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Parris Island — Parris Island, South Carolina

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Parris Island

Parris Island in Beaufort County is the Marine Corps Recruit Depot for male recruits east of the Mississippi River and all female recruits across the United States. The training base was established in 1891 and expanded after a causeway to the base was built in 1929. During World War II, the number of recruits reached more than 200,000. Today, around 18,000 Marine recruits receive their training here each year.

Uncommon Valor Sculpture

Mike Stroud of Bluffton, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The island was originally settled by French explorers on Huguenot Jean Ribault’s scouting trip in 1562. These men called their settlement Charlesfort. Though the French pioneers did not last long at Charlesfort, Spanish and English explorers laid claim to the island in subsequent years. In 1715 Colonel Alexander Parris, treasurer of the South Carolina colony, purchased the island from the English and subdivided it into plantations. After the Civil War it became home to freed slaves from local plantations and those of neighboring Port Royal, where the Emancipation Proclamation was read in 1863.

Drill Instructors' Creed Memorial

Mike Stroud of Bluffton, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The monuments in the above photos are a testament to the island’s current function. The sculpture by Felix De Weldon, created in 1952, depicts the flag raising on Mount Suribachi at Iwo Jima and honors all United States Marines who have given their lives for their country. The monument to Parris Island drill instructors honors those whose responsibility it is to make Marines out of young recruits. Parris Island is a National Historic Site.

Parris Island Historic

Contributed by Mrs. John F. Maag, 1941 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Parris Island Marine Band

Contributed by Mrs. John F. Maag, 1942 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Parris Island Marine Band Historical

Contributed by Mrs. John F. Maag, 1942 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Parris Island Recruit Photos

Contributed by Mrs. John F. Maag, 1961 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Parris Island Sixties

Contributed by Mrs. John F. Maag, 1960s © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Parris Island Recruits Beaufort

Contributed by Mrs. John F. Maag, 1965 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Parris Island Recruits

Contributed by Mrs. John F. Maag, 1966 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Reflections on Parris Island

Contributor Mike Stroud sent the two photos at the top of the page in honor of the November 10th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. He tells us: “Sunday, November 10, 2013, marks the 238th birthday of the US Marine Corps. Parris Island, Beaufort County, being the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (boot camp) serves the training of the eastern states’ recruits. Also here is the Marine Corps Air Station, home to the Marine Corps’ Atlantic Coast fixed-wing, fighter-attack aircraft assets. All work in keeping us safe and secure. ‘The noise you hear is the sound of Freedom’…Happy Birthday!”

Mrs. John F. Maag contributed the historic photos of Marine recruits. She shares her story of being married to a former Parris Island photographer: “This photo was taken in 1966 of my late husband while readying to shoot a picture of the platoon graduates. John Maag was base photographer from August 27th, 1947, until December 31, 1966. He photographed every platoon graduate picture during that time. He also photographed Platoon 206, which graduated on 26 December, 1950. The Platoon had a private, named Alfred M. Gray, Jr., who became Commandant of the United States Marine Corps. In December of 1966, he moved to Texas and was employed at Vought Corporation in Grand Prairie, Texas, in the Photographic Department until retirement the 30th day of June, 1984. John was in Platoon 155, January, 1941. He became a member of the band and was leader of the Band on the Island of Tinian where the atomic bomb was housed for the mission over Japan.”

Parris Island Info

Address: 283 Blvd De France, Parris Island, SC 29905
GPS Coordinates: 32.351340,-80.689184
Website: http://www.parrisislandmuseum.com

Parris Island Map

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56 Comments about Parris Island

Carroll Henson says:
July 16th, 2019 at 3:45 pm

I’m Carroll 2236268 C/CPL, I was at Parris Island 23 of March, 1966, I would to get a year book from boot camp.

Wesley Patrick says:
April 14th, 2019 at 7:38 pm

I was there im 1976 and would like to reconnect with some of my old buddies.

SC Picture Project says:
January 13th, 2019 at 11:22 pm

We would recommend reaching out to the Parris Island Public Affairs Office directly at 843-228-3851 or 843-228-3923.

January 13th, 2019 at 8:42 pm

I am trying to find for purchase, a recruit depot graduation year book. I was in 1st battalion, A Co. plt 1059., jul80 to oct80. i cannot find how to get this info on my own and need your help. thanks in advance. Deputy Robert Vander-Weg

bob j giraud says:
January 6th, 2019 at 7:50 pm

My father told me he was {China Marine}. Would you have any information about this unit. I served in Vietnam with the 173RD airborne Brigade. Thank you.

