clothed with censorship.
For instance, there was the beach resident who reported a submarine surfacing off his home. He called the navy about it, but he didn’t understand the situation for the sailor who responded told him he should have called the army, which at the time maintained a bombing patrol off the coast.
This was followed by a public appeal to route all calls about submariners to the army bomber command in this area, but censorship clipped off the place where the reports could be sent. This was all straightened out later, of course.
The second day after Pearl Harbor the skies opened and it rained, along with thunder and lightning. The bolts from above, smashing down on the city, caused a terrific commotion with many fearing that the enemy had come and was bombing the city. A rainy night saw the first blackout.
One of the priceless skirmishes of the early days was the joust between a column of troops and customs offices on both sides of the Mexican border. Rushed to prevent a possible landing of enemy forces while Mexico girded for the struggle, the troops, a great long convoy of them in trucks, were halted at San Ysidro while there was talk of export control, shipping arms into Mexico, customs duties and all that.
The genius who finally settled the dispute has never taken an official bowl. But the troops went through just the same. Broadway was blocked for long intervals during those days as great troop trains poured regiments to what might have proved a hot corner in the defense of the nation.
Of all this the citizens at large knew only a part. They could see bits of the drama going on around them. The first wartime Christmas and a rainy Christmas season it was, too, saw warriors, with steel helmets and weapons on hand, shopping in the downtown stores. A hard-bitten captain of artillery could be seen tenderly handling a fragile doll he was going to send home to his little girl.
A private soldier would be observed shopping for his girl friend. That first army, so far as enlisted personnel went, was composed mostly of bachelors.
Few traces now remain of that first occupation. The army has been selling off the temporary shacks. The Harbor Drive emplacements cannot be identified as such. Children playing in some abandoned buildings set them afire. Vandals worked on others.
City officials finally demanded that the army use the places, guard them properly, or get rid of them. The army chose the latter course.
A few flak towers still stand. Some of the remaining gun emplacements, where solders remained up to and beyond V-J day, are still recognizable as such. The places where the barrage balloons strained at their moorings no longer stand out from the surroundings.
The army force of 30,000 has dwindled to a caretaker crew at Fort Rosecrans and not much more than that at Camp Callan. Hostilities still are progressing under the legal fiction by which President Truman preserves his war powers. But the Battle, or rather the Army occupation of San Diego as we knew it, is over.
September 23, 1945, San Diego Union, A-16:1-3. Photograph of a flak tower still standing at Pringle and Torrance Streets commanding one of the approaches to Lindbergh Field and the airplane factories.
September 28, 1945, Minutes of the first meeting of the City Manager’s Committee on the Restoration of Balboa Park held in the Officers’ Club, Balboa Park, Friday.
Following luncheon the meeting was called to order at 1:00 p.m. by Chairman G. Aubrey Davidson. Members present: Mr. Davidson, Col. T. C. Macaulay, Mr. Frank Young, Dr. Howard B. Bard, Mr. Milton P. Sessions, Mr. Roland S. Hoyt, and ex-office members Mr. Glenn Rick, Mr. Leo Calland and Mr. W. Allen Perry.
The Committee entered into an extended discussion of the problems of restoring the Balboa Park buildings upon their return to the City of San Diego by the United States Naval Hospital. Questions discussed included the possible or probable use of the buildings in the future park program, improvements made by the Navy which the City will wish to retain, buildings in which the City will want all improvements removed and the original condition of the building re-established, personal property including furniture and equipment which the City may wish to obtain either through gift or purchase, execution of the restoration through a contract let by the Navy or with a lump sum appropriated by the Navy to the City of San Diego.
The Committee reviewed the manner in which the Navy’s occupancy was requested and permitted as contained in a letter of December 10, 1941, signed by Captain Byron McCandless, Acting Commandant, 11th Naval District, and a letter dated December 24, 1942, signed by the late Walter W. Cooper as City Manager. Council Resolutions No. 81283, No. 81380 and Document No. 355037 were reviewed inasmuch as they specifically provide for the restoration of the Fine Arts Gallery, the Natural History Museum and the San Diego Museum of Man.
In view of the vast amount of detail which the restoration of the buildings involves, and the necessity for proper specifications and estimates to present to the Navy, it was moved by Mr. Sessions, seconded by Dr. Bard, and unanimously carried, that the City Manager be requested to employ professional services to conduct and prepare a survey and cost estimates of park rehabilitation, said work to be conducted under the control of the Board of Park Commissioners.
Mr. Calland outlined the proposed program of general events to be conducted in the buildings now occupied by the Officers’ Club and stressed the desirability of obtaining the equipment and furnishings now in place. It was moved by Mr. Bard, seconded by Mr. Young and unanimously carried that Mr. Davidson and Mr. Calland be appointed as a sub-committee to call upon the proper Naval authorities in an effort to obtain the Officers’ Club in its present condition.
After discussing the restoration agreements existing for the Natural History Museum, the Fine Arts Gallery and the San Diego Museum of Man, it was moved by Mr. Young, seconded by Dr. Bard and unanimously carried that the three institutions be advised of the professional assistance which will be provided and requested to submit specifications and estimates of their restoration requirements to be incorporated in the total estimate of this committee.
It was decided that this Committee would meet at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 3rd, to begin its inspection of the various buildings and areas in Balboa Park which enter into the restoration problem.
Upon motion, seconded and carried, the meeting adjourned.
/s/ W. Allen Perry
September 30, 1945, San Diego Union, A-15:1-4. San Diego Zoo gets portable X-ray.
October 1, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:7. Museum of Natural History gets plant collection from private herbarium of C. J. Jerabek of the City Park Department.
October 2, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:1. County Supervisors yesterday unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a special election November 27 on the proposal to establish a War Memorial District.
The supervisors called the election after Asst. Distr. Atty. Frank T. Dunn reported that a petition filed with the County Clerk September 17 by a veterans’ committee headed by Capt. Homer Hacker contained a total of 4869 (?) signatures, a number sufficient to warrant calling the election.
Boundaries of the proposed district will be those of the city of San Diego. Voters within the city limits will cast ballots on November 27 on whether the district should be formed and also will vote for a board of five directors.
