Farragut Naval Training Station

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Farragut Naval Training Station, Idaho Class 218 ca. 1943

Farragut Naval Training Station is a former U.S. Navy training center located on Lake Pend Oreille in Bayview, Idaho.

History[edit]

Ground was broken on the 4,160-acre naval reservation[1] in March 1942, and by September the base had a population of 55,000, making it the largest city in Idaho. Liberty trains to Spokane ran three times daily. At the time Farragut was the second-largest training center in the world (behind Naval Station Great Lakes).

Rail service aboard the station was provided by the Northern Pacific Railway over a 5.5 mile line that connected to the NP main line at Athol, Idaho. The first freight train reached the facility on 5 June 1942.[2]

A shipment of 75 lifeboats, removed from passenger liners held in port by war restrictions, was received in June 1942.[3]

Over 293,000 sailors received basic training at Farragut during its 30 months of existence. The last recruit graduated in March 1945 and the facility was decommissioned in June 1946. It was also used as a prisoner of war camp; nearly 900 Germans worked as gardeners and maintenance men.[4]

In 1942, Lt. Commander Henry T. McMaster, supervisor of support services at the station, contracted photographer Ross Hall to produce group and portrait photos of all recruits and companies. Operator of a studio in nearby Sandpoint, Hall employed up to 15 workers in creating a photographic archive of more than 300,000 images.[5]

From 1946-49 it was the site of the Farragut College and Technical Institute, which ceased operations in late 1949 due to financial difficulties.

In 1950 3,854 acres (1,560 ha) was transferred to the state of Idaho and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and became Farragut Wildlife Management Area, but in 1964 2,566 acres (1,038 ha) were transferred back to the federal government. This land was then deeded back to the state of Idaho and the Department of Parks and Recreation, becoming Farragut State Park.[6]

Don Samuelson, a future Governor of Idaho, was stationed at Farragut as a weapons instructor. Originally from the Midwest, he stayed in Sandpoint after the war and was later elected governor in 1966.[4]

The Drill Hall at the base was shipped to Denver, Colorado after the war and became the University of Denver Arena where it served the university until 1997, when it was razed to make way for the current Magness Arena.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staff, "Boats Are Sent To Navy Plant", The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington, Friday 12 June 1942, Volume 60, Number 29, page 12.
  2. ^ Staff, "Athol-Bayview 1st Train Today", The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington, Friday 5 June 1942, Volume 60, Number 22, page 6.
  3. ^ Staff, "Boats Are Sent To Navy Plant", The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington, Friday 12 June 1942, Volume 60, Number 29, page 12.
  4. ^ a b Love, Marianne (Summer 1996). "Sailors Ahoy!". Sandpoint Magazine. Keokee Co. Publishing, Inc. 
  5. ^ Love, Marianne (Summer 1996). "Farragut Caught in Time". Sandpoint Magazine. Keokee Co. Publishing, Inc. 
  6. ^ Staff (July 1999). "Farragut Wildlife Management Area: Management Plan" (PDF). Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 

Coordinates: 47°57′55″N 116°34′56″W / 47.96528°N 116.58222°W / 47.96528; -116.58222