Dam Neck Naval Base is located on the Virginia Atlantic shore where the first Jamestown settlers landed. Its mission is to attain the highest levels of fleet readiness, anticipate, develop, and provide the most effective specialized services in response to fleet requirements. It fosters a command culture that encourages personal and professional growth, empowerment and innovation. The base was established in 1881 when it was given to a lifesaving station built where the Bachelor Officer Headquarters are located.
The base originally housed only one firing lane, one control tower, one magazine, one office and one shop. There were no quarters or messing facilities. Dam Neck Naval Base was purchased by the Coast Guard in 1930 and it was used as a signal station until the Navy bought the land during World War 2. German vessels sank American shipping vessels, US Tanker and TIGER, within yards of Virginia Beach during World War 2. In 1941 Lieutenant Phillip D. Gallery received orders to report Anti-Aircraft Range, then proceeded to construct two small frame buildings near the Coast Guard Station about five miles south of Virginia Beach, this was the beginning of Anti-Aircraft Range.
In 1942 the base commissioned as an Anti-Aircraft training and Test Center with Lieutenant Gallery as commanding officer. Lieutenant Gallery solicited trainees from ships at the Norfolk Naval Base Piers and in 1944 Gallery was awarded the Legion of Merit for his initiative and service to the Anti-Aircraft Range. Gallery went on to become commanding officer of the USS Pittsburgh during the Korean conflict then went on to retire as a Rear Admiral. Training at the base continues today and newer systems have been introduced to the fleet leading to an ever expanding curriculum, keeping the base alive today.