This board will have the power to levy taxes, to propose bond issues, to select sites for the memorial buildings and to erect and manage the structure. Tentative estimate of the cost of the war memorial is $3,000,000.
Adoption of the resolution was taken on motion of Supervisor Dan Rossi. Hacker thanked the board for its action on behalf of the veterans’ organizations which circulated the petition.
October 3, 1947, San Diego Union, 4:3-4. Museum of Natural History to resume nature studies with October walks.
October 10, 1945, Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners.
The City Manger forwarded a request from officers of the House of Pacific Relations for the return of the Houses of Pacific Relations to that organization. Since the general program for the reuse of park buildings has not yet been formulated and since the Navy has given no indication of the time at which the buildings will be returned to the city, it was unanimously carried that the City Manager be informed that these conditions preclude any action at this time.
October 10, 1945, San Diego Union, 8:4-5. Freed area men think park hospital heaven.
Four San Diego men sat on the stops of the Naval Hospital in Balboa Park yesterday and said it was like heaven. They had recently been flown from Yokohama after spending three years as prisoners of the Japanese.
They are: Chief Radioman Robert C. Miller, U. S. N., of 1569 Front St.; Chief Metalsmith Donald W. Miller, U. S. N., of 3913 Newton Ave.; Chief Electrician’s Mate Earl T. Hartsell, U. S. N., of 3913 Alabama St., and Aviation Ordinanceman 1c Rudolph A. Paredes, U. S. N., of 1730 Cleveland Ave., National City.
Radioman Miller, a survivor of the death march of Bataan, pointed to a badly-scarred ear and described how a brutal Japanese guard had knocked the bandage off the ear, which has been nearly cut in two the day before while he was doing “coolie” labor in a coal yard.
Metalsmith Miller (the two are not related) gave a sidelight on the B-29 raids. He was moved from camp to camp as the bombs destroyed nearby towns. “Few of our prisoners were hurt and none killed in the raids,” he said. “Osaka was completely devastated.”
Paredes offered another comment on the raids by recalling “our Japanese guards greeted the first B-29s that came over with scorn and derision. When thousands of others followed, leaving fire, death and devastation in their wake, their laughter turned to amazement.”
Hartsell said he found the cigarettes in Red Cross packages good for more than smoking. “One pack would net you five kilos of beans if you could contact the right guard or civilian worker,” he said.
October 10, 1945, San Diego Union, B-12:5. Balboa Stadium policy bothers City Council.
What to do about Balboa Stadium has the city council bothered. One thing they are agreed upon — it needs policing. But they are not certain that motorcycle races should be permitted there. They are not too enthusiastic about midget auto races. And they are not certain just what high school football games should be played without charge by the city. They appear to be agreed that a better understanding should be had with the city school board.
It has been the policy of the police chief not to sent city patrolmen to maintain order at privately-managed, profit-making shows staged in the city’s Stadium.
Some councilmen were of the opinion when the Stadium question was debated in a conference yesterday that the “police should be where the crowds are.” One member of the council said that he had attended a recent football game with his wife and daughters and that marines were using language “that would make a ship’s captain blush,” while two police “walked arm in arm,” apparently enjoying the game and heedless of disorder, which was described as “rampant lawlessness.”
“The football coaches are plenty burned up about lack of police protection,” said another councilmen. One member said that at a recent game youngsters were running about the field during play and some were perched on goal posts.
Why San Diego high school teams should play without any charge to the city, while other city high schools, including Hoover, La Jolla and Point Loma, maintain their own fields and must pay for use of the Stadium is a question the council wants answered.
That will be the subject matter of an early conference between the council and the city school board, it was decided.
“The schools charge plenty for the use of Russ Auditorium,” one councilman said, “but they don’t want to be charged for the city’s Stadium.”
Another councilman said that he had recently solicited an $1800 fund for new uniforms for La Jolla’s team, because that team’s “gate” does not produce enough to outfit the squad. He said the whole city school athletic program needs readjustment.
October 14, 1945, San Diego Union, A-9:1-3. Himalyan bears popular with visitors at San Diego Zoo.
October 18, 1945, San Diego Union, 1:1, 2:3. U. S. Navy to name San Diego home port for 256 ships.
October 18, 1945, San Diego Union, 1:8, 3:6. San Diego wins battle to save aqueduct as Navy signs contract.
October 18, 1945, San Diego Union, 11:4-5. San Diego Realty Board yesterday voiced unanimous opposition to the proposed Veterans’ Memorial District to be voted on November 27.
October 21, 1945, San Diego Union, 11:2-4, 13:2-3. George W. Marston reaches 95.
October 25, 1945, San Diego Union, B-14:1. County Park Commission approves lease of Agua Caliente Springs oasis.
October 27, 1945, San Diego Union, 1:7-8, 2:5-6. Thousands greet cruiser San Diego here for Navy Day.
October 27, 1945, San Diego Union, 6:1. Naval Hospital choir to offer public concert.
The Protestant choir of the Naval Hospital here will present its October public candlelight choral service at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the hospital chapel.
October 27, 1945, San Diego Union, Navy Day Section, 3:2-5. Program for City’s Navy Day observance.
October 27, 1945, San Diego Union, Navy Day Section, 3:7-8. 11th Naval District history marked by achievements.
October 27, 1945, San Diego Union, Navy Day Section, 4:1-5. Naval Hospital Here Has Treated 160,000 Patients, by Vincent Dunne.
More than 160,000 patients have been treated at the Naval Hospital from the war’s start to the present, it is disclosed by Capt. Jesse W. Allen, (MC), U. S. N. medical officer in command.
In addition, almost 30,000 hospital corpsmen, including the bluejackets who stormed ashore as medical aids with every wave of marine invading troops, have been trained in the hospital’s Balboa Park area.
With an emergency bed capacity for 12,000 patients, the San Diego medical center is the world’s largest naval hospital. Expanding during the war to include the former San Diego Exposition buildings, ex-army units in Balboa Park, and an annex at Rancho Santa Fe, the hospital’s 220 buildings cover 242 acres.
Despite its great size, the hospital has won the accolade of the medical world for its high professional standards. It stands as one of the nation’s leaders in reconstruction and rehabilitation work and has been selected as the Navy’s west coast center for plastic and neuro surgery.
