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Bayboro Harbor Maritime Base

University of South Florida

830 1st Street South
St. Petersburg, Florida
Pinellas County

This site is located in the WestCentral region of the state.


University of South Florida at St. Petersburg is situated near Bayboro Harbor. To approach the university from Interstate 275, take exit 9 to Second Street, then proceed south two blocks to 140 Seventh Avenue South.

The Bayboro Harbor Naval Base originally served United States Coast Guard (USCG) anti-bootlegging operations before decommissioning in 1933. Reopened in 1939 by the USCG, the facility became home to a training base for merchant seamen. Two vessels, the Joseph Conrad and the American Seaman, served as training ships. Faced with other demands, the Coast Guard transferred training duties to the US Merchant Marine Service in 1942. More than 25,000 seamen received training at Bayboro during the war. In addition, the Army Transport Corps Marine Officers Cadet School used these facilities for training junior deck and engineering officers.

Anti-submarine patrols began operations from the adjacent Bayboro Harbor USCG Air Station in 1939 with the concern for the presence of German U-boats in the Gulf of Mexico. On May 22, 1945, a memorial to the Merchant Marine was installed at the harbor side entrance of the present day USF Marine Science Building.

Deactivated after the war, the base became home to the predecessor of Eckerd College. In 1968, the University of South Florida (USF) opened its St. Petersburg campus on this site. The USF Department of Marine Science and the Florida Institute of Oceanography occupy the location of the former Merchant Marine Training Base.


University of South Florida