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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Oliver Owen Kessing (1890-1963) and Kessing Pool

Oliver Owen Kessing (1890-1963) Kessing Pool, completed 1943

The Kessing Pool first opened in 1943 and provided aquatic training for the U.S. Navy's pre-flight divisions in World War II. Former presidents George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford trained at the center. The pool was named for Commander Oliver Owen Kessing, the first commanding officer of the Navy's Pre-Flight School. An Indiana native and Annapolis graduate, Kessing left Chapel Hill for active combat duty in the Pacific Theatre of World War II.