To the hospital wards have come men from European campaigns and veterans of every battle on land and sea in the Pacific, from Pearl Harbor to the Japanese shores. Some of the fighting men, those requiring considerable plastic, orthopedic or neuro surgery attention, have been hospitalized here as long as two years.
Rebuilt and in many cases entirely new noses, ears, eyelids and other facial features have been given wounded men by the hospital’s plastic surgeons. Neuro surgeons have repaired delicate nerve centers and orthopedic doctors, who have had as many as 1500 patients under their care, have grafted and pieced together shattered bones.
Departments such as these have won wide acclaim but actually scores of other divisions of the hospital have accomplished equally fine but perhaps less sensational work.
Capt. Allen’s staff includes some of the outstanding medical men and women in the country. Many are from the Mayo clinic, and other famous civilian medical centers.
With demobilization in the forefront, the hospital’s rehabilitation program, which speeds the physical conditioning of patients and prepares them for return to civilian life, is vitally important.
Because of its size, the hospital is not unlike a small city, with a bank, laundry, carpentry shop and other similar units. Patients are taught civilian trades by actual work in these shops and activities.
Educational officers help patients with high and college studies, even as the students be in bed.
Furthermore, San Diego’s weather is a large factor in outdoor physical training and the hospital conducts a major athletic program for patients to retrain and to rebuild themselves under the expert supervision of experienced coaches and physical education men.
In addition to treat service patients, the San Diego hospital cares for thousands of navy and marine dependents, the relatives of the men in uniform. One of the hospital’s features is the care given to expectant mothers, the delivery of their children, and the nursery wards, which treat young patients.
When commissioned in 1922, the hospital comprised six small buildings and a tent section and its bed capacity was 500. It was centered around the present administration building, which was then used for sick officers’ quarters as well as office space.
Although gradually enlarged in succeeding years, major expansion did not start until 1940 when construction began on 15 convalescent wards, which now spread over the east side of the main compound.
More than 4000 beds were added early in the war when the navy took over the former Exposition buildings and began converting them into wards and living quarters.
Speed was the essence as the American offensive advanced north from historic Guadalcanal and the Solomons and across the Pacific. Such was the job performed that when the first wounded were returned the hospital was ready to receive them.
All of the buildings along Laurel St. are now used to house patients and nurses. Exposition structures near the Ford building in the south end of the grounds form the site of the immense hospital corps school. The Ford Bowl and the Spreckels Organ Pavilion are the scenes of outdoor movies each night.
This tremendous expansion task was directed mainly by Rear Admiral George C. Thomas (MC), U. S. N., and Commodore Morton D. Willcutts (MC), U. S. N., while serving in command here.
Today the park hospital has an emergency bed capacity of approximately 8000, although the number of beds there now has been reduced to 4550, to allow more comfortable quarters for the men.
In January of this year, Balboa Park reached its highest peak in patient load when 5000 men were under treatment. There still are more than 3000 patients in the park.
Of the 29 structures used in this 33-acre park unity, the largest ward buildings are the Museum of Natural History, the California Tower building and the Fine Arts edifice.
The California Tower building, with 750 beds, now is used for convalescent neuro-psychiatric patients. A second deck has been added to give greater bed space.
The Fine Arts building, with 423 beds, is used to care for acute pulmonary, heart, arthritis and other serious medical cases.
There are 837 beds in the Museum of Natural History, including many double-deck bunks. Men suffering from skin diseases and chronic ailments are cared for there. Museum pieces are closeted beneath platforms at each end of the wards, with the tops of the platforms used as offices for the nurses.
Taken over by the Navy in March, 1943, these three buildings provided immediate quarters for patients rushed to the west coast at that stage of the war. Almost as soon as beds were set up, hundreds of patients were moved in.
The House of Hospitality is the center of all Navy nurse activities. The building is used as a “chow hall,” lounge and headquarters as well as a dormitory.
At one time during the war a few of the convalescent patients occupied half-tents in Balboa Park. All these men now are in permanent buildings but some hospital corpsmen still are quartered in the tents because of the patient load.
Another of the former exposition buildings has been fitted to serve as a release center for men being medically discharged from the service.
Besides Navy, Marine and Coast Guard patients and their dependents, many veterans of World War I are under treatment in Balboa Park wards.
The park also provides considerable recreation facilities for patients. The lily pond has been deepened and converted into a swimming pool. The site of the Exposition’s “nudist colony” now is a Red Cross and handicraft center. The famous Globe theater is used for classroom lectures and entertainment. The building adjoining serves as a ship’s store.
The hospital corps school, in what is known as the Camp Kidd section of Balboa Park, is the largest school of its kind in the navy. The Federal, Electrical, California State and other Exposition buildings serve as school dormitories, classrooms and offices.
During the war field first aid and field sanitation were first practiced in the park’s wooded areas, with students simulating the combat conditions they were later to face on Pacific islands. At its height, the corps school covered 33 acres and occupied 62 buildings, mostly former army huts.
Before Camp Kidd was occupied by the hospital school it served as an annex to the Naval Training Station.
Alternations which have been made to the Exposition buildings have been done in such a manner that the structures can be returned to the city in their original form.
The Naval Hospital also as two other units in Balboa Park. On cluster of 27 buildings on the park’s west edge, which formerly was used by the army’s WACS was converted to a convalescent center for the navy. The group of nine buildings north of Laurel St. is used as a baggage depot and formerly was an army camp.
Eventually San Diego will again claim its world-famous park. But meanwhile the City always can point with pride to the part its beautiful acres played in the treatment and rehabilitation of the wounded.
October 27, 1945, San Diego Union, Navy Day Section, 7:1-3. U. S. Naval Training Center gem of 11th District.
October 27, 1945, San Diego Union, Navy Day Section, 8:1-8. San Diego home of Naval Aviation.
October 27, 1945, San Diego Union, Navy Day Section, 10:3. San Diego generous in providing land for Navy, by Dick Mansfield.
Recognizing from the start the important contribution the U. S. Navy could make in the development and maintenance of the city and port of San Diego, the city has continued through the years to be more than generous to the navy in return.
