The Oakland Army Base
of war against Japan created a state of emergency in the U. S. Army and
a desperate need for a place to dispatch supplies and equipment to the
fighting forces in Asia and the Pacific Islands.
The Port of Oakland was ideally located to meet that need. In 1941,
using emergency powers, the Army seized 72 acres of Bay frontage along
the Outer Harbor shoreline to develop a shipping depot called Camp
Knight. Italian prisoners-of-war housed at the base pitched in their
labor to defeat Japan.
After peace came, the Army continued to occupy the shoreline and the
entire northern flank of bay fill. The Oakland Army Base served as an
induction center during the Vietnam War, drawing mass demonstrations
protesting the war. The facility is now being converted to civilian uses
as part of the federal government's base closure program.
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room
"Walk Along the Water"
© Oakland Museum of California, used with permission.
Army Base History - California State Military Museum
back to history map