When the war ended, the hospital was closed and fenced. Notice the red cross painted on the roof of the barrack-like building. This identification was on hospital roofs to indicate to enemy planes that they should not be bombed.
In the early years, the campus had a lot of vacant land where animals freely roamed the fields.
| Soon after the war ended, the Army began
closing the LAPE Hospital -- the last prescription for a patient
was filled by the pharmacy in February, 1946. At this time, Torrance
was also one of the fastest growing cities in the country. In 1946,
members of the Torrance Lions Club, Carson Betterment Association,
the Torrance City Council, community physicians and others lobbied
the County Board of Supervisors to purchase the LAPE Hospital in order
to operate it as a county hospital serving the southern area.
In June, 1946, the United States Army sold
the entire facility as war surplus to the Los Angeles County Department
of Charities for $48,271 (about five percent of the appraised value).
Harbor General Hospital opened one month later with 60 beds and 70
employees. The purchase of Harbor was an attempt to relieve a 3,000
acute care bed shortage county wide. The hospital's initial responsibility
lay with the charity patients who had no means to pay for their own
care. However, over the course of the next four decades, the hospital,
through its affiliation with UCLA, became an internationally known
medical center, emphasizing a balance between its original patient
care mission, academic medicine, research and education.