Since 1916 the city has turned over land and use to the Navy to a total of approximately $11,700,000. And city officials indicated today, there is no indication of shutting off the city’s generosity. Already, the city park commission has drawn plans for the clearing and paving of space across Park Boulevard from the main gate of the Naval Hospital to provide free public parking lot accommodations for the convenience of the hospital’s visitors. The Navy continues to use much of the public park land and buildings rent free.
It was in 1916 that the Naval Training Station transfer to our Southland from the San Francisco bay region was provided for, due largely to the interest and instrumentality of the late Congressman Rep. Bill Kettner, for whom Kettner Boulevard was named, and the city’s fireboat, the Bill Kettner, which later was turned over to government use during the war.
San Diego started off by giving the Navy first 135 acres for a site of the Naval Training Station, then followed it up with 95 acres in 1930 for expansion, the whole site being valued at $1,166,000, according to a report just compiled by the city administration.
Land donated to the Navy for Marine Corps Base establishment and expansion amounted to even more, exceeding $2,050,000. The base was founded on a donated site of 500 acres in 1916, which was enlarged by 146 acres in 1930 and 67 more in 1933.
The Naval Hospital was given a choice site in Balboa Park of 17.35 acres in 1919, followed by 5.46 in 1926, and 15.60 acres leased for $1 in 1937, and gift of 39.93 acres in 1939, the whole valued at $1,114,320.
During the war and continuing to date the Navy has been allowed 200 acres or more of developed area in Balboa Park, without rent, the property being valued “conservatively” at $1,000,000.
Eleventh Naval District headquarters have been provided with land and pier sites valued at $4,500,000; the Repair Base with 1613 acres given and 712 leased, all valued at $500,000.
The Marine rifle range takes 544 acres, given in 1926 and 1927, valued at $272,000.
A Camp Kearny site of 14 acres was donated in 1929 at a cost of $1400. The Coast Guard has not been forgotten, the citizens of the city being generous in giving waterfront land as requested and a bay area, all worth $45,400 at the time of giving, and worth more now.
The city gave up its Mission Beach bathhouse, Balboa Park swimming pool, the old jail, space in police headquarters, city shops, garage use, the old isolation hospital building, space in Presidio Park, Twenty-eighth Street pier, and other properties, including generous office space in the Civic Center administration building itself, still in use by the Navy, and Navy public works building and a huge warehouse occupy valuable waterfront sites on Pacific Highway.
Summing it up, San Diego has given with little if any stint, granting Navy requests not only as they came up, but sometimes in anticipation, anxious to show its appreciation of the presence here of the Navy, both from families of men in the service and from those who have retired from the service and chosen to make their homes here in this city which has served the Navy so well and has been proud to claim the Navy for its own.
October 27, 1945, San Diego Union, Navy Day Section, 20:2. Camp Elliott distribution center active.
Camp Elliott, a U. S. Naval Training and Distribution Center, located approximately 16 miles northeast of San Diego, has a housing capacity for approximately 15,000 men and Waves. Initially constructed in 1941 as an activity center of the Fleet Marine force, the station was taken over by the Navy on June 26, 1944, and played an important role in helping win the war.
Covering 28,740 acres, the camp has grown continuously until today the estimated cost of facilities has reached $9,500,000. The station provides berthing, messing, transportation, processing, distribution and refresher and advanced training facilities for all those passing through.
As a receiving station, Camp Elliott provides necessary facilities for berthing, messing and commercial transportation to officers and enlisted men attached there, taking care of men in transit awaiting a new assignment or discharge. Since the war’s end, the center has been used as an “intake” center for routing men to be discharged to separation centers nearest their homes.
The station also provides berthing, messing, administrative and training facilities for a Transport Quartermaster School, Chemical Warfare Instructors’ School, and berthing and messing facilities for officers of the Amphibious Training Command, and ComFair West Coast Range facilities for activities of the 11th Naval District are also provided.
At Camp Elliott one finds a small-sized city of barracks, messhalls, administration buildings, BOQ’s dispensaries, Ship’s Service, school buildings, storehouses, trainer buildings, auditoriums, two boiler plants, two boiler plants, refrigeration plant, bakery, swimming pools, athletic areas and a sewage disposal plant.
Water lines with two 1,000,000-gallon concrete storage reservoirs, and a 100,000-gallon elevated steel storage tank, electric lines, telephone lines, and various ranges complete the camp’s facilities.
October 28, 1945, San Diego Union, 3:1-4. House of Pacific Relations plans 10th annual fiesta Saturday evening in the San Diego Women’s Clubhouse, Third and Maple Streets; R. O. Coggeshall, president of the organization, George Pruski, master of ceremonies; numbers by the Scandinavian dancers who represent the cottages of Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
October 29, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:1-2. Hippos at San Diego Zoo show life as amphibians.
November 2, 1945, San Diego Union, 5:4. Navy returns swimming pool in park to City.
The Navy, which early in the war took over the public swimming pools in San Diego for recruit training, yesterday returned to the city the Balboa Park swimming pool at the foot of Texas Street, the 11th Naval District announced.
The Balboa Park pool, “borrowed” from the city in December, 1941, was used early in the war to teach soldiers and Naval recruits to swim. Since 1942 it has been used by the Naval Hospital.
The Navy is continuing the use of the municipal swimming pool at Mission Beach for training recruits. Since the center is reportedly operating at capacity due to abandonment of other Naval centers in the country, early return of the beach pool is unlikely.
A third pool — formerly the Balboa Park Lily pool [sic] — has been improved during the last summer. With another pool on the hospital compound, it will be adequate for orthopedic treatment of Naval Hospital patients and swimming instruction for other Naval personnel at the hospital.
Leo B. Calland, city recreation director, said yesterday that use of the Balboa Park swimming pool during fall, winter and spring is impractical. Accordingly, it will not be placed in public use until next summer.
Although the pool attracted 22,286 youngsters during the two months it was open to the public on a part-time basis last summer, it is eight blocks from the nearest streetcar line, Calland said.
The location was fixed years ago when city planners expected Upas Street to become a cross-town artery over which a street or bus car line would be routed.
Calland said a full aquatic recreation program at the pool is planned, beginning next June, with night swimming for adults. The pool is 135 ft. long, 65 feet wide. The Navy erected an abandon-ship practice tower on which 12,000 hospital corps school students were trained during the war.