SC Picture Project says:
October 23rd, 2018 at 4:34 pm

Thank you, and thank you for your service! We are not officially part of Parris Island so we do not have any photos that aren’t posted here, these have all been submitted to us to highlight the history. Have you tried to reach out to the military offices directly by chance? They may have an archive that can assist you.

Mulcare E Robert says:
October 23rd, 2018 at 11:19 am

These are really nice photos. But I was wondering if there is a way to get separate pictures. like my boot camp photo? Thank you.

SC Picture Project says:
October 16th, 2018 at 5:57 pm

Hello, thank you for your service and offer, we’d love to see the photo! You can submit it via this form here: https://www.sciway.net/forms/pictures.html. Thank you again!

Glade Witwer says:
October 16th, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Thanks for the site. I was in 3rd Bn (Plt 304) from Jan 17th ’62 until about Apr 12th ’62. I have a graduation picture of our platoon I am willing to share with you if you are interested.

Steven Wemyss says:
September 28th, 2018 at 7:31 pm

I am trying to locate photos of my father, MSgt Paul Wemyss, who was drill instructor (1st Recruit Tng Battalion) Jun 64-?? 1966. I’m also trying to find some info/photos of the dependent military school on Parris Island I attended in during those years. I know I was photographed a few times during athletic events. Any info photos would be appreciated.

Russell Lindquist says:
September 4th, 2018 at 11:48 pm

PLT 332 1962 ret 1995

SCIWAY says:
September 3rd, 2018 at 1:09 pm

Thank you, we went ahead and got that updated, sorry for the mixup and thank you for your service!

Chris Christian says:
September 2nd, 2018 at 10:44 pm

Please correct your third paragraph where it indicates drill instructors make “soldiers” out of the recruits. “Soldiers” serve in the Army. We are Marines. Also, the words “Marine” and “Marines” are always capitalized. Thanks for the site otherwise.

mike Garcia says:
May 27th, 2018 at 12:42 pm

Mrs. John Maag, I have been trying for some time to try and obtain a copy of my platoon yearbook from Parris Island. I was in Platoon 362 in August of 1965, anything you can do to assist me Thank you

SCIWAY says:
May 26th, 2018 at 12:03 pm

We hope you’re able to find something on your uncle as we know how important it is to piece together the past. We looked on Google but did not see much, have you tried reaching out to Marine Corps directly at Parris Island? We are not officially part of them, we just shared the history of the site. Here is the information phone number to try, 1-800-826-7503, we hope this helps!

mary moyer says:
May 25th, 2018 at 9:19 pm

I am trying to find out information regarding my uncle, John Laurence Jones. He was in Platoon 127, he was killed in the Korean war. I found his graduation picture from Parris Island, SC in my late father’s belongings. I was told he was killed two weeks before he was supposed to come home, please let me know any information you may have, thank you.

clarence l felton says:
April 4th, 2018 at 6:30 pm

Mrs. John Haag,

I am trying to find my platoon picture from Parris Island, Third Battalion, Third Marines, Platoon 362, which my original was destroyed by water back about 50 years ago. If you have a copy, I sure would appreciate getting one from you. I sincerely hope you have one.

Sincerely yours,

Clarence Felton

My e-mail is papabear@mdvl.net

David marchefka says:
March 12th, 2018 at 9:32 pm

Platoon 397, October 20, 1964 through January 20, 1965.

Karen siegel davis says:
February 3rd, 2018 at 5:12 pm

On Parris Island I was a woman Marine. I joined April 4th 1966, got out November, 1966. I’m looking for a picture, it’s very important. My name is Karen Siegel Davis, all of my records were destroyed in a fire, Marsha Butler was in my platoon.

Bob Woods says:
January 17th, 2018 at 4:48 pm

I have been trying to get a platoon photo of my father’s from February 1942 PLT #4. Each time I have called PI I have been told they don’t have single digit Platoon. In 1945 my father Robert met my mother Mary at PI, married and the rest is history.

David marchefka says:
December 5th, 2017 at 9:45 pm

I would like a yearbook photo of my self platoon 397 drill instructor staff Sargent Stevens, Sargent Hilton, October ’64-Jan ’65, please help if you can. Semper Fi. Blugrass10@aol.com.

gary murphy says:
July 21st, 2017 at 12:04 pm

I can’t to seem to find out any info on platoon 321 in 1961 Parris Island! James Hunn either it’s me or you, I thought I was in platoon 321 in May or June 1961.

gary murphy says:
July 18th, 2017 at 12:06 pm

Platoon 321 1961 Parris Island.

Cpl Charles A Keller Jr says:
June 19th, 2017 at 8:53 am

Plt. 282 Parris Island SC
1959 November to 1961
Senior DI Staff Sargent Gillian
Junior DI Sargent Dornback
Junior DI Staff Sargent Evans
Thanks to all of these great men for my training that I received from them.
May God bless all of them,
Cpl Keller

William Wingate says:
June 18th, 2017 at 10:36 pm

I need a platoon yearbook for Platoon 122 in June graduation, 1962.

