In early 1942 President Frankllin Delano Roosevelt approved the site and purchase of the land and buildings from the Jacob Tome Institute Board of Directors holding of Tome School for Boys and adjacent land on the northeast bank of the Susquehanna River for a naval training center. The base was to be named "Bainbridge" in memory of Commodore William Bainbridge, commander of the famous frigate Constitution and founder of the first naval training school.
Between construction groundbreaking on May 19 and August 14, 1942, 506 buildings were constructed. On October 1 ,1942, U.S. Naval Training Center Bainbridge was activated and 10 days later was in peration of training recruits. The Recruit Training Command, NTC's largest subordinate activity, consisted of four large camps each named after naval heroes: Rogers, Perry, James and Barney. Each camp was an entity in itself with it's own drill hall, swimming pool, mess hall, drill fields, classrooms, barracks, and recreational facilities- and the capacity to berth, mess and train a regiment for 5,000 sailors. By the conclusion of World War II in 1945 the Recruit Training Center had trained 24,000 recruits.
Between 1945 and 1947, NTC Bainbridge training activities decreased and on June 30, 1947, it was deactivated as a training center. In the summer of 1950, because of the Korean crisis, plans were formulated to re-activate NTC Bainbridge to provide sailors for rapidly expanding fleet and shore base and by 1951 had new life. It was during the Korean War that NTC Bainbridge reached its peak population of 55,000 people.
Commodore William Bainbridge
In October 1951, the Women Activated for Voluntary Emergency Service (WAVE) Recruit Training School moved NTC Bainbridge providing basis training for women. The WAVES would remain a vital part of NTC Bainbridge until their relocation to Orlando Florida in 1971.
Following another downsixing after the Korean War, activity picked up in the 1960's with commands such as Personnel Accounting Machine Installation for the Continental United States Nuclear Power Sc hool and Naval Reserve Manpower Center, NRMC.
During its existence, NTC Bainbridge also served as the home for several service schools providing further technical training for recruits and fleet sailors. Radiomen, Hospital Corpsmen, Dental Technicians, Electricians, Storekeepers, Personnel men and Yeomen were among the trades taught at Bainbridge.
The Naval Academy Prepatory School was located at NTC Bainbridge in the former Tome School for Boys property. NAPS prepared enlisted men from all branches of teh armed forces for the entrance into the U.S. Naval Acedemy.
In 1973, iot was announced that NTC Bainbridge was amont the installations to be closed to reduce shore infrastructure. By the time the doors closed at NTC Bainbridge on March 31, 1976, over 500,000 sailors had received recruit training and thousdands more had received speciality training.