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Newport Navy Boot Camp The Helm Yearbook Archives

Newport Navy Boot Camp Yearbook The Helm was published for each graduating class at the US Naval Training Station Newport Recruit Training Command.

USNTS Newport Recruit Rosters

Front Cover, Great Lakes USNTS "The Helm" 1951 Company 088.

Newport Navy Boot Camp Book 1951 Company 088 The Helm

  • Company Commander: BMGC Paul Chapin
  • Men Graduated: 117
  • Graduation Date: Not Stated
  • Supplemental Content: Graduation Day Group Photo


History of the Newport RI Naval Training Station

THE history of the U. S. Naval Training Station at Newport properly begins with the first recorded sighting of Coasters Harbor Island in April 1639 by Nicholas Easton and his two sons. Nineteen years later the island in Narragansett Bay was sold to the great grandfather of Benedict Arnold, and to John Greene of Newport, by the Indians for six pounds and ten shillings. Newport received the future site of the recruit training station in 1673 for the same price originally paid to the Indians.

“Marker .on the Station commemorating the landing of the Eastons on Coasters Harbor Island”

“Marker .on the Station commemorating the landing of the Eastons on Coasters Harbor Island” GGA Image ID # 13f18f7ba3

Coasters Harbor Island, in 1778, had the distinction of being the scene of the first naval engagement of the Revolutionary War when a Colonial sloop and a British frigate fought a battle near the island. In the same year the island was the scene of the British defense in the Battle of Rhode Island. The earthworks used by the British still stands today.

The transformation of Coasters Harbor Island from a possession of the City of Newport to a Naval Training Station began in 1880 when the city ceded the island to the State. Rhode Island, in turn, ceded the site to the Federal Government in 1881. On June 4, 1883, William E. Chandler, the Secretary of the Navy, commissioned the Training Station.

The first Commandant was Commodore Stephen B. Luce, the man who originated the present method of training men for life aboard ship in the U. S. Navy. The Naval Training School at Newport was a direct result of Commodore Luce’s efforts to establish a shore station for the training of men in the U. S. Navy and Merchant Marine.

In September, 1883, the first recruit building was erected for use as a drill hall and gymnasium, but all recruits continued to live aboard ship until 188?, when the function of training men on shore first began. Until that time recruits had been quartered aboard the U. S. S. New Hampshire.

The U.S.S. Constellation. Official U. S. Navy Photo

The U.S.S. Constellation. Official U. S. Navy Photo. GGA Image ID # 13f1d3997d

In 1894 the famous fighting ship, the U. S. S. Constellation, arrived at the Newport Training Station and has been so assigned since that time. However, at the close of World War II the Constellation was sent to Boston to undergo repairs.

Recruit training at Newport continued steadily throughout the Spanish-American War and World War I, supplying the Navy with thousands of men.

From 1933 until 1935 no recruits were received at the station, but after the resumption of training the program expanded and accelerated until at the height of World War II more than 16,000 recruits were receiving their training at the same time.

The recruit training program closed down for a second time in 1944, but was reopened in August, 1950 and is once again supplying the U. S. Navy with well trained men for duty ashore and afloat.

Administration Building at the Newport RI Naval Training Station.

Administration Building at the Newport RI Naval Training Station. GGA Image ID # 13f1d7757e

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