Three Navy bandsmen transferred out of Camp Robert Smalls to Camp Parks, on the eastern edge of San Francisco Bay, in August 1943, where they were to become part of a 25-piece Navy band that would be stationed there “for the duration.” Drummer Kenneth Wilson, a Chicago native, was 18. Also from Chicago: George Dye, clarinet and saxophone, and Arthur King, trumpet.
Camp Parks, commissioned January 19, 1943, was home to the Navy Seabees. Parks, along with Camp Shoemaker and the U.S. Naval Hospital Shoemaker, were the principal components of what was know during the war as Fleet City.
• • •
“Camp Parks In-depth Overview.” Military Installations. Militaryonesource.mil. 17 July 2022.
“3 Musical Seamen Join Band in West.” Chicago Defender. 21 Aug. 1943.