Scores of wounded patients at the hospital have benefited from underwater exercises and treatment there.
November 2, 1945, San Diego Union, 6:3-4. Natural History Museum free events announced.
November 2, 1945, San Diego Union, 12:3-4. Balboa Park trolley service halted as wires snap.
November 4, 1945, San Diego Union, 4:3-6. Naval Hospital shows worth of bond generosity.
If you are to understand about the amount you can “afford” to invest in Victory bonds, you might use these figures as a yardstick with which to measure the extent of your loan to Uncle Sam.
Care and rehabilitation of a patient at the Naval Hospital in Balboa Park is $2.17 a day, plus 65 cents for rations. That $2.82 per man, and there are about 6000 of them undergoing various kinds of treatment today. If you buy a $100 Series E bond — cost price $75 — the money you put over the counter will underwrite the care of one may for about 26 days.
Someday, maybe a few months hence or longer, your man will leave the hospital as sound as the utmost in surgical and medical science can make him. He will resume the life that was interrupted by the Jap hit-and-run at Pearl Harbor.
And you? Well, if you hang on to your $100 Victory bond for ten years, you’ll make $25 on the deal.
The Naval Hospital is playing a vitally important but unspectacular role in restoring to usefulness thousands of men disabled at the battle front. It was because the public has only a hazy idea of what this institution is doing that the war finance committee decided to feature the rehabilitation program during the course of the Victory Loan.
At the committee’s request, Capt. Jesse W. Allen, medical officer in command of the hospital, provided some interesting facts. Here are some of the highlights:
Now being treated are veterans of every Pacific campaign from Pearl Harbor through the first day of victory. Some of them, such as those requiring considerable plastic, orthopedic or neuro surgery, have been hospitalized for more two years. Among recent arrivals were more than 350 former prisoners of the Japs. Other men, seriously wounded, are being transferred here constantly from base hospitals overseas.
Long and patient care will be required to return them to civilian life in the best possible condition. In some cases, noses, eyelids and other facial features must be restored by plastic surgery. In others, shattered bones must be grafted and pieced together, or delicate nerves repaired. In still other cases, it is the minds of the men that require healing.
Present operating costs of the hospital are around $7,000,000 yearly, exclusive of military salaries.
Since it was started in 1922 construction costs have totaled about $10,000,000.
Since the start of the war more than 176,000 patients have been treated. The peak month was last January when there were 12,068 patients in the wards. The present bed capacity is 9200.
On the hospital staff are 863 officers, including 170 doctors and 482 nurses. Hospital corps enlisted personnel totals 2666, of which 763 are Waves. In addition, the hospital has some 1150 civil service employees.
During the last six months, 35,192 patients, of whom 12,027 were overseas casualties, were admitted. There were 5670 operations performed in the surgeries; 3180 patients were treated in the orthopedic service; the plastic surgery department admitted 783 and performed from five to seven operations a day; 284 operations were performed among the 456 patients in the neuro-surgery department.
Concerning rehabilitation work, Capt. Allen has this to say:
“Rehabilitation work, to speed the physical condition of patients and to prepare them to return to civilian life, is a vital part of the program. They are taught trades by actual work in various shops of the compound.
“Educational services officers help patients with high school and college studies. In the Ford Building, in the park, a school specializing in vocational subjects has been set up and is attended by ambulatory patients.
“An extensive physical training program contributes to the restoration of the patient to his normal strength and vigor, and adds to his interest in life. Occupational therapy workshops provide many convalescents with interesting and worthwhile occupation. Red Cross projects help them to pass their time constructively and provide entertainment, as does the hospital’s varied welfare and recreational program.”
Recently members of the war finance committee and county community chairmen were guests of Capt. Allen and his staff on a tour of part of the big institution, and at a luncheon. So illuminating was the visit that Philip L. Gildred, Victory bond chairman, expressed the sentiments of the entire group when he said:
“If the people of San Diego could see for themselves the great program that is being carried on at the hospital, our Victory Loan quota and its $7,000,000 E-bond goal would be oversubscribed by a wide margin.”
November 4, 1945, San Diego Union, A-15:2-4. Cages at San Diego Zoo required to keep agile “cats” confined.
November 5, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:1. Veterans to oppose Memorial Plan on tax grounds.
November 6, 1945, Letter, From: Charles C. Dail, To: Rear Admiral W. L. Friedell, USN, Commandant, Eleventh Naval District, San Diego 30, California; National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
If it would meet with your approval, I should appreciate greatly an opportunity to discuss the possibilities of working out an arrangement whereby the Globe Theater in Balboa Park might be made available to the San Diego Community Players for the purpose of enabling them to conduct rehearsals and meetings for their organization. There present facilities, which are improvised, are very inadequate.
This overture in not an effort to obtain general admittance for the public to this facility, but to obtain the use of the building for the immediate and bona fide members of that organization which has operated in San Diego for so many years past, with signal [sic] benefit to the community, which includes all of us.
The conference contemplated would include the President of the organization, Mr. Leo Calland of the San Diego City Recreation Department and myself.
With kindest regards, I am
/s/ CHARLES C. DAIL
November 6, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:1-2. Veteran Memorial special vote plan meets hot opposition.
A drumfire of opposition to the movement for obtaining a veterans’ war memorial through a special bond election November 27 was heard yesterday at a meeting of the Hammer Club, composed of war veterans. But action on a resolution opposing the present plan was deferred until November 19, after one member objected to acting until both sides had been heard, and it was found that Club policy is against taking sides on a controversial matter at the same meeting where it was introduced.
Opposition to the plan to get the memorial through the November 27 election was voiced by Councilman Ernest J. Boud, speaker of the day; R. King Kauffman, program chairman; and T. C. Macaulay, veteran of both world wars. Boud and Kauffman are World War I veterans.
Bert J. Schaefer, World War I veteran, then sought to introduce a resolution putting the Clubs on record against the election proposition. But Richard J. Cosgriff, service officer of the local Disabled American Veterans and a World War II veteran, said he thought the other side should be presented before the Club. Schaefer then moved to set the vote on his resolution for the November 19 meeting, as the Club will not meet next Monday, which will be observed as Armistice Day.
