Sampson Military Base

Written by: Leo Lawton

October 14, 2016

Have you ever heard of the Sampson Military Base? During WW II recruits were entering the various military services at record rates, and the Recruit Training Centers were being overwhelmed. In order to keep the system under control new facilities were erected in areas where there had never been military prior. Sampson became one of these facilities in 1942. The Navy obtained 2600 acres of farmland along the east side of Lake Seneca in New York State, named it after a Navy Admiral, and began processing recruits in 1943.

Lloyd (Bert) Lawton, in 1944 learned the basics of being in the U S Navy upon his voluntary enlistment as 1 of 411,000 trained at the facility. At the same time a part of the Base was developed as the Seneca Army Depot used for storage of various weapons. At the end of the war Sampson was closed. For the next four years it became a training center for released military personnel under the GI Bill of Rights.

During 1950 with the beginning of the Korean War, Sampson was reopened as a Recruit Training Facility, but this time by the U S Air Force. While in that capacity, between 1951 and 1956, one of over 300,000 Air Force Recruits was Ronald William Lawton, a younger brother of Bert.