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The Sculptures and the Island
 
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AN ISLAND IS BORN: BUILDING TREASURE ISLAND
 
GOLDEN GATE INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION: PAGEANT OF THE PACIFIC
 
PAN AM CLIPPERS: OUR FIRST INTERNATIONAL AIRLINE
 
UNITED STATES NAVY: GUARDIANS OF THE PACIFIC
 
 
U.S. NAVY

For over fifty years following the closure of the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1940, Naval Station Treasure Island was a primary base for the departure and arrival of men and women to service in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and other conflicts in the Pacific.

Official American involvement in World War II began after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. But more than a year earlier, the Bay Area had started shifting into wartime production. On Treasure Island, many world’s fair buildings were torn down, but the Navy re-used those it could.

The three airport buildings were spared. The terminal building was re-christened “Building One” and became the operational headquarters for the new base. During the war, the chief mission of Naval Station Treasure Island was processing sailors and marines in and out of the Pacific Theater, and 4.5 million troops were hustled through Treasure Island. The island bulged with a population of up to 60,000 sailors and civilians, and at one point held a thousand German POWs.

Treasure Island was host to the Advance Naval Training, Fleet Operation, and Radio Operation Schools. And many sailors wounded in Pacific battles were shipped to the hospital on Treasure Island.

After V-J day on August 15, 1945, Naval Station Treasure Island gradually settled into peacetime mode. A fire in 1947 destroyed what remained of the temporary exposition buildings. Through the early yearsof the Cold War, Treasure Island remained a training and administrative center. When conflicts arose in Korea and Southeast Asia, the island resumed its role of processing and training sailors and marines on their way to combat.

In 1988, the Pentagon began to purge military bases deemed surplus to the nation’s security needs. On May 7, 1997, in a full-dress naval ceremony, the flag of Naval Station Treasure Island was symbolically lowered, and the station closed on September 30, 1997.

 
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