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Happy Birthday, US Navy

Today is the Navy’s birthday!

And even at the US Army CECOM, we celebrate this, too.  The Army and Navy have worked together for hundreds of years, and this is true for CECOM and predecessor organizations, too.

The Army and Navy Club traces its beginnings to December 1885 when seven officers — all Army, Navy and Marine Corps veterans of the Mexican and Civil wars — met to form the United Service Club. In 1891 the Club was reincorporated as The Army and Navy Club, and on October 15, 1891, the Board of Governors held its first meeting. Almost 100 years later, the Club reopened in its present location in Washington DC, and was formally dedicated by President Ronald W. Reagan on January 12, 1988.

The Army-Navy Nurse Act of 1947 makes the Army Nurse Corps and Women’s Medical Specialist Corps part of the Regular Army and gives permanent commissioned officer status to Army and Navy nurses.

The current facilities at Fort Monmouth also serve the families and service members from Earle Naval Weapons Station in Colts Neck, NJ and the Coast Guard at Sandy Hook with the commissary, Post Exchange and Patterson Army Health Clinic.  

But Fort Monmouth and the Navy share a unique common history: they both once occupied Camp Evans!

All of the Marconi stations were seized by the U.S. Navy when the United States entered World War I in April 1917. Early in the war, Dr. A. Hoyt Taylor, later the father of Naval radar, was in charge of all transatlantic communications, including the Belmar and New Brunswick stations. On January 8, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points speech was transmitted by the New Brunswick Naval Radio Station to Germany’s Nauen Radio Station.

Before World War II, radar in the Army was developed by Signal Corps scientists and engineers at the Belmar Marconi location, and it was named Camp Evans. 

A news article from The New York Daily News, August 14, 1945, was titled, “U.S. Gives Radar Secrets, ‘Major Reason’ of  Victory.”  It went on to say:

“The Army and Navy tonight unfolded the long secret story of radar, second only to the atomic bomb as the war’s most revolutionary scientific development, the margin of victory in the Allies’ darkest hours and a springboard to the perfection of television and other far-reaching changes in postwar living.”

Camp Evans contracted, funded and coordinated radar research by famous laboratories at Bell Labs, Harvard, and MIT. Camp Evans is not only the WWII home of Army radar, it has connections with the developers of Naval radar who were stationed at the site in WWI.

Posted in From the Archives.

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