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Book: When Morro Bay Went To War

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As quiet and peaceful as Morro Bay seems today, for the better part of the last two years of World War II Estero Bay, from Los Osos to Cayucos, shook with the sound of guns, artillery, and bombs as young men prepared to go to war, and when it was over, Morro Bay was left forever changed. While it did return to its sleepy origins for a few years, the changes wrought in the landscape by the Navy and its base ensured that the town, and the bay, would never be the same.

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When Morro Bay Went to War is the story of how the bay and little town of Morro Bay changed almost overnight from a bucolic farming community and fishing village to the site of an amphibious assault training facility that would host over forty-five thousand trainees from every branch of the US armed forces. While primarily training Army and Marine personnel to embark from troopships to landing craft and then assault beachheads, it was also home to one of the Navy’s many schools for training landing craft coxswains and boat crews. The Army Air Force also had a presence, with a rescue boat that was on standby to recover any pilots that might have gone down in the waters in and around the bay.

As quiet and peaceful as Morro Bay seems today, for the better part of the last two years of World War II Estero Bay, from Los Osos to Cayucos, shook with the sound of guns, artillery, and bombs as young men prepared to go to war, and when it was over, Morro Bay was left forever changed. While it did return to its sleepy origins for a few years, the changes wrought in the landscape by the Navy and its base ensured that the town, and the bay, would never be the same.

Joe Dunlap

17 August 2021

Additional information

Pages

116

Year Published

2021

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