North Carolina-Onslow County-August 17

North Carolina People, Places, and Things-August 17

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special. Everyday this year I am doing a post on what I have learned new.

Arthur Onslow was the British Speaker of the House of Commons and was born in 1691 and died in 1768. He is the name sake for Onslow County. Arthur Onslow never visited Onslow County NC.

Map of Onslow County depicted in red found below:


In 1524, the first European explorers encountered Native Americans on the coast of what is now present-day Onslow County.  Giovanni de Verrazzano, a French sailor and explorer, arrived off the coast of North Carolina, somewhere between the Bogue and New River Inlets.  An exploratory party of sailors was sent to find drinkable water, and as the party neared the beach Indians emerged from the forest.

in 1734 the General Assembly established Onslow from the Carteret and New Hanover Counties.

After World War II, Camp Davis and Camp Lejeune, two military installations built within Onslow County, transformed the economy and demographics of Jacksonville and the surrounding area.  Camp Davis, an anti-aircraft training outpost, was operated for only a few years from 1941 to 1944.


Photo from 1940’s showing Camp Davis which was located in Holly Ridge. In November 1940  the U.S. War Department announced plans to build a major anti-aircraft artillery training center at the site. Check out blimp in top left corner of photo.

camp davis blimp

Camp Lejeune was opened in 1941 and it quickly became the most refined Marine Corps training installation in the world.

The Camp Lejeune story began in 1940. World War II had been raging in Europe for more than a year 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 Department of the Navy purchased an initial 110,000-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.

Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune (1867-1942), a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1920 to 1929, was an early proponent of the amphibious assault plan. The camp is named in his honor.




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