USNTC Bainbridge Fire

I came across a news item posted in one of the U.S. Navy Facebook groups I follow. There was a fire at what is left of one of my duty stations from back in the early 1970s. It was where I went through Navy Radioman School and learned the Morse Code.

Here’s a link to the article: Historic Naval Training Center Burns Down on Susquehanna River

The fire at the former Bainbridge U.S. Naval Training Center in Port Deposit, Maryland. I don't recognize the building in this picture. (Photo: Maryland State Fire Marshal/ Facebook)
The fire at the former Bainbridge U.S. Naval Training Center in Port Deposit, Maryland. I don’t recognize the building in this picture. (Photo: Maryland State Fire Marshal/ Facebook)

I was stationed at the U.S. Naval Training Center, Bainbridge, in Port Deposit, Maryland, from November of 1970 through April of 1971. The base was very old then, but there was some history to it. Bainbridge first served as a Navy training center for new recruits (aka boot camp) during World War II. After that, it was home to a variety of Navy schools, including the Radioman School that I attended.

The old wooden barracks were pretty decrepit, by the time I got there. While the accommodations at Bainbridge weren’t the best, I still have some good memories of the short time I spent there.

The Navy deactivated the base in 1976, and the expansive property has been mostly vacant and over-grown since then. Fortunately, the Bainbridge Museum is just down the road in Port Deposit, Maryland. They have captured a lot of old photographs and items from the old base. I paid a visit to the museum back in 2009. It was a walk down Memory Lane for sure.

The Bainbridge Museum in Port Deposit, Maryland
The Bainbridge Museum in Port Deposit, Maryland

So, thanks to Bainbridge Naval Training Center for getting me formally trained in radio and CW. Almost 50 years later, I’m still using much of what I learned there.

73, Craig WB3GCK

3 thoughts on “USNTC Bainbridge Fire”

  1. Craig,
    In the early 70’s my neighbor where I lived in Newark, DE was a Navy Chief assigned to the school at Bainbride, MD and that is where I got my first taste of SW radio and Ham radio.
    My Dad got his novice license and acquired a HQ-129X that had come from the embassy in Cyprus which the chief brought back when he was reassigned and a Knight T-150 that came from another Ham. I was not licensed till much later (1986).
    A few years late my cousin who lived in NC enlisted in the Navy rather than be drafted and he was sent to Bainbridge for radio school. He figured he would be on a ship and stay out of the SE Asian jungles. Didn’t work out that way. He was assigned to a river patrol base and spent his time in a listening post in the jungle for most of his enlistment.
    Rich, WD3C

    Liked by 1 person

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