U S Naval Receiving Hospital San Francisco California, December 1944 – December 1945

One of the joys of being the Executive Director of the Society for the History of Navy Medicine is that, on occasion, a person will find me on the internet and offer to share something about a relative who served in the Navy, typically, in World War II.

Such was the case when I received an email from the daughter of Ken Crawford, PhM2, USNR. Ms Crawford made mention that she held her dad’s “Anniversary Booklet” for the United States Naval Receiving Hospital, San Francisco, and asked where she might donate it. I  referred Ms Crawford to the archivist at the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, in Falls Church, VA. But first, I asked if I might have an opportunity to see the booklet for my own research purposes. The little treasure arrived in my mail today.

U. S. Naval Receiving Hospital (Fleet Hospital No 113), San Francisco, California, 1944-1945 (From the hospital Anniversary Booklet

According to the Booklet, the hospital was originally assembled at the Medical Supply Depot in Brooklyn, and later expanded “in echelons” at the Naval Supply Depot in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Shipped to California  in September, 1944, the hospital’s 61 “task force-type” buildings found their home in Crocker Amazon Park, at Geneva Ave and Moscow Street in San Francisco.  Commissioned on 9 December 1944, the hospital staff included 11 medical officers, 4 dental officers, 50 nurse corps officers, 11 hospital corps officers, 10 pharmacists, 2 chaplains, 2 supply officers and a Marine Corps officer and more than 600 enlisted people including (more than 500) pharmacists’ mates, storekeepers,  seamen, Marines, and 43 cooks. The number of patients this seemingly ample staff served is not noted in the Anniversary Booklet. The hospital’s missions were to receive overseas casualties, provide hospital services for nearby naval activities and “to act as a training center for newly indoctrinated medical officers and hospital corpsmen”.

As Robert C Fenning, LT (jg), Chaplain Corps, USNR wrote in the booklet, “To the returning casualty Fleet Hospital 113 was a pause for adjustment. On home soil again, he could offer thanks…” The hospital offered a full agenda of entertainments and activities including stage shows, celebrity visits (Walter Winchell, Jack Dempsey, Helen Hayes and Eddie Foy, Jr. are specifically mentioned), dances and sports activities.

“Receiving Examiner” for December 6, 1945

With the war over and patients eager to go home, the hospital was scheduled for decommissioning on 15 December 1945, just a year and a week after its commissioning. According to the ParkScan website, the Navy vacated the site in 1946, and the structures turned over to the San Francisco Housing Authority for use as veterans’ housing during the post-war housing shortage. The park returned to recreational usage in 1957.

©2012 Thomas L Snyder

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  • Mel Tungate  On 24 Jun 2013 at 18:58

    This is Mel Tungate. My father in law, Charles Dwayne Ogzewalla, is 99% sure he served at the SF Naval Receiving Station shown here in WWII. He has always described the location in relationship to Mission St. etc, and this is accurate per the location here. He pointed out the buildings in the picture, and the function of several of them. We live in the south SF Bay area, and will be taking him there this weekend to see if he recognizes the surroundings from 68 years ago. He served there, then helped shut it down.

    Perhaps do you have p2 of the Dec 5 newspaper you showed in the article? He cannot read the type of what was shown here, but I can and will type it out for him.

    Thank you for your fine article.

    Mel Tungate
    mel@tungate.com

  • jim doherty  On 04 Aug 2013 at 20:26

    I shined shoes at the gate that the guys went out on pass i was 8 years old and the guys were very generous. In fact I bought a horse with the money I made. I talked to a lot of the guys while they were waiting for thier bus to take them downtown and probablly leaned more there then most of the kids I was hanging around with. I also sold candy hersey / mond bars uno bars . I got close with one of the officers O/D and a sargent who would walk me through the hosp. barracks I wish I could see these guys again and thank them for thier brave service to this great country. I,m trying to do a little history of my life for my grand kids so this is a pleasure to see a name who I might have talked to as a little kid 68/69 years ago. I served in the USAF 1953/1957

  • Genealogy Lady  On 13 Jul 2016 at 15:15

    My grandfather served at the Navy Receiving hospital in San Francisco in the late summer through mid fall of 1945. Thank you for this post as I now have a better idea of where the hospital was located in the city.

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