Groundbreaking on the
original 232.24 acres took place on 2 March 1919. The facility
continued with construction and occupation from 1919 through 1926. On 1
December 1921, General Joseph H.
Pendleton placed it into commission as the Marine Advanced
Expeditionary Base, San Diego. In 1923, the west coast Marine Recruit
Depot from Mare Island Navy Shipyards in Vallejo, California, relocated to
San Diego Marine Base. On 1 March 1924, the base became, officially,
Marine Corps Base, San Diego, carrying that name for the next
twenty-four years. The base consisted of approximately 388 acres, of which
some 367.76 acres were reclaimed tidal area. Throughout World War II
recruit training overshadowed all other functions on the base. After the
war, the recruit training detachment remained the principal tenant and on
1 January 1948, Marine Corps Base, San Diego, became the Marine Corps
Recruit Depot, Western Recruiting Region, San Diego.
W6YDK was first licensed in
the spring of 1947 to Robert L Peterson, Signal Battalion, Building
21-B-12, Camp Del Mar, Camp Pendleton, CA. When the Signal and
Tracked Vehicle School Battalion (renamed Signal Schools Battalion in
September 1950, in 1953 to Communication-Electronics School Battalion and
now designated as Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School) relocated from Del Mar to MCRD
in 1950, they brought W6YDK,
their ham radio station with them. The 1950 Amateur Call Book lists
station W6YDK registered to George C. Ruffin, Jr., Building 139, MCRD San
Diego. In 1957, the station along with it's ham
operators played an important part in the search and
rescue effort of two
young cadets lost hiking. By 1958 the station was located in
Building 143 before finding its long-time home in Building 140 above the
Recruit Reception Center and across the street from B Company, C & E
Schools Battalion, Operational Communications Schools (Bldg 337).
Joining the Navy-Marine
Corps MARS program in December of 1962, W6YDK was assigned the call N0ANP
and continued to send arrival
messages to parents of recruits training at the Depot. During the
Vietnam War, the station housed the N0PPC billet, (MARS Phone Patch CONUS) for the coordinator of schedules between Vietnam and the U.S.
MSgt Bob Rotella first filled the shoes of N0PPC. In November of 1968, the CheVron
featured the station and its operators in the paper.
With the renaming of all Marine Corps MARS call
signs in late 1970, W6YDK received the new MARS call N0MSD. The call
N0ANP became available for civilian use but has never been assigned to any
The heroic deeds of station personnel were
again chronicled in the CheVron
during February of 1973 for which they received a coveted Marines from
The ham shack re-located one more time in the
1980's to it's final site next to Depot Headquarters in Building 172.
W6YDK is no longer a
Marine Corps Amateur Station. It is now the personal call sign of Barry
Weathersby, a former Marine Corps MARS operator in Vietnam and at W6YDK/N0ANP
who rescued it after the license lapsed.