Bainbridge NTC Museum

Brian Paap of Aberdeen, who served in the Navy from 2004 to 2008, looks at a mannequin wearing a Navy uniform on display at the Bainbridge NTC Museum in Port Deposit Saturday. Paap was one of several hundred people who attended the museum's inaugural Navy Day, which included tours of the former naval training center. (Aegis staff photo by David Anderson, Baltimore Sun Media Group / August 16, 2014)

About 300 people attended the inaugural Navy Day in Port Deposit Saturday to tour the former Bainbridge Naval Training Center and visit the Main Street museum dedicated to its history, according to event organizers.

Those who attended, including men and women who received their Navy training at Bainbridge, also had the opportunity to see a Coast Guard boat and a replica of a Navy PT boat along the waterfront.

The PT boat was provided by the Navy Club of Lancaster, Pa.; some of the Navy Club members were also on hand to assist with the event.

"We had people from Pennsylvania and New Jersey and Delaware, and of course, all around this area," Joyce Linkey, the acting curator of the Bainbridge Naval Training Center Historical Association Inc. Museum, said.

"A lot of friends that I was in the Navy with went to school here," Jack Agnew of Lancaster, Pa., said.

Agnew, who attended Navy Day with his friend, Julie Cameron, also of Lancaster, served in the Navy from 1965 to 1971; he trained to be an electronics technician in San Francisco, but a number of his friends trained for their Navy jobs at Bainbridge.

Linkey, who also lives in Lancaster, went through training at Bainbridge as a Navy WAVES, or Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, an all-female division of the Navy established during World War II.

She received her Navy recruit training and training as a dental technician at Bainbridge; she served in the Navy from 1951 to 1955, and she spent the majority of her career stationed in Norfolk, Va., working as a dental technician.

Bainbridge history

The U.S. Naval Training Center, Bainbridge, served as a recruit training center for 34 years, from 1942 until 1976.

The 1,200-acre campus on the northeastern side of Port Deposit was also home to the Navy's Service School Command, Naval Hospital Command, Naval Academy Preparatory School, Enlisted Personnel Distribution Office, Continental United States, the Personnel Accounting Machine Installation Command, Nuclear Power School and the Naval Reserve Manpower Center, according to a museum brochure and a history posted on the website of the Bainbridge Development Corporation.

The Bainbridge Development Corp., which was created through state legislation in 1999, is charged with redeveloping the site. Part of it is being used for Cecil College's Mid-Atlantic Transportation & Logistics Institute.

The Naval Training Center was created with the approval of President Franklin D. Roosevelt from land that was the prior home of the Tome School for Boys. The school operated on the site during the late 1800s and early 1900s, and the school buildings were used for the Naval Academy Preparatory School.

About 244,000 recruits were trained at Bainbridge during World War II; the population of the training center was at its highest of 55,000 during the Korean War, and ultimately, more than half a million Navy recruits went through training there, according to the history posted on the Bainbridge Development Corporation website.

Visit http://www.bainbridgedev.org for more information.

Inaugural Navy Day

The museum hosted its inaugural Navy Day to celebrate the second anniversary of the museum's move from its former home along the Susquehanna River to a former bank on South Main Street.

Linkey called the first Navy Day outstanding.

"We had a lot who went through boot camp here," Linkey said.

There were also men and women who went through the service schools at Bainbridge and people whose relatives served there.