Yellow Water Naval Air Gunnery School

September 20th, 2011, 10:43H · Topics: Guys, Navy · Print

“Here two sailors getting ready for a days supply of 50 calibers.  They would use 3 million rounds a day at the Yellow Water Gunnery School.  Jacksonville, Florida.  1945” LS

This was quite a complex in the 1940’s, one of three facilities in the United States used to train Navy gunners in all aspects of the job.  The facility was located North of what is now Normandy Blvd. on property between the Equestrian Canter and Cecil Commerce Center.  Some of the original structures and berm complexes are still there but have been reclaimed by the swampy woods surrounding the area.

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  1. 1 blake September 21st, 2011 7:36H

    two words………..holy S

    ok, that last one wasn’t a word. but you get the idea

  2. 2 Doug Nall September 23rd, 2011 22:57H

    I was at Y.W. from1944 til 46-was yoeman at the ACI office-showed war and health movies-filled out lots of “Knights Of Yellow Water” scrolls in old english–then was assistant mg. at the ships ser. til discharg. the ACI was located in bldg.26–good friend was Eddi Page-he lived in Jax.- 2 of my best years.liked Jax so much I just live in Wewahitchka Fl. My son still lives in Jax.

    • 3 Nick Dukellis February 9th, 2013 15:02H

      I am sitting at my computor looking up at my Knights of Yellow Water certificate and remembering my days at NAGS. I was Baker 2nd class Nick Dukellis and I probably got my certificate from you.

      • 4 Richard Howard September 21st, 2015 19:30H

        Nick, would you please contact me regarding your time at Yellow Water? Thanks Richard

      • 5 Larry Jordan April 17th, 2019 23:08H

        Does anyone known of the where abouts of a Knights of Yellow Water certificate for sale? I’m a long time collector of US Navy certificates and a Navy veteran myself. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    • 6 dianne September 27th, 2014 12:34H

      I have found 10/15 8×10 pictures from 44 45 at this place would like to know about them

      • 7 Richard Howard June 6th, 2015 14:12H

        Diane, please contact me at gmail; I would love to talk to you about your photos and Yellow Water. Thank you.

      • 8 Richard Howard September 21st, 2015 19:28H

        Please contact me regarding the your pictures of Yellow Water gunnery school.

  3. 9 Bob / Vintage Jacksonville September 24th, 2011 21:51H

    Doug, Thanks for your addition to the site! As a relative newcomer to Jacksonville (27 years ago) I enjoy the insight of those who were here when Loyd Sandgren was taking these photos. Bob Self

  4. 10 Richard Howard September 28th, 2011 17:49H

    I have been studying Yellow Water gunnery school for some time now. Please see the thread i started at Metro Jacksonville. Included are overhead imagery, old and new, as well as old photographs. Link is here:,8193.0.html

    Your input would be much welcomed and appreciated. Thanks
    Rick Howard

    • 11 David Stevenson July 9th, 2012 16:44H

      I was at NAGS in early ’46, just as they were scaling down training for reserves. Got about half way thru and got shipped to NAS, Norfolk. Remember they flew an N2S over from Cecil and the poor pilot flew low figure eights for hours while trainees practiced aiming power turrets. An SB2C landing at Cecil dropped a practice bomb (probably hung in release, which went thru one lane of the bowling alley. Even then shooting a lot of .50 cal ammo. Several crews simultaneously belting for the range. Several quarter mile, or so circular rail tracks had motorized target cars carrying 3′ x’10’ cloth targets . When one got too shot up, the range was closed and the gun butt crew, which had been lounging in the abutment had to rig a new target. Good place to sleep except an occasional ricochet would fall or bounce into the shelter.
      Great memories – – – that was a long time ago.

    • 12 Rick Burns July 21st, 2014 12:36H

      I was stationed at NAS Cecil Field working on the F/A-18s. Never went over to the Yellow Water side.
      But found Richards photos and description of the remains (2010) very interesting. I now live back in the area, what is now Oakleaf. And am interested in taking my camera out there one of these days.
      Thanks everyone for the inside and history. It is such a shame that the Naval history in this area of Jacksonville, is just being buried under new development as if it never existed. (And yes, I am guilty of now occupying one of those developements.)

  5. 13 Doug Nall October 30th, 2011 0:31H

    I will never forget my first nite watch at Y.W.-I was to guard the amo train while it unloaded- there was a pile of RR crossties and I was alittle tired, so I sat down–A train ?conducter ? woke me and said–young man you can go to your barraks now ,, we are moving the train out..was I embarrasted..never told anyone til now.. I can still go to sleep just by closing my 89..

    • 14 Doug Nall July 23rd, 2012 16:41H

      what about it???-Eddie Page-Doug Ogden-Hanson –AND Moffit ? from Pensacola-well hell–maybe I,m the only one left??

  6. 15 sam mccoy August 15th, 2012 11:07H

    my dad would carry me towork with him ocassionally at yellowater treatof the day was riding bacto jax in the cattle wagon time frame early 1945

    • 16 Doug Nall September 23rd, 2012 19:11H

      hey Sam –did you live at whitehouse?? I lived in the orignal whitehouse – rented from Mrs. Fish I believe, and McCoys lived next to her., I met some ,but forgot their names, but remember one of the boys got out of the service before I moved to town.

  7. 17 NIna Ruud January 31st, 2019 6:27H

    My father who is 92, was stationed there 1945-1946. His name was Austin Loeffler, also known as Ozzie. He was from New Ulm, Minnesota. He now resides in Homosassa Florida.

  8. 18 Jim Guelde March 12th, 2021 8:45H

    My father went to gunnery school at Yellow Water.

  9. 19 Howard A Sutherland November 11th, 2021 15:26H

    My dad went to Advanced Gunnery School at Yellow Water in 1944.

  10. 20 Craig Elliott July 4th, 2022 2:53H

    My grandpa flew PBY Catalinas and trained then taught at Yellow Water. I have his “Knights of the Yellow Water” diploma framed up on my wall.

  11. 21 Michael James Saylor January 15th, 2023 12:46H

    I just found this Yellow Water Gunnery School site yesterday. I was researching this subject far too late. My Dad, James (Pappy) Saylor, went to gunnery school there in 1945. I have lived in Jacksonville for forty years and had some of the Yellow Water/Cecil Field histories in my head. My Dad died in 2008 and wanted to be put to final rest in a VA/National Cemetery, alongside his “brothers”. My mother blocked that for reasons only she knew. I now have Dad’s ashes and am going to have him placed at Jacksonville National Cemetery in a few weeks.
    I am trying to find out more about Dad’s Naval service history. He was assigned to Yellow Water, NATTC Memphis, NATTC Norman, and NAS Patuxent before the Navy converted him to a Reservist. I’m curious about what phase of his schooling would have put him at Yellow Water.

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About Photographer Loyd Sandgren

I first met Loyd Sandgren in 1997 as I was putting photo gear back into my car after... Learn More