Honors! Table of Contents
U.S. Military HONORS! Page-06
The US Navy in Idaho - Then and Now 
WWII came to Sandpoint, Idaho

circa WWII
Farragut Naval Training Station on Lake Pend Oreille
Image from the Bonner County Idaho Historical Society.

Text (and image above) copied from the Sandpoint, Idaho Community Section
( A part of the Columbia Communities website of The Center for Columbia River History )
About 25 miles south of Sandpoint Idaho at the southern tip of Lake Pend Oreille lies Farragut State Park. Had you been on that spot in 1942, you would have witnessed the construction of the second largest naval training station in the United States.

Farragut Naval Training Station temporarily became one of the biggest cities in Idaho. Built as a direct result of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the site was picked because it was thought to be safe from coastal bombings and because Lake Pend Oreille provided an inland ocean on which to train.

At the start of construction in April 1942, twenty-two thousand men worked on the project. Each of the five camps built was designed to be self-sufficient, housing and training five thousand troops at one time. They had their own mess hall, dispensaries, basketball courts, swimming pool, barracks, and rifle ranges. As one camp was being completed and occupied, construction on the next camp began.

By the time of decommissioning on June 15, 1946, almost three hundred thousand sailors had been trained and passed through the gates of Farragut to serve their country.

One of the less well known aspects of the station's life was that it housed about 850 German prisoners of war, transferred from Arizona in 1945. They lived in comparative comfort and worked industriously at Farragut, whether in the laundries or at the Officers' Club. The propaganda they had been exposed to in Germany indicated that Luftwaffe bombing had heavily damaged most American cities. This prompted one American officer to comment on how privileged he felt to be able to show the prisoners of war the fairness and strength of the United States.

Some images from the days of the
Farragut Naval Training Station in Sandpoint

Scanned images are from the Bonner County Idaho Historical Society. All images are copied from the SANDPOINT, IDAHO Community Section  (A part of the Columbia Communities website of The Center for Columbia River History )

Header from Farragut News

Cover of a pamphlet
published by the U.S. Navy.
Page taken from an informational
training pamphlet, circa early 1940s.
Click for larger image

Post Card From WWII Farragut USN Training Station

Links from the website of Author Marianne Love, of Sandpoint Idaho 
Excerpt of Sailors Ahoy! by Marianne Love

Between its opening in September, 1942, and its decommissioning in June, 1946, this stunning expanse of 4,000 acres served as temporary home to almost 300,000 naval recruits. Located about 30 miles from Sandpoint at the far end of the lake, the Farragut Naval Training Station -- briefly to become Idaho's largest city -- served as boot camp for "Blue Jackets." During basic training, recruits left home for the first time, came to Farragut and learned how to march, row, swim and use firearms before heading off to the Mediterranean Sea or the South Pacific. Others received additional training as signalman's gunner's mates, the hospital corps or radiomen. WAVES (women naval officers) served as nurses at the base hospital.

Another group of soldiers -- some as young as 16 or 17 -- arrived at Farragut from Europe. Wearing shirts inscribed with "PW", 750 German prisoners of war, many from Austria, worked side by side with American soldiers. They ran loose in camp and trimmed shrubbery or mowed lawns at the facility named in honor of Admiral David Farragut.


A very well known American photographer took the pictures of each graduating Navy Boot camp Company

Caught in Time - Photographer Ross Hall recorded an era - By Marianne Love

Hall's photos from the Farragut era can be viewed at the Bonner County Museum and at the Farragut State Park Museum. In addition, Hall's youngest son Dann, born after the war, manages the Ross Hall Photography Collection at 202 1/2 South First. For more information call 263-4704.

From the 2001 Summer edition of SANDPOINT MAGAZINE
100 Years of Memories - More articles about Sandpoint - and in there some place - Farragut Navy Training Center and the photorapher, Ross hall.

What is the Navy doing at Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho today?
Well ... for one thing, this:

Click for larger image 


From the NAVSEA NEWS WIRE 00-27 - November 9, 2000
Navy to christen world's largest autonomous submarine.

By NSWCCD Public Affairs

The world's largest unmanned autonomous submarine, CUTTHROAT, Large Scale Vehicle 2 (LSV 2), will be christened November 15 at NAVSEA's Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division's Acoustic Research Detachment (ARD) in Bayview, Idaho. Idaho U.S. Senator Larry Craig will deliver the keynote address. Top executives from Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding along with senior Navy officials will participate, as will students from Idaho's Athol Elementary School.

CUTTHROAT, a large scale model of the future USS VIRGINIA (SSN 774) attack submarine, measures 110 feet in length and 10 feet in diameter. A Newport News Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat team, working under contract to NAVSEA, designed and fabricated the test vehicle which will be used by submarine design experts for testing advanced submarine technologies. CUTTHROAT's delivery to the U.S. Navy next summer will establish a unique capability to conduct a wide variety of studies dramatically improving the acoustic and operational performance of future submarines. Following testing and certification ashore and on Lake Pend Oreille, CUTTHROAT will be operated for NAVSEA by ARD. Plans for testing include advanced sail designs and propulsor assemblies.

The success of the first large scale vehicle, KOKANEE (LSV 1), used for the SEAWOLF Class submarine, enabled development of CUTTHROAT which is more capable of reconfiguration and data collection. CUTTHROAT boasts an advanced guidance navigation control system and an on-board data acquisition system. This allows new technologies to be brought to fruition for Fleet applications even as the shipyards are building the VIRGINIA Class submarines.

Athol Elementary School students, CUTTHROAT's sponsors, named the craft for the cutthroat trout after the Navy invited them to choose from a list of indigenous Idaho fish. A number of Athol students attended CUTTHROAT's keel-laying in October 1997, and a number will sign their names on its hull. -USN-

More LINKS - LSV (Large Scale Vehicle):