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Welcome to the Research Room
  If you have a question about a WW II antiaircraft artillery (AAA) veteran (or the AAA in general) that you're researching and having trouble finding an answer, please feel free to post your question here. Skylighters is visited by hundreds of WW II AAA veterans and interested people every week. Simply write the Webmaster and provide as much information as you can. Also, let him know if you want your e-mail address and/or other contact information added to your post (this page is public and anyone can see your information). Since this site is devoted to the history of the Antiaircraft Artillery of World War II, we request that you only write in if your research question pertains to that branch of service. Those contributing answers should indicate whether they want to include contact information for the person who posted the question to follow up.

   Remember that this site is aggressively devoted to documenting the story of antiaircraft artillerymen during the Second World War and has adopted an open-door policy for contributions related to the branch, including the Coast Artillery. Our motto is:

so please contribute as much as you can, even in the form of questions.

March 22, 2003: Can You Identify the Badge?
Tom Kerr writes:   " ... attached is a photo of my father, Robert F. Kerr (click the photo above to view a larger version). I think it was taken when he was at Camp Callan, California from 1941 through September 5, 1944 (this was when he shipped out to the Pacific on the transport ship USAT Sea Devil). Robert was a member of Battery A, 52nd California Training Battalion while at Camp Callan. He made Corporal on November 1, 1941. I estimate he was a Corporal until about the Fall of '43, when he became a Sergeant. He passed away in 1967. Does anyone have any idea what the 'tree' patch on his hat and lower lapels represents (see enlargement of the badge below)?"
Answered!   Sean Flannery and a few other visitors have provided the answer: It seems this patch was the Camp Callan "camp patch." The patch had an orange background and a green "Torrey Pine" tree on it since this tree was indigenous to the area. The land that is now Torrey Pines Golf Course was the site of Camp Callan ... to build the camp, the U.S. Army leased 750 acres of Torrey Pines Mesa from the City of San Diego for training purposes. The Camp was created as an antiaircraft artillery replacement training center. It extended from the southernmost boundaries of Torrey Pines Park towards the Muir Campus of the University of California–San Diego. In return for an occupational permit to use the lower portion of the park, the military had to guarantee that no part of the park would be damaged. The park itself was kept open to the public. The camp opened in January 1941 and closed in November 1945. The buildings were torn down and used for lumber to build homes for local veterans. Below is a photo of of a Torrey pine tree, courtesy the San Diego Beaches web site.

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