Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Dedicated by FDR


On Sept. 25, 1942 — President Franklin Roosevelt dedicated Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego, Calif., to train Marines during World War II. The base, which was Rancho Santa Margarita y Los Flores, is named for Maj. Gen. Joseph Pendleton who long advocated Marine base on the nation’s west coast. Pendleton served in the marines for more than 40 years and saw action in the Philippines, Cuba and Nicaragua and had died in February 1942.

Construction on the more than 120,000-acre base with 17 miles of coastline began in April and the first unit, the 9th Infantry Regiment commanded by Col. Lemuel Shepherd, marched onto the new base from Camp Elliot in September, and became part of the 3rd Marine Division on Sept. 16, 1943.

While considered at first to be a temporary, wartime base, Pendleton became home to numerous Marine schools, including for amphibious tractors and communications, beach battalions and landing craft.

The base was used to process troops demobilized from World War II and was expanded during the Korean War and decades since. Today, some 100,000 work on the base on a daily basis.

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