Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Dedication of the National Guard Training Camp, San Luis Obispo
Entrance to the National Guard Training Camp, 40th Division, circa 1928. (California Military Department)
The following article appeared in the July 1928 issue of the Golden State Guardsmen.
Formal Dedication of N.G.T.C, 40th Division at San Luis Obispo Successful:
July 4th Celebration Indicates Enthusiastic Support of San Luis Obispo Citizens
The July 4th celebration at San Luis Obispo and at the new National Guard Traiuning Camp, 40th Division, was unusually successful and demonstrated the great interest of the citizens of San Luis Obispo County. Fully 12,000 citizens gathered in the City of San Luis Obispo and at the new Camp to welcome the 184th Infantry Regiment, to participate in the dedication of the camp, an to observe the Nation's Day.
Parade in Morning
First, there was a parade in the morning in the city of San Luis Obispo, consisting of the 184th Infantry Regiment, California National Guard, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, service clubs and other organizations, which took fully three-fourths of anhour to pass. The many floats, beautiffuly arranged, the efficiency of the whole parade, would have done credit to a city ten times as large as San Luis Obispo, and was an amazing demonstration to the Guardsmen an to the visitors from other cities. The 184th Infantry Regiment gave a good demonstration, both in strength and efficiancy, and won the applause of the entire city.
Luncheon at Camp
Next, all of San Luis Obispo County (a minimum of ten thousand people) came to the new Camp where luncheon was served by the Citizens' Committee in charge of the celebration. Ice cream and cake was furnished by this Committee to each of the enlisted men's messes of the 184th Infantry Regiment.
Dedication and Review at 1:30
At 1:30,following the luncheon, the 184th Infantry Regiment formed for a Review before Brigadier General R.E. Mittelstaedt, Col. John U. Calkins, Jr.,Chief of Staff of the 40th Division, Honorable H. E. Twisselmann, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of San Luis Obispo County, and other dignitaries. The Camp was formally dedicated by Gemeral Mittelstaedt, and the troops marched by in the Review, before the thousands of eager spectators who filled every available knoll, hill, road and viewpoint within the confines of teh camp. Never has a greater crowd of citizens ever gathered at a National Guard camp or a National Guard Armory or a Natonal Guard undertaking of any kind.
184th Field Meet Followed
The 184th Infantry Regimental Field Day followed the Review. Col. Wallace Mason had held out the athletes from the Review so that the games and races might start immediately so that the visitors might witness the prowess of the men from the great valleys of California. The new swimming pool was ready, and the first Swimming Meet of the California National Guard in the beautiful new pool was staged for the benefit of the men as well as the visitors. As a afinale, a baseball game engaged the interest of those who follow baseball.
Baseball game during the 184th Infantry Regiment's Field Day, 4 July 1928. Note the number of cars from the surrounding civilian community. (California Military Department)
Forty-Eight Guns - The National Salute
As a fitting close for this great day, the 184th Infantry Regiment fired a forty-eight gun salute to the Union - the Nation's salute, as a fitting closefor the Fourth of July, while the Celebration Committee fied daylight firewirks which held the interest of the crowd.
And then the celebration lasted far into the night. Just how this may have slowed up training of 184th Infantry Regiment the next day has not been reported, but suffice it to say that San Luis Obispo has had the presence of mind to promote two (not one, mind you, but two) dances for the men of the 184th Infantry Regiment, and the two dances kept going until past midnight. The evening fireworks battle of fireworks battleships blown up, and fireworks gun batteries raising havoc with fireworks gunboats, etc.
Much credit for the success of the occaision is due the American Legion Post of San Luis Obispo, which post has done much to help the National Guard, and to Dr. Butler, Chairman of the General Committee, who worked very hard to insure a successful welcome for the California National Guard.
The men of the 184th Infantry Regiemnt are already talking about the "next camp", which clearly indicates that San Luis Obispo has "taken" the hearts of the men, and thereby the success of future camps of the 40th National Guard Division hgas been assured.
Transcribed by SGM (CA) Dan Sebby, Military Historian, California Military Department

Images of the Newly Constructed National Guard Training Camp, 40th Division, San Luis Obispo

The newly constructed National Guard Training Camp, 40th Division, San Luis Obispo circa 1928. The Infantry Brigade Area is to the left, the Field Artillery Regimenal Area is at the bottom and the 40th Division Headquarters and warehouses in between. The parade ground/airfield is on the right. (California Military Department)
Newly constructed company mess halls in the Infantry Brigade Area (now West Facility, California Mens Colony State Prison) (California Military Department)
Newly constructed company enlisted mess.
Carpenters fabricating platforms for squad tents. These building are latrines/bathhouses that were opposite of the end of company areas from the mess halls.
Grading what is today the Officers' Club parking lot (California Military Department)
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