"Little Island - Big Ideas" Lecture Series
This presentation will focus on the United States Navy’s presence in the San Francisco Bay Area for 154 years, beginning with the first navy base on the Pacific Coast, located on the barren Mare Island in the North Bay in 1854. Highlighting the Bay Area’s importance to the United States and the world, major topics will include its role as a major naval fleet complex when Treasure Island served as the principal Naval personnel gateway to the Pacific Theater of operations. During World War II 4.5 million fighting men passed through Treasure Island while also being trained as gunners, navigators, cooks, pilots, radar operators, fire fighters etc. The Bay Area naval complex continued to play a vital role through the end of the Cold War; as major fleet operational base of operations and as host to highly classified Navy, National Security Agency, and Central Intelligence Agency operations. The Bay Area also played a critical role in the technological evolution of the Navy from the surface of the sea operating sidewheel steamers to nuclear powered warships conducting operations on, above and below the sea. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, a variety of factors contributed to the closure of the entire naval infrastructure in the Bay Area.
Speaker: Dennis R. Kelly