**Republished August 3, 2021**
This blog post is a continuation of Day 3 of our Labor Day weekend vacation.
One of the stops we made, while driving around Seneca Lake, was at Sampson State Park.
Sampson State Park
This was our first visit to Sampson State Park. Sampson State Park provides a beautiful view of Seneca Lake. The park features camping and boating, as its primary recreational activities. In addition to these key features, there is a military museum at the park. According to the park’s website:
“Following the outbreak of WWII, quiet farm life gave way to the establishment of the second largest Naval training facility in the country, where an astounding 411,429 recruits were trained from 1942 – 1946. This facility was named in honor of William T. Sampson from Palmyra, NY. Sampson was renowned for his victory in the battle of Santiago during the Spanish-American War. Post WWII, a portion of the grounds were transformed into Sampson State College, educating our returning servicemen from 1946 – 1949. With the outbreak of the Korean War, the Navy transferred ownership of the remaining land to the Air Force for the purpose of basic training Military Base which operated from 1950 to 1956. Ownership was again transferred in 1960 to the New York State Park System; and thus, the opening of Sampson State Park in 1963. In 1995 the Military Museum was opened within the park to share the history and to honor those Navy and Air Force servicemen that booted on Sampson’s ground.”
This memorial is dedicated to the naval personnel
who were assigned to the Sampson Naval Station.
We visited the military museum, which contained excellent Navy and Air Force displays both inside the museum and on the grounds. I will share numerous photographs that I took at the museum in the remainder of this blog post. Regrettably, I didn’t take any notes during our self tour of the museum; therefore, many of the photographs will be displayed without any accompanying information.
As we approached the military museum, our eyes were drawn to the aircraft on display outside the entrance to the museum.
Lockheed TR-604 jet trainer
I remember wearing a uniform similar to the one hanging on the wall on the far right.
I served in the U.S. Army, and my uniform was light green.
The Periscope provided a 360 degree view of
Sampson State Park from the air.
We walked across the courtyard and entered the air force part of the museum.
Sampson Air Force Library
Even though I served neither in the U.S. Air Force or the U.S. Navy, the next three exhibits caused me to reminisce about my time in the U.S. Army, in particular during basic training.
All hangers had to face in one direction. The hangers had to be spaced equal distance from each other.
We didn’t have bunk beds in our basic training barracks. If I remember correctly, there were 40 metal twin beds in the barracks. I learned how to make my bed with hospital corners. I remember polishing my boots so that they shined. The beds had to be made in such a way that the pillow alternated from top to bottom throughout the barracks. We would hang a white towel and washcloth on the rail at the end of the bed. The towel and washcloth had to be folded straight so that the backs and fronts of the towel and washcloth met evenly.
I had a locker, while in basic training. Each trainee had a foot locker at the bottom of their bed. Everything in the foot locker had a designated place. Socks had to be arranged in such a way that they smiled.
Navy Memorial Wall
TC-2 Buckeye jet trainer
This monument is dedicated to the men and women who served and trained at
Sampson Air Force Base during the years 1950-1956.
The NY Empire Passport provided admission to Sampson State Park. A $1.00 donation from each adult was suggested to tour the museum. We thoroughly enjoyed our tour of the military museum!