Boud said his opposition was to the proposed method of financing the veterans’ memorial, and not to a memorial.
“I know of no one averse to a memorial dedicated to and for the veterans of all wars,” he said. “I believe the present approach involving the creation of special assessment district is the wrong approach. I believe the present effort should be abandoned and a complete new start made. But this should be done only after a most complete study of all the problems involved, and that his study should be made by a definitely unprejudiced group.”
Speaking as a World War I veteran and a member of the veterans’ memorial building committee, Boud told the Club he wanted to present a minority report. He recalled the move to put a memorial building on the site of Lane Field and told of the studies made by the Planning Commission which proposed a memorial group, including a veterans’ building, at the east end of a mall on Cedar Street, that would run from the waterfront to the park.
He told of studies made for a $5,000,000 bond issue to finance the memorial group, with $3,500,000 for the buildings and $1,500,000 for the land. But some groups didn’t want to move this way, he said, and the petitions for the special district were filed, with the election called for November 27, at a cost of $25,000 to the taxpayers.
Boud said it was difficult to vote on a project that he believes hasn’t been presented properly before the people, and one that has many objections. Blasting reports that a million dollars would be available from the state’s $90,000,000 post-war fund, he said Governor Warren told him none of this money would be available for jails, courthouses and other public buildings, that such buildings were not the responsibility of the state. He called on Supt. of Schools Will C. Crawford for confirmation and Crawford said he had been told the schools could not get any of the money for their proposed administration building.
Under the memorial district plan, Boud said a maximum of 30 cents on each $100 valuation could be levied annually on city property included in the district boundaries. This levy would bring $645,000 a year at the present ratio of valuation and taxes, Boud said he was told by Assessor Crowell D. Eddy.
Using the 30-cent levy it would take five years to finance the memorial project, the councilman asserted, adding that the district directors, who are not subject to recall and who have almost unlimited access to district funds, could present a bond issue for a memorial which would mean another election.
But a bond issue proposed by the district would have behind it only the real property revenues of the city, while a bond issue sponsored by the city government would have all the municipal revenues available to help pay the interest and sinking fund charges, he said.
Only 45 percent of the city’s property is taxable under the district plan, he said. At present the city gets only 38 percent of its revenue from real property, with the rest coming from other sources.
The site for the proposed building is “kept secret by proponents of the district plan,” he said. He added that he can’t find out, even though he’s a member of the memorial committee. The site proposed by the Planning Commission would require street closings, as would any other site in the downtown area, yet the City Council has not been told what streets would have to be closed at the “mystery site,” he said.
The present plan, he concluded, is both economically and politically objectionable. While a majority vote is all that is needed to create this district, it takes a two-thirds vote to dissolve it, which adds another objection.
Boud said he has been threatened with recall for his stand in opposing the present district plan.
Macaulay praised Boud’s courage, saying it was in line with veterans’ ideals and with sound economics. Veterans are on trail, in a way, he said, and should move carefully. He cited difficulties his post had in getting a building downtown without obtaining the best advice on the action. Macaulay said he hoped a motion would be made at the November 19 meeting to oppose the creation of the district at the November 27 election date.
Clarence Brittain presided at the meeting, but took no part in the discussion.
November 7, 1945, San Diego Union, 1:1. City Council opposes proposal for Veterans’ District.
November 7, 1945, San Diego Union, B-12:2. Bob Hope, comedian, visits Naval Hospital.
November 13, 1945, San Diego Union, 1:2, 4:3. San Diego observes Armistice Day; Balboa Park Stadium scene of ceremony.
November 16, 1945, San Diego Union, 4:3-4. Servicemen’s families find haven in Naval Hospital.
November 20, 1945, San Diego Union, 11:3. Hammer Club opposes plan for Veterans’ Memorial District.
November 21, 1945, San Diego Union, 11:3. Camp Callan dismantling to start December 26.
November 22, 1945, San Diego Union, 1:1. Suit attacks Veteran Memorial District vote legality; court complaint asserts that City Charter takes precedence.
November 23, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:2-3. American Legion post opposes Veterans’ Memorial District.
November 24, 1945, Letter, From: W. L. Friedell, Commandant; To: Mr. F. A. Rhodes, City Manager, The City of San Diego, California; ND11/NH16 (A7-Wr) Serial V-3085; National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
The Commandant received a letter from Mr. Charles E. Dail under date of November 6, 1945 relative to the availability of the Globe Theater in Balboa Park for the use of the San Diego Community Players. The Commandant replied to Mr. Dail under date of 8 November suggesting that he discuss the matter with the Medical Officer in Command of the Naval Hospital, Captain J. W. Allen (MC), USN. As a result of this conference, the Commandant has received official communication from Captain Allen under date of November 21, 1945, stating that buildings No. 259, No. 261 and No. 263 – Barber Shop and Laboratory, Ship’s Service and Globe Theater respectively — are no longer required by the Hospital. Copies of these letters are enclosed herewith.
The Commandant requests that you advise him if the City of San Diego desires the return of these buildings to the City at the present time and in advance of the release of the remainder of the buildings in Balboa Park. Should you desire that the buildings be returned at the present time, it is suggested that your representative confer with Captain A. K. Fogg (CEC), USN, the District Public Works Officer, with a view to determining what the restoration charges will be to restore these three buildings to the condition existing at the time the Navy took over the buildings.
Very truly yours,
W L FRIEDELL
November 24, 1945, San Diego Union, 1:1. Veterans’ Memorial District vote hinges on court action.
November 25, 1945, San Diego Union, A-1:1. A:5. Court refuses write to ban War Memorial District vote.
November 28, 1945, San Diego Union, A-1:1. Voters say “no” to Memorial District tax plan.
San Diego voters yesterday voted 6-1/2 to 1 against establishing a special tax district within the city to erect a veterans’ memorial. Out of 544 precincts in the city, 538 had reported by midnight 3724 votes for the district and 24,091 against.
Since the district failed in the election, no board of directors will take office. Consequently the contest to name five of seven candidates to the board in yesterday’s election became a matter of academic interest only.
