Meeting of June 18, 2013

Walter Day on “Camp John C. Fremont, Menlo Park, California”

man doing a presentation

Walter Day

Walter covered the history of this interesting military post, established to train men for fighting in the trenches of World War I, but eventually sending them to Siberia!

Walter Day is a microwave engineer who has worked in the Bay Area for 45 years.  He has served as President of the PCWRT and is presently the Program Chairman. He has studied the Civil War since he was a teen and has researched his Great-Grandfather’s service with the Army of Northern Virginia. Having served as an officer in the U.S.Navy he has a more than passing interest in Naval actions of the Civil War.

Meeting summary provided by Charlie Sweeny:

We heard some local over-the-fence news fresh from 1917. It included the amazingly large military base that was quickly built in southern San Mateo County and adjacent Stanford. The buildings were all wooden frame construction. Since it was an induction-basic training base, large drill halls, drill fields, and supporting buildings (mess halls, chapels, medical) were provided.

The present-day Oasis Restaurant on El Camino (just north of the Stanford Mall) is a 1917 vintage Army building. It had been for recreation and social support functions, for the Salvation Army, Red Cross, and social service. (The famous Salvation Army doughnuts were the World War I forerunner of the solace of the World War II USO.)