To new sailors fresh from boot camp, the Seven Seas was a wonderland of militaria. The Navy and Marine Corps Exchange system was pretty conservative, and would not stock some of the great stuff this store had. In addition to uniform stuff, Boots would go there to get postcards and souvenirs. You had to be careful though, because sometimes you could get talked into getting into trouble. There was this guy in my boot camp company who came back from Recruit liberty with a chest full of ribbons he had bought at the 7-Seas. He said the man who sold them to him said since he was in the Navy, he could wear any ribbons his dad or granddad had earned. This poor fella was sporting WWI, WWII and Korean ribbons. Luckily we were leaving the next day so the Company Commander only chewed his ass a little.
The last time I was in San Diego I went looking for the Seven Seas, but could not find it. I asked and someone said it was long gone, a victim of a changing world and a changing Navy. Admiral Zumwalt probably started its decline when he changed the Navy’s uniform and loosened regulations allowing sailors to wear civilian clothes off base. The exchanges have become more service orientated, and the Navy presence in San Diego has been significantly reduced with the closure of the Navy boot camp there and other downsizing. Still, the Seven Seas Locker Club had been around since WWII and I feel the Navy or the City of San Diego should have made it into a landmark.
Museum of the American Military Family
546B Highway 333 (Old 66) Tijeras, NM 87059