Learn the History of the Charleston Naval Base

Posted By Bill Payer on Aug 22, 2023 | 0 comments


That’s the topic of our October DIHS program which also marks a return to our ‘normal’ date/time/venue practices following our September event.

We’ll meet at 7 pm, Tuesday, October 17 at the Church of the Holy Cross Parish Hall at 299 Seven Farms Drive, Daniel Island, 29492

Just across the Cooper River from Daniel Island lies a place that held great significance not only to the Charleston region, but to our nation. From 1901 to 1996, the U.S. Navy and the Charleston Naval Shipyard were an integral part of the United States defense system, employing hundreds of thousands of people and pouring millions of dollars into the local economy. A total of 256 vessels were constructed at the base during its near century of operation.

Not only were the Base and Shipyard the largest employers in the region, they were also the most important cultural influence in Charleston. The area that became the Navy Base actually reaches back from pre-history native culture, to a plantation and on to the nation’s top nuclear submarine repair facility. The U.S. Navy story in the Holy City is an interesting mix of famous and heroic people and ships illustrated in period images. 

Our guest speaker will be Don Campagna, who currently serves as the History and Archives Coordinator for the City of North Charleston. A U.S. Navy veteran who “sailed the world” during his years of service, Mr. Campagna later used the GI Bill to earn a MA in Criminal Justice Administration, while going through the ranks to become a Police Chief. According to Mr. Campagna, the combination gave him perspective and taught him to be “a pretty good investigator.”

After retirement, he volunteered to sort through and organize the material that was saved when the Charleston Navy Base closed. His service turned into a position as the History and Archives Coordinator for the City of North Charleston. He also currently serves as a board member for the Charleston Naval Historic Trust.

Make plans to join us on October 17, and learn more about the dynamic forces that made Charleston the world-class city it is today!

For a look at a website devoted to the history of the Naval Shipyard CLICK HERE.

CLICK HERE for the City of North Charleston’s history of the Naval Base.

Today the combined (and surviving) military assets are known as Joint Base Charleston. CLICK HERE for that website.

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