Camp Kearny - History - United States Marine Corps Use

United States Marine Corps Use

In 1934 part of the base was leased to the Marine Corps to use for maneuvers and gunnery ranges.

At the beginning of World War II the Marines took over the northern portion of Camp Kearny, which they christened Marine Corps Air Depot Camp Kearny. In 1943 the Marines changed their station name to Marine Corps Air Depot Miramar to avoid confusion with the Navy base. The Marine base was mainly used to process Marine squadrons en route to the South Pacific. At various times it was the headquarters of Marine Aircraft Group 11, Marine Aircraft Group 12, Marine Aircraft Group 13, Marine Aircraft Group 14, and Marine Aircraft Group 15 before they deployed to the Pacific.

The Marines also developed a training base on the grounds of Camp Kearny called Camp Holcomb, named for Major-General Thomas Holcomb who was then commandant of the Marine Corps. By 1940 the number of volunteer recruits was overwhelming the local training base, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, so the Marines replaced Camp Holcomb with a much larger training base directly east of Camp Kearny which was called Camp Elliott, named for George F. Elliott, a former commandant of the Marine Corps.

After the end of the war, the Navy used Camp Kearny for demobilization. On May 1, 1946, the Navy departed Camp Kearny, handing it over to the Marines, and the station became MCAS Miramar. In 1947, the Marines moved to MCAS El Toro in Orange County, California, and Miramar was redesignated as a Naval Auxiliary Air Station, NAAS Miramar.

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