The monumental work which is presented here is actually the culmination of two volumes on the history of both the area and of the base. Part one covers Columbus' discovery of the bay in 1494 and goes through "modern times" of 1953. Volume two, written in 1964, takes up from there, recounting important events in the base's first few years as a closed facility, including the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the famous "pipe incident."

The Public Affairs Office is not responsible for the contents of The History of Guantanamo Bay. Most of it was written more than 40 years ago, and contains some now irrelevant information, and even remarks which may be found offensive by some audiences today. The work is presented unabridged and unedited (except for minor grammatical and spelling corrections) to keep it within its historic context. We would like to thank the base museum and cultural resource center for contributing many of the pictures and artifacts which are displayed on this site.

The Public Affairs Staff
U.S. Naval Station
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

The History of Guantanamo Bay Volume I
Foreword, acknowledgements, and Chapter One, "Under the Spanish Flag"
Chapter Two, "How the Spanish Lost Guantanamo Bay"
Chapter Three, "Naval Reservation Leased"
Chapter Four, "First Few Years of the Naval Station"
Chapter Five, "Naval Station Relocated and Built Up"
Chapter Six, "Between Wars"
Chapter Seven, "Early Days of Aviation"
Chapter Eight, "Marine Corps Activities (1898-1940)"
Chapter Nine, "Non Naval Activities"
Chapter Ten, "Water Supply"
Chapter Eleven, "Resume of Various Station Activities"
Chapter Twelve, "Mobilization and War Years"
Chapter Thirteen, "Naval Air Station - War Years"
Chapter Fourteen, "Marine Corps - War Years"
Chapter Fifteen, "Naval Supply Depot - War Years"
Chapter Sixteen, "Post-War Years"
Chapter Seventeen, "Recent Times - Base Expansion Since Korean Outbreak"

The History of Guantanamo Bay - Volume II
Introduction to Part II and Chapter Eighteen, "Naval Base General Information"
Chapter Nineteen, "Cuban Crisis, October 1962"
Chapter Twenty, "Other Developments: Post-1962 Crisis"
Chapter Twenty-one, "The 1964 Water Crisis"
Chapter Twenty-two, "Incidents During Water Plant Construction"

Commands 1953-1964:
Chapter Twenty-three, "Naval Station"
Chapter Twenty-four, "Naval Air Station"
Chapter Twenty-five, "Utility Squadron TEN"
Chapter Twenty-six, "Fleet Training Group"
Chapter Twenty-seven, "MCB Operations at Guantanamo Bay"
Chapter Twenty-eight, "Naval Supply Depot"


Appendix A, "Brief of Noteworthy Events and Landmarks"
Appendix B, "Flora and Fauna"
Appendix C, "List of Commandants, Base Commanders, and Commanding Officers"
Appendix D, "Texts of United States - Cuban Agreements and the Treaty of 1934"
Appendix E, "Bibliography"

Additional History of Guantanamo Bay:
Chapel Hill: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow by RP2 Sharon A. Hay
From "My Memories of Cuba" by John H. Clifford 1st Marine Battalion, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
We called it Gitmo; by Leo Lawton
The Rock; by Joyce Hughes Mathews, 60-62 resident
Memories of GTMO in the Early 70's, by Jack Scott

If you've got a story about Guantanamo Bay, whether its history, or life during your tour of duty, we want to hear from you! Send your story (and scanned photos if possible!) to us and we can post it for the world to see!