Interview With Naomi Wood

From the interview with Naomi Wood of Bellevue, WA conducted by phone from the Fort Worden History Center on June 10. 2004 by John Clise. Mrs. Wood, the widow of Captain Richard H. Wood of the US Army 369th Boat and Shore Regiment, lived at Fort Worden in 1950/51 with her husband and two children. Here she talks about life on the post:

“At first they put us in a house high up (on Artillery Hill). We had a beautiful view. In about three or four months, we moved down to Officers Row. We loved the whole thing. It was like being in Shangri-La.

It was easy living and lots and lots of good friends. There was always something going on. I’m a bridge player and we had that, and then we had the Officers Club where we had lots of neat parties, and just traded dinners back and forth. We just loved the area, it was so beautiful.

The kids had the greatest time because they were on Officers Row. There is a hill behind it and the little boys played Indians up on that hill, they had a great time together. In the evenings when they were closing down, during Retreat, playing Taps on the parade ground, all the little boys would go out in front of the houses and stand at attention. I can’t think of any special rules, of course we had to keep our children under control and eight o’clock was the go to bed time. We were all good friends on the Row, and we knew some of the non-commissioned people too. We’d have picnics, it seemed like we were always having a good time.

At the end of the next October, they started sending the fellows out to Korea or Japan. We had to start moving out and figure where to go. We decided that the children and I would try to find a place to live in Salem, OR. It was on Halloween night that were driving down for the last time from Fort Worden.”

Mrs. Wood added a bit of interesting history:

“The Boat and Shore Regiment got up there (to Fort Worden) and had to start from scratch. Colonel George Spaur was the commanding officer, he was the head of the Department of Forestry in Oregon. The officers who had been there for awhile kind of found out in a secret way that the whole regiment had been called up by mistake. None of them were ever used to any boat and shore stuff, so they had to learn all about that.”

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