Historians Corner

Atomic Marines

by LtCol Lynn “Kim” Kimball, USMC (Ret) Operation Crossroads’ atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in July of 1946 erased any lingering doubts that might have remained following their use at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945 about the monumental impact of these weapons in future warfare. The Marine Corps’ major contribution to Allied […]

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ORIGINS OF MCAS NEW RIVER

by LtCol Lynn Kimball, USMC (Ret) MCAS New River traces its origins to the early 1940s when the U.S. military began an unprecedented expansion to meet the rapidly growing threat of the Axis powers to our national survival. War plans projected a strategic situation that would initially require two Marine divisions to spearhead a simultaneous war […]

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Huerth Street

LtCol L. J. Kimball, USMC (Ret) 9 Jan 2022 In August of 1942, the citizens of Onslow County were cheered by the news that the 1st Marine Division (MarDiv), which had occupied the adjoining Marine Corps base of Marine Barracks (MarBks) New River (now Camp Lejeune), since beginning with the advance party’s arrival in September […]

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THE HAITIAN HANGAR: MCAS NEW RIVER’S TIE TO THE BANANA WARS AND ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF MARINE CORPS HISTORY

    Although the history of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River dates to 1941, hangar AS-840, the “King Air Hangar,” so named because the station Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron maintains the assigned UC-12F and UC-12W “King Airs” there, can trace its history back to the Marine Corps’ early expeditionary years immediately after World […]

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The Dutch Marines and Camp Lejeune

THE DUTCH MARINES AND CAMP LEJEUNE   On 10 May 1940, the Nazi blitzkrieg, achieving complete tactical and strategic surprise, thundered through and over the erst-while neutral Low Countries. Unprepared, ill-equipped and vastly outmanned, the Netherlands struggled heroically but futilely, collapsing completely by 15 May and surrendering, the royal family and the government having fled […]

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The Battle of New River

  Onslow County, by November 1862, found herself on the frontiers of the Confederacy with the White Oak River separating the Union Forces operating out of enclaves in and around New Bern to the north and the Confederates headquartered at Wilmington to the south. Offshore, the Windswept ships of the blockading squadron ranged up and down the […]

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The First Marines

  Beginning during the summer of 1940, the Marine Corps had actively searched the east and Gulf coasts for a division training area. A selection board, headed by Colonel Julian C. Smith, who would later command the 2nd Marine Division during the epic battle for Tarawa, eventually settled on the New River area of Onslow […]

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THE FIRST BLACK MARINE: Alfred Masters

June 1942 was a watershed year in history: The Battle of Midway, one of WW II’s most decisive, forever stopped the Japanese relentless expansion across the Pacific, placing their armed forces on the defensive until ultimate defeat. On the home front, in a first step down the long road to racial equality and the obtainment […]

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HISTORY IN STAINED GLASS 

    By the completion of the first phase of construction (15 Apr 1941-30 Sep 1942) at the New River Marine Barracks (subsequently Camp Lejeune), 1431 buildings had been finished. Of particular note were the two main post chapels-Building 16 (Protestant) and 17 (Catholic)-located on the Main Service Road (now McHugh Blvd) in the main […]

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“And a few Marines…”

An Early History of the Coast Guard and Marines in Onslow County LtCol L.J. Kimball, USMC (Ret), 15 June 2009 The Coast Guard and the Marines can be said in a sense to have come to Onslow County together for the first time in August of 1862, predating by seventy-nine years their convergence at Camp […]

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