Historic California Posts, Camps,
Stations and Airfields
Naval Medical Center, San Diego
(Naval Hospital San Diego, Bob
Wilson Naval Hospital)
of Navy Medicine in Balboa Park
Public Affairs Office, Naval Medical Center
December 1914: Navy medical personnel
treated 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment. The Marines participated
in the 1915 Panama-California Exposition celebrating the opening
of the Panama Canal.
May 1917: As the United States enters
World War I, Lt. j.g. Alma C. Smith became the first medical
officer of the new Naval Training Center in Balboa Park. A camp
dispensary eventually expanded to 800 beds as the training center
housed as many as 5,000 recruits.
May 20th 1919: Secretary of the Navy Josephus
Daniels re-designates the War Dispensary as a Naval Hospital.
August 22, 1922: The first permanent naval
hospital opened at Inspiration Point, in the building called
the Pink Palace that now houses the San Diego County
Parks and Recreation Department.
World War II: The hospital treated more
than 172,000 patients, including a daily high of more than 12,000
on Dec. 27, 1944.
Korean War, 1950 to 1953: more than 90,000
patients were treated at what was then known as Naval Hospital
1957: A 1,000-bed surgical building was
dedicated. Today it houses troops in full-time treatment for
war wounds, illnesses and accidents.
1968: Crew of the Navy spy ship Pueblo
was treated at the hospital after release from North Korea, 11
months after being captured.
1973 to 1974, during the Vietnam War:
the hospital treated more than 63,000 patients including many
former prisoners of war.
October 3, 1981: Construction of a new
January 23, 1988: New Naval Hospital San
February 1993: Naval Hospital San Diego
was renamed Naval Medical Center San Diego.
October 15, 2007: the medical center opened
a $4.5 million rehabilitation and prosthetics center for injured
troops, many of them Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans, called
C5: the Comprehensive Combat and Complex Casualty Care facility.
2008: Congress renamed the main inpatient
building and gate at the medical center Bob Wilson Naval
Hospital, honoring its main political backer on the facilitys