Camp Berry

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Camp Berry Barracks Camp Berry Barracks

Boot Camp was divided into two camps, Camp Berry and Camp Dewey. You were assign to Camp Berry where you were first processed into the Navy. Forms, shots and uniforms were handed out here. Oh yes and your free haircut. Before you received your dogtags you wore temporary name tags that reminded me of price labels on furniture as shown in the photos below. The ditty bags contained your toilet articles and cigarettes while at Camp Berry. I still use my ditty bag when I'm on the road. There were no lockers in the barracks. We learned to march at Camp Berry on the tarmac called the 'Grinder'. All your clothing had to be stenciled with your name according to regulation. In fact everything you did was according to regulation right down to how you folded your underwear. I still fold my underwear to regulations to this day.

Handing out the Chits
Your very own Ditty Bag
Handing out the Chits Your very own Ditty Bag
Keeping the Grinder Clean Everywhere you went you marched
Keeping the Grinder Clean Everywhere you went you marched

When the first phase of training was accomplished it was time to move on to Camp Dewey. During your stay at Camp Berry you wore the watch cap as you can see from the photos on this page. There was a commercial on TV for the Raisin Bran Cereal which featured men dressed in overalls and wearing watch caps who represented the raisins marching into a box of cereal singing "we're raisins, we're raisins". Because we looked a lot like these guys in our new style uniforms and watch caps we were dubbed 'raisins'. The traditional white sailor's cap was nicknamed a 'Dixie' cap taken from the Dixie paper cups used by water coolers or ice cream shops. So the march into Camp Dewey was the transformation of raisins to Dixie Caps. The march to Camp Dewey took you through a tunnel under the main street dividing the two camps. It was tradition to sing 'Anchors Aweigh' when you passed through the tunnel as you can see from the photo below. This was a staged photo as the sailors marching with the rifles would have no reason to march through the tunnel. But it gives you a clear picture of the two different uniforms. As my company approached the tunnel we began to sing "we're raisins, we're raisins". Our Company Commander halted the company and corrected our error and we then proudly passed through the tunnel singing 'Anchors Aweigh' on our way to becoming 'Dixie caps'

Anchors Aweigh

Sing along if you know the words

Moving out to Camp Dewey Anchors Aweigh my boys
Moving out to Camp Dewey Anchors Aweigh my boys


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This page was last updated on April 6, 2013