f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Naval Reserve site - then and now

Posted Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at 12:00 AM

Order this photoThe Naval Reserve Training Center, 2530 Marie Louise, is seen in February 1969. The building was dedicated May 27, 1969. See the Southeast Missourian's editorial that was published below.

Order this photoThe new Cape Girardeau Police Station and Court building is seen March 3, 2018.

Salute to the Navy

Its shakedown operations completed, Cape Girardeau's new Naval Reserve Training Center on Maria Louise lane opposite Arena Park was formally dedicated Tuesday afternoon.

The community is fortunate to have this fine facility as a part of its many assets. It is here because not long after World War II a group of men with Navy backgrounds took the initiative to bring a Naval Reserve Unit to Cape Girardeau.

They had foresight to see that there was a need in this area for some facility to train the many Navy personnel who had returned from war and wished to retain their seniority, as well as others who would join to meet their military obligation to their country.

It wasn't easy going in those days, but finally the Navy equipped one of the old World War II hangars at Municipal Airport and conducted operations there, training hundreds of men through the years for Navy service. Many of these served in the Korean War and others are aboard ships now in waters off Vietnam.

It was inevitable that the makeshift hangar facilities would some day have to be replaced. There were one or two occasions when the fate of the reserve program here hung in the balance, and only because of dedicated work by former Navy men who prevailed on higher authority did the center remain.

Finally the day came when the Navy authorized a new building, designed especially for reserve training. The $464,000 center, built on a $50,000 tract purchased by the city is the result. It is a fine building designed for its specific use.

Here through the years hundreds of young men will be trained to serve in the fleet and ashore. Cape Girardeau may be far from the oceans, but it has just as much at stake in the nation's seapower, and can do just as much to augment it, as those who hear the waves break against the nation's shores.

We salute the Navy and express our appreciation for the part they allow us to play in providing the training for the men who will go down to the sea in ships.


Read about the controversy in selecting the site for the Naval Reserve in this 'From the Morgue' blog by Sharon Sanders:

Controversy accompanied construction of Naval Reserve building in Cape Girardeau


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