World War II had
started and military planners were posturing forces for America's eminent
entry to the fight. The need for an East Coast amphibious training
facility was answered as the War Department purchased an initial 11,000
acre tract of land. With close proximity to ports at Wilmington and
Morehead City, Lejeune was a logistical gem. When planners added the
remote pine forests and miles of beach the value of Camp Lejeune as a home
training base for Marines was unbeatable.
On May 1, 1941,
LtCol. William P.T. Hill, was ordered by the 17th Commandant Major General
Thomas Holcomb to establish and assume command of the base, then known as
Marine Barracks New River, N.C. His original headquarters was located at
Montford Point and in August of 1942 it was moved to Building #1 at Hadnot
Point, where it remains today.
Near the end of
1942, the base took on a the name of Camp Lejeune, named in honor of the
13th Commandant and Commanding General of the 2d Army Division in World
War I, Major General John Archer Lejeune.