We traveled to the Charleston Naval Base Memorial this weekend…


Since we’re now surrounded by water, it seemed only fitting to visit a Naval Base rich in military history for this Memorial Day.


From 1901 to 1996 – The Charleston Naval Base provided berthing, logistics, training and repair services to U.S. Navy Ships and submarines…

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During World War I – 5,000 Navy recruits received basic training there. One of those recruits was a young Norman Rockwell who spent his free time painting officer’s portraits.

World War II, Korea, and Vietnam made the Navy a major force for the Charleston economy.

After its closure, this Naval Base was converted into a Memorial –

dedicated to the thousands of men and women, military and civilian, who served at the Charleston Naval Base and in the Charleston based ships, submarines and other military units, as well as those who honorably answered their country’s call of duty during the foreign conflicts of the 20th Century.


An open pavilion boasts a vertical wall that curves over visitors’ heads like the side of a ship. On multiple panels on the wall the base’s storied history is told, from its inception on the grounds of an old plantation in 1901 until the last of the fleet set sail in 1996. Source: Greater Charleston Naval Base Memorial

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Five lighted flagpoles feature flags of the United States, South Carolina, North Charleston, the Navy and the Marine Corps…

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A 7 foot tall statue (replica) of the “Lone Sailor” by renowned sculptor Stanley Bleifeld faces the water.

Notice Harley’s ears are about to take flight from the ocean breeze…

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I think the “Homecoming” statue (also by Bleifeld) is my favorite.

It honors the sacrifices made by families and members of all the sea services during long separations…

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Trying to get one Doodle to “hold still” around so much water was literally impossible. #wiggledoodle

I was trying to capture the perfect photo with the two of them by these bronze sculptures of a submarine and a landing craft and destroyer, which were built or serviced at the once bustling Navy base…

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Perhaps Jaxson thought I could see it better if he laid down…

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Since the closure of the Charleston Naval Base, parts of the base and dry-docks have been leased out to various government and private businesses and community parks have been established on old base grounds.

The residences are gorgeous! The Boys, Doodle Dad and I could/would easily move into this one…

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Jaxson seemed to like the park area the best.

Acres of open space calling on a doodle and his ball…

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The Charleston Naval Base remains as a vivid memory to all who served here.  Acquaintances made, friendships forged and a great sense of pride in what was accomplished here will endure forever for all who were a part of “Charleston Navy” from 1901 to 1996. Source: Naval Base History.

DOODLE hugs & GOLDEN kisses

To those who made the ultimate sacrifice – for us 🇺🇸


  • Emma
    May 30, 2016

    What a fun tour of an amazing place. Hard to believe it is closed down, but I’m glad they still use it for things. You can tell Jax is still young and working on his modeling career. He’ll catch on.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 30, 2016

      Yes, Jaxson requires a lot of work when it comes to “sitting still” LOL

  • Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom
    May 30, 2016

    OMG! How things have changed in the years since I was last in Charleston! I seem to remember parts of the base and dry docks looking the same as they did in 1996 when they were first closed down and deserted. Happy to see a memorial there now, and the beautiful landscaping!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 30, 2016

      I know exactly how you feel. My father-in-law worked there for over 40 years, so I too was surprised to see how much it had changed. They’ve taken excellent care of those buildings and the grounds. It’s one of those well kept secrets that many people don’t know about. I liked the fact that the tourists haven’t found it yet either!

  • Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom
    May 30, 2016

    PS. The boys look handsome as always!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 30, 2016

      Thanks Callie!

  • Monika & Sam
    May 30, 2016

    What a cool place! LOVE the ‘ready for take-off’ pic. Happy ‘howliday.’

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 30, 2016

      It was like the perfect storm Monika – the weather was doodle*licious, the memorial was relatively empty, we even saw a wedding ceremony #beautiful I would definitely make this a “go-to” place for folks visiting the area (especially if they are military/history enthusiasts) – I’m sure I will return again, this time I’ll bring picnic stuff and a few tennis balls for Jax.

  • Jan K
    June 1, 2016

    I’m glad they made part of the old base into a memorial. I love to visit places like that, and I’m so glad you were able to bring the dogs there as well. Jaxson is entertaining, even if he’s not cooperating with what you want him to do!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 1, 2016

      That’s typical Charleston, I don’t even ask anymore if pets are “allowed” because it seems everywhere I want to go – they are! Yes, Jaxson is entertaining – all the time!

  • Hanna
    January 4, 2021

    Cool! With your so cute babies.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 24, 2021

      Thanks Hanna.

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