World War II in Morro Bay

Morro Bay hosted a training ground for amphibious warfare during World War II. In the 1940’s, hundreds of uniforms could be seen rehearsing tactics that were24961.jpg24961.jpgused in the what was expected to be the most difficult amphibious invasion. Skills like amphibious landings, storming beaches, transporting men, machines and supplies from ship to shore would be key in the invasion of Japan in 1944.

Morro Bay’s base was a village of 62 metal “huts,” or structures that were used for barracks, shops and utility buildings. Filled with Navy, Marine, Army and Coast Guard, all branches came together to learn the art of invasion.

The troops could initiate a training sequence at any moment, suddenly heading out to nearby beaches of Estero Bay to greet simulated “enemy” troops. The simulation required the “enemy” troops to set off land mines in the beach, send machine gun fires over the heads of the troops, and other barriers whenever possible. These tactics made the simulation similar to a real invasion.

Troops going ashore in the summer of 1944 on the Pacific island of Saipan could have spent time training at Morro Bay.