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Grit: December 14, 1947 – Naval Armory is Dedicated to Peacetime Program Here

Formal commissioning ceremonies for the $150,000 Naval Reserve Armory on the Battery plot were held yesterday afternoon with members of Surface Division Number 59, a score of guests and several hundred members of the community in attendance.
Four members of the Naval Reserve received awards for outstanding war deeds and nine local civilians were given citations for service to the Naval Reserve.

Captain W.L. Anderson, chief of staff of the Philadelphia Naval Base, made the commissioning address, and asked the citizens of Williamsport to “accept the naval armory and its training activities in a spirit of preparation for the maintenance peace—not a war mongering establishment.”

Several times the former submarine commander pledged his support of the keeping of the peace, explaining that a strong navy is a guarantee against aggressor nations.

Lt. Commander Carl L. Wetter, commanding officer of the local Reserve division, accepted his orders for the operation of the armory. He also accepted the national colors from Williamsport Mayor Leo. C. Williamson. Lt. Seymour C. Branter, executive officer, ordered the regular watch to be set.

Captain B.L. Rutt, USN, instructor at several area armories, spoke briefly of the training activities of the local division.

The Rev. Samuel G. Warr, chaplain of the division, asked the invocation and asked the benediction. The Williamsport High School Band under the direction of Osborne L. Housel, played appropriate selections before and after the ceremony.

The presentation of awards was made in the assembly hall of the new armory after the commissioning ceremony. Movies of naval war action and peace time training were shown to the guests who also took advantage of the “open house” to tour the facilities of the new armory.