News: Barstow Log replaced by return of The Prospector
Story by Robert Jackson
BARSTOW, Calif. - After more than a 20-year hiatus, Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow’s original newspaper, “The Prospector,” has returned. Unlike the early years, when it was a four-page, metro format publication, the new Prospector is a 12-page, magazine format news publication.
Based on our research “The Prospector” was first published in
1947, however the earliest edition Public Affairs currently has on file
is April 1954. The first seven years worth of publications have long
since disappeared. The newspaper got its name for what was associated with the environment at the time, as prospecting for gold was and still is a favorite pastime for enthusiasts.
What we also learned, for you history buffs, is that the first staff
photographer for “The Prospector” was none other than Captain
Mainerd Sorensen, for whom Sorensen Field is named after. Sorensen, although a supply officer by Military Occupational Specialty, provided photographs for the Prospector until reassigned to Korea; he was killed in action in 1950.
For many years “The Prospector” provided news and information
about actions in Korea and, throughout the 1960s, provided coverage of Marine Corps actions during the Vietnam War. It was not the only type of news and information Marines and civilian employees read while stationed at the Marine Corps Depot of Supplies, as it was known during MCLB Barstow’s infancy. Much like today, “The Prospector” was there covering major events aboard base like the groundbreaking ceremony for the maintenance repair facility on the Yermo Annex in 1958 and the grand opening of the facility in 1961.
It was there covering visits by a number of dignitaries to include
congressional representatives, senators and a number of Marine
Corps commandants such as Gens. Cushman, Greene, Wallace,
Krulak, and Jones, to name a few. Since there were about 2,500 Marines stationed here at one time “The Prospector” provided news and information about local events, feature articles about personnel and units, and current trends and changes around the Corps.
Intramural sports were a big deal here as well. The newspaper
covered virtually every sporting activity that could be found on the
facility such as full contact tackle football, basketball, soccer, softball, and golf. In fact, the football and softball teams regularly played some of the junior colleges in Southern California.
In mid-1989, “The Prospector” gave way to the MCLB Today, which
began life as a metro format newspaper as well but in early 1990 changed to a newsletter format publication. It featured a Commander’s Comments section, provided information about Operations Desert Storm/Desert Shield and how MCLB Barstow supported the warfighter through supply and logistics, and most importantly maintenance and repair of much-needed ground combat equipment. It may have been smaller, size-wise in nature, but the basic mission never changed. Whatever was happening aboard the installation, the MCLB Today crew was there to cover it.
During 1995, a new Public Affairs Officer had just checked aboard,
looked at the MCLB Today for a time, studied the installation’s overall mission and decided the name of the publication needed to change again. Since the basic mission of the base is supply and logistics, he opted to name the publication “The Barstow Log”; Barstow, the name of the base and the city, and Log for logistics. Again, the mission of the public affairs staff did not change – informing, educating, and entertaining our internal audience – just the name of the publication.
Now in 2012, we have come full circle and once again “The
Prospector” is back to continue its mission of keeping the Marines,
Civilian Marines, their families and our retired military community
informed about weekly happenings aboard MCLB Barstow. Funny, in a weird sort of way, that for as many years as “The Prospector” has been dormant, there are still a number of people that remember the name and were still referring to MCLB Today and the Barstow Log as “The Prospector.”
Well, it’s back and will continue to provide the same service it
has through the years, and name changes, that began back in 1947.