Presidio Naval Airforce History WWII??greenspun.com : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread
Hi, I am writing a story that is sort of tragic love story, war story, love triangle during WWII and I want to keep it historically accurate. It is about a young pilot/captain enlisted out of highschool during WWII who trained as a pilot in the bay area and was also married right out of highschool (also went to highschool in S.F.). I want to know where they would have lived. I see it as being in S.F. rather than Alameda which was just turned into a Naval airbase in Dec. '41 as a response to Pearl Harbor. Could they have lived as a couple somewhere on Presidio grounds while he was training as a pilot or later? The wife could've conceiveably done secretarial/office work for the military at some time. I am writing this as a fiction although I believe the story is based on scraps of past life memory. Where could I look for that kind of information? Or can anyone answer my questions? Someone suggested the Hall of Records. Where is that? Can I access things like obituraries from the early mid 1940's online? (she made suicide) I am mostly just interested in writing a good story here-- I am not sure I want to know how accurate my psychic abilities are, (but its kind of interesting). thank you, Pamela
-- Pamela Riek (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 27, 2003
Sorry, Pamela, but navy pilots wouldn't have been billeted at the Presidio since it was a U.S. Army base. Navy pilots either lived at their home naval bases in government-supplied quarters or in adjacent civilian communities. (My father-in-law was a naval aviator during WWII.)
As best I can determine there were no pilots living at the Presidio during WWII. Crissy Field in the Presidio closed down in 1936, and its aircraft and pilots moved to Hamilton Field north of San Rafael that same year. (I guess you could move your couple to Novato, but that wouldn't be very romantic...)
-- John Martini (email@example.com), September 29, 2003.
Thank you John Martiini,
What you are saying makes sense. I really have no real memories of where they lived, except I do remember walking with the guy in S.F. after we were married and livinng together. (I am sort of reverting to this as pieces of past life memory as the attempt to research a little historical accuracy has brought me face to face with the fact that the story is probably true.) I also remember it being a little bit of a trip to go visit the in-laws in S.F. so that makes living in the Presidio unlikely. I remember going to a military, probably officer & pilot party in Marin at one point. (Terribly stiff, lots of gin, more men than women) We may have even moved around a bit and may have kept a civilian apartment in S.F. in the beginning. Maybe we just visited S.F.: Alameda is right across the bay. (My parents lived in Alameda when I was born again in this life, and I know we had Navy airforce people among the neighbors, but that was in 1960.) Anyway, last question: Would we have had access to any part of the Presidio either as ordinary civilians or by some special government clearance? I don't know San Francisco well enough, but I have this one vauge vision of driving around near or on Presidio grounds on the S.F. headland above the Golden Gate and parking and talking.
I have found people online with S.F. highschool yearbooks from around 1940 and if I am lucky I can come up with last names.
-- Pamela Riek (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 29, 2003.
O.k. I have completely given in to the urge to research the past based on my psychic memories and face myself in some faded yearbook in another body, long dead. I am looking for a blonde or fair haired cheerleader named Cathleen and a dark haired, possibly Italian, football player known as "Tony the Lion" at the height of his highschool football career. I have since found that Galileo High has a Lion Mascot. I have also finally checked it out where Galileo High is on a San Francisco map as was very excited to find that the location jives with my memories and also explains my Presidio fixation since it is practically right next to Crissy field. So now I am looking for Galileo High School yearbooks from between 1938 to 1942. Their senior year would be best of course. Tony also had a 1 or 2 year younger brother with slightly lighter brown hair.
-- Pamela Riek (email@example.com), October 01, 2003.
You can get copies of old newspaper obituaries from the San Francisco Public Library. good luck
-- Terri Ainslie (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 27, 2003.