In the contest Harry C Clark was leading in the late returns. Votes received in the 538 precincts to report are as follows:
Harry C. Clark 5285
Bryant K. Burnett 4556
Ambrose H. Redmond 4463
Henry H. Hacker 4125
Ann O. Briggs 3910
Joseph I. Nettlekoven 3608
Adolph Brodman 2720
Only one of every four of the city’s 123,246 registered voters cast ballots and of these only a fifth voted for the candidates.
In appeared the total vote would not exceed 30,000 and the voters who cast ballots for candidates would not exceed 6000. Some voters who opposed creating a tax district still voted for board aspirants.
A note of post-election harmony was injected into the contest by a statement from Fred Kunzel, chairman of the San Diego Veterans’ League, which was active in the campaign against establishing the tax district.
“The claims and counterclaims made during the campaign may have led the public to believe that former servicemen are divided into hostile camps,” said Kunzel. “This is an erroneous impression.
“The San Diego Veterans’ League, representing many thousands of ex-servicemen, opposed the proposition on the broad ground that it was basically unsound. To that extent only have we disagreed with those who championed the measure.
“This organization will be among the first to support a widely developed memorial project, and we will gladly join with our late opponents in working toward that objective.”
The proposal on which citizens voted yesterday asked that a special tax district be created to erect and operate a veterans’ memorial project. The district would have covered the entire area which the city covered.
The principal objections of opponents to the project was that , as the contended, the creation of a special district would incur overhead expenses which duplicate city expenditures. They said the same purpose could be attained more cheaply by city government.
November 29, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:5. 24,165 votes against Memorial District tax plan.
November 30, 1945, San Diego Union, B-4:5. Park buildings reserved for recreation use.
Conversion of buildings in the Palisades are of Balboa Park to recreational uses is planned by the city playground commission, Leo Calland, recreation director, announced yesterday.
All requests for eventual use of buildings within the park, now under navy control, have been referred by the city council to the park commission.
Allen Perry, park superintendent, said yesterday that the buildings in the Palisades area have been assigned to the recreation department.
He added, however, that current reports that various groups are being assigned buildings for post-war use are not true. He said no allocations have been made other than city departments.
The recreation department announcement said the former Palace of Education, the State Building, Hollywood Hall of Fame, Palace of Electricity and Allied Industries and the Federal Building are due for immediate conversion to recreational use when returned and renovated.
Before the war the Federal Building had been used for badminton by the playground department and proved so popular that much more space will be used for that game and many other recreation facilities, Calland said.
November 30, 1945, San Diego Union, 14:2. Many signed petition but few voted for Veterans’ War Memorial District.
Final returns from the election Tuesday in which voters overwhelmingly defeated the proposed veterans’ memorial district showed yesterday that a majority of those who originally petitioned for the election either changed their minds or failed to go to the polls.
Although approximately 10,000 signatures were contained in petitions filed with the board of supervisors, the proposal received only 3764 “yes” votes. The complete unofficial count of “no” votes was 24,294.
A leader of the veterans’ group, which advocated creation of the memorial district , expressed belief that a major factor in the proposal’s defeat was the fact that property owners received 1945-46 tax bills, which are substantially large than last year’s, during the election campaign.
Homer E. Hacker, spokesman for the group, announced, meantime, that his organization would remain dormant “long enough to give the winners opportunity to do their stuff.” He said the group would support any “worthwhile” substitute plan, but would circulate petitions for another vote at the primary election next June if the city failed to get underway a program for construction of a memorial building.
December 5, 1945, San Diego Union, 6:5. City Council creates priorities for public projects.
City councilmen, confronted by a report prepared by City Manager Fred A. Rhodes showing $16,501,000 available for public works construction, yesterday learned that all but $3,621,263 of the money has been spent or is encumbered.
The councilmen set up a priority system for forthcoming public expenditures, topped by not leas than $500,000 for new water mains. The total of priorities agreed upon, however, exceeded the unexpended balance.
Second place on the priority list was allotted to new sewers. G. E. Arnold, assistant city engineer, said expenditures soon of $750,000 for additions to the sewerage treatment plant are imperative because the plant, built only a few years ago, is inadequate for the city’s present greatly expanded population.
Another $1,000,000 will be needed for truck sewer lines, he said. These, however, will be financed in part by old bond funds, but increased construction costs will make direct appropriations necessary.
Other properties, which more than exhausted the $3,500,000 reserve, were listed in this order:
- Mission Bay Park, $1,500,000.
- Civic auditorium and war memorial – cost indefinite.
- Public library, at least $500,000.
- New wings on Civic Center to accommodate expansion of city and county government departments, $450,000.
Most councilmen were agreed that bonds should not be voted now. Cost of bringing Colorado River water to San Diego still is undetermined, but recently was estimated to cost between $28,000,000 and $40,000,000. Councilmen contended the city’s credit must be kept “in the clear” to meet any necessary cost for this enterprise.
Glenn Rick, city planning director, said $1,500,000 must be added to the $2,000,000 voted last spring for the Mission Bay Park. This $3,500,000 fund will be put with $4,500,000 which, he said, the federal government is likely to provide for the project.
Later, another $4,000,000 would be needed to complete the aquatic park. Annual net revenue of $500,000 is expected after the park is completed, councilmen said.
For the first time in recent months, councilmen discussed a new civic auditorium site. It was proposed that the building be erected on Laurel Street in Balboa Park to replace one or more of the old Exposition buildings.
December 5, 1945, San Diego Union, 6:6. 24,809 votes “no” on Memorial plan to 3636 in favor.
Lex Lord, registrar of voters, announced yesterday that the official result of last week’s election in which the proposed veterans’ memorial district went down to lopsided defeat was 24,809 “no,” and 3636 “yes.”
The margin of defeat was 6.9 to 1, while the total of 28,839 votes cast in the district cost and for seven candidates for district directors represented only 21.8 percent of the city’s 123,246 registered voters.
Harry C. Clark led the contest among those asking to be directors with a total of 5,366. The vote on the others:
Bryan K. Burnett, 4618; Ambrose H. Redmond, 4541; Homer Hacker, 4192; A. O. Briggs, 3969; Joseph I. Nettlekoven, 3676, and Adolph Brodman, 2783.
December 6, 1945, San Diego Union, A-10:5. Benchley tells Altrusians about San Diego Zoo babies.
