On This Date, December 11

On December 11, 1958, I enlisted in the United States Navy

That morning, My Dad and I walked to Quincy’s Wollaston station and rode the Old Colony Line’s train into Boston’s South Station. He went on to work at Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York’s Boston office. I went to the Navy recruiting office on Atlantic Ave. and was transported to the the Armed Forces induction facility, Fargo Building for enlistment.


Boston’s Fargo Building looked pretty much the same in 1958 as this photo from 1940s .

Later that day, I was on my first airplane flight, an American Airlines plane to Chicago, for transportation to Great Lakes Navy Recruit Training Center where I arrived in the middle of the night and immediately began my twenty-year Navy career.

Great Lakes Gate

Welcome To Great Lakes Naval Training Center

Great Lakes Barracks

Our Bedroom (Typical Great Lakes Recruit Barracks)

Great Lakes Drill Hall

Great Lakes Drill Hall. Even though we frequently had to shovel the snow off the outside drill grinders, we did much of our training inside. 

SR Forrest

Graduation Photo of Seaman Recruit, Forrest

After nine weeks of training in the freezing cold at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, north of Chicago and on the shore of Lake Michigan, I graduated as a Seaman Apprentice and went home on leave before reporting to my next assignment at Newport, Rhode Island. 

While I was home on leave, my dad had my two brothers and me put on our uniforms for this photo.

Three  Men in Uniform, March 1959, Cub Scout Andy, Navy Seaman Apprencice, Allen and Boy Scout Steve  (photo by Edwin Forrest)

Three “Men in Uniform,” March, 1959. Cub-Scout, Andy, Navy Seaman Apprentice, Allen, and Boy Scout, Steve. (photo by Edwin Forrest)


Thanks for taking a look!

Please feel free to post your comments in the “Leave A Reply” section below. 



3 thoughts on “On This Date, December 11

    1. Thanks, Don!
      I copied that photo of the Moffett gate from my Recruit Training yearbook. After I posted it, I started thinking about it and I may have trained at Camp Dewey and not Camp Moffett. I’m just not sure after all this years. I’m sure the Camp Dewey gate looked the pretty much the same, and I only went through the gate a couple times during my nine weeks there. We only got two liberty days. Being about half way between Milwaukee and Chicago, I went to Milwaukee on my first liberty, and Chicago on the second.
      Was your experience a few years later about the same?


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