December 9, 1945, San Diego Union, 3:1-3. Gay-colored monkeys life of San Diego Zoo (illus.)
December 9, 1945, San Diego Union, 8:1-3. Naval Hospital arts, skills unit playing Santa (illus.)
December 12, 1945, Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners.
The City Manager forwarded a letter asking for a recommendation on Councilman Dail’s proposal to grant an occupancy permit to the San Diego Community Players for rehearsal privileges in the Globe Theater; request filed.
The Director submitted the final plan for the development of the parking lot west of Park Boulevard and south of Pepper Grove to be built at the Navy’s expense; plan approved.
December 23, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:3-4. Leo Calland urges $153,300 fund for recreation items; program would call for expenditure of about $32,000 at Morley Field on tennis court dressing rooms combined with bleachers at the west end of a battery of ten courts; lights for night games, a fly-casting pool, baseball diamond, bicycle track, archery and other improvements planned by Park Department; re-lighting of Softball Field at Golden Hill.
December 23, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:5-8. Gilbert E. Kirkpatrick, photographer keeps on alert in San Diego Zoo “shots,” by Adelaide Eastley.
Balboa Park zoo’s official photographer, Gilbert E. Kirkpatrick, stepped casually into the canyon-sloped cage of the Canadian timber wolves. Armed only with his camera, he closed the steel doors behind him, called out in a friendly voice. The gray-maned denizens of that rocky cave, which is their captive home, peered out.
Alerted, they swept forward rapidly — too rapidly for Kirkpatrick. He poised his box and aimed for a picture. Pack fashion, the wolves began a slow circle. “Kirk” got his picture and turned for the getaway. Between him and the door was a crouching form, lean legs flexed, ears flat. Sizing up his plight, “Kirk” set off a flash bulb. Off guard a moment, the wolves halted their stalk. He slipped out the door. As he closed it, a lithe form sprang, hurling his weight, fangs bared, against it.
The scene is old to Kirkpatrick, who has been photographing animals now for more than five years. His philosophy is “a miss is as good as a mile.” He has managed most of the time to be two jumps ahead of his temperamental subjects.
An exception occurred in the condor’s aviary, when he was assaulted by the female and ruthlessly pummeled by her mate. Vicious carrion vultures of the high Andes, their brutal hooked beats went into kamikaze action. He literally slugged his way out of that clinch, blood-stained and nearly pantless when he emerged. It was all it a day’s work, he philosophized.
The young man would venture into any cage, if the zoo’s director, Mrs. Belle Benchley, would let him. He is virtually fearless of any beast, knows all of them by their nicknames, pauses on his rounds daily to stroke their heads and scratch their ears through the bars. The cats “purr” sonorously for him. The hyenas laugh their croaking macabre greeting.
Yesterday “Kirk” wanted the striped hyena’s picture for posterity. The Union photographer and a reporter obligingly accompanied him into the cage while keeper Georgia Ditto, who feeds and cares for many of the wild animals, stood by — with a broomstick. “Kirk” walked boldly up to the hyena, whose back fur stood straight up indignantly. Mrs. Ditto, during a tense moment, reminded her audience that hyenas have a reputation for cowardice in their native state but are aggressive in the presence of mere man. While the hyena snarled and barked derisively, his picture was recorded a close range.
A South American ocelot was the next pictorial subject, and the scene was repeated. Unlike other jungle cats, the spotted beast assumed a phlegmatic pose. Mrs. Ditto explained that this was the moment of uncertainty when no man could predict its next movement. The ocelot’s flight is determined by no advance warning if trembling muscle or measuring eye. “Kirk” edged in with his camera. Nose to nose, the picture was taken.
To see this athletic photographer on the job is to marvel at his curious sixth sense of caution. In reality, ready to spring toward escape at the slightest gesture of attack, he appears to his four-footed subjects as a superman, challenging them with affected bravado.
They even like him. One animal, a king-size mountain lion, seems actually to fear him, remembering a flash bulb. The beast takes it on the lam when he sees “Kirk” and his camera.
“I grew up with many of these animals,” he explained, “for I worked around the zoo when I was a kid. The lioness, Sheba, is my favorite. I’d still fondle her only for the fact that now she is grown and is in the cage with new animals that don’t remember me.
The vicious ponderoso and other wild hogs are awesome creatures to most zoo fans, but Kirkpatrick enjoys climbing into their cages, fraternizing while they pose for him. Long before he got on familiar terms with tigers, lions, Indian leopards and black panthers, he drove a zoo bus around the park, introducing them to visitors who preferred a respectful distance for their observations.
Kirkpatrick injects personality into his pictures. He captures the subtle guardedness of green-glazed eyes as well as the charm of an apparently sleeping tiger. The sculptural pose of the Arctic polar bear, Pancho — hind end on a ledge, the parabola of powerful shoulders downhung over a drinking pool — is a “natural” for him.
His high-speed camera has recorded strikingly the fluid lightning leap from ground to tree of the elongated cheetah, at the moment the beast’s body-long tail serves as a perfect balance-stick for the feat.
Formerly a repairman for Southern California Telephone Co., Kirkpatrick chucked his job to devote full time to photography of animals.
December 23, 1945, San Diego Union, B-2:7. American Association of University Women give poinsettias to Naval Hospital.
December 25, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:1. Junior Chamber of Commerce and San Diego Union sponsored prize-winning outdoor Christmas displays (illus.)
December 27, 1945, San Diego Union, A:2. Army transfers Camp Callan to Engineer Corps.
December 27, 1945, San Diego Union, B-1:5. Memorial site problem to go to Committee.
Revival of a citizens’ committee that sometime ago began studies intended to result in recommendation of the three best sites for a veterans’ memorial building was decided upon at a council conference yesterday.
Donald Hanson, who had been chairman, has asked to be relieved of membership, it was stated, and councilmen authorized Mayor Harley E. Knox to offer the post to either Guilford Whitney or S. E. Mason.
The original committee attempted, at the council’s request, to narrow its choice of sites to three before a recent election at which formation of a veterans’ memorial district was defeated. The committee reported inability to agree. Recently in response to inquiries made by Glenn Rick, city planning director, committee members have indicated a willingness to continue their work so that a selection of sites may be made by the public at some future election.
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