Thomas Taylor says:
April 23rd, 2017 at 9:31 am

Mrs. Haag I was in platoon 2082 at P.I. form 9/66 to 11/8/66 I’m try to get my book camp photo book. I truly hope you an help me before I pass.

Richrd E Quinn says:
April 5th, 2017 at 11:52 am

I am trying to locate a Platoon Picture: 3rd recruit Battalion Platoon 372 Dec. 4th, 1961, MCRD Parris Island,S.C. — S.Sgt J.F.Jackson, S.SgtG.L.Aulabaugh, S.Sgt J.R.Livingston
941 929 6321. Thanks for reading, Semper Fi

Norma C Bennett says:
March 16th, 2017 at 8:17 am

Trying to locate year book for Platoon 338 from 1963 and also any pictures of Dellas R. Bennett from same platoon. Series 336

Susan Maag Disbrow says:
January 7th, 2017 at 6:02 pm

I stumbled upon this page by accident while doing some research on my family. Rochelle (Claudette) Maag was married to my father, John F. Maag, in 1968. My mother, Hilda Maag, was married to him during his time at Parris Island, which would have been from August of 1942 until December of 1966. He passed away in March of 2003.

Roy M. Didgeon says:
January 7th, 2017 at 4:29 am

Is there an index of names? I graduated PI on August 18 1966, but don’t remember my Platoon number. Can you help with a graduation photo? Thank You.

Bill Eskridge says:
October 11th, 2016 at 7:54 am

All Platoon pictures are available for purchase at Paris Island. E-mail using the PI website.

John Dawber says:
August 22nd, 2016 at 9:42 am

Looking for graduation book in 1956 Platoon 106 at Parris Island Marine Recruit Depot.

Larry G. Clark says:
July 26th, 2016 at 11:01 pm

Looking for anyone with info about Plt 117 PISC 1964.

Harvey Jones says:
May 24th, 2016 at 11:07 pm

Plt 271 Parris Island 1954,DI,s Coporal Sutton,S/Sgt Rhode, Sgt Kelly "aka" Raider. Is anybody out there? Contact me, Harvey Jones 1516079 Sgt USMC

John Head says:
April 25th, 2016 at 2:23 am

I am trying to locate my graduation book for Platoon 335 at Parris Island, S.C. in the year 1963.

James Hunn says:
April 24th, 2016 at 8:06 pm

I would like to how I can purchase a picture of platoon 321, graduated May 1960.

Jeanette Herndon says:
February 29th, 2016 at 2:25 am

I am trying to find info on women Marines on Parris Island in 1961.

Betty Thomas says:
November 20th, 2015 at 9:56 pm

Hello Mrs. Maag,

My husband Irvin was in the Marines in 1958 Platoon 283 and all his pictures were burned in a house fire. He would like to know if there is anyway he can get a copy of his platoon picture and a yearbook.

Thank You,

Jerome P. Clements says:
September 26th, 2015 at 4:00 am

Looking for picture of plt, 245 graduated 4/20/66.

Jody Carpenter says:
August 15th, 2015 at 9:39 pm

My uncle joined the Marines in October 1951. His platoon was 106. He graduated in December 1951. He has no pictures of his time in the Marines. Looking for his platoon picture. He is alive and well, and I would love to get this to him.

Cory Matthews says:
June 15th, 2015 at 1:43 am

I would try the Library of Congress. If its a matter of public record then its bound to be there.

Richard Shannon says:
June 9th, 2015 at 11:23 am

Trying to get a picture taken at our graduation of my platoon 2014 picture taken January 2, 1959 Platoon SSGT C.B. Payne, and Sgt B.H. Googe and SSGT K.G. Bragg. Would appreciate any in put to bring back some great memories. I just finished my 88th trip to Russia and think I have half the Russian military wearing Marine gear. Many thanks.

Cary Spaulding says:
March 18th, 2015 at 11:43 am

I’m trying to find any information of Platoon 1028 at Paris Island July-October 1966.

Ezekel George, Jr. says:
March 9th, 2015 at 9:31 pm

Hello Mrs. Maag, I graduated from Parris Island S.C. in Oct 1963. I have my platoon Photograph but lost my Platoon book – Platoon 152 Oct 1963. I have just about all my records. Just need the Platoon Book 152 from July – Oct 1963. THANK YOU FOR ANY HELP.

Jim Gosnell says:
February 4th, 2015 at 11:29 pm

Hi. It was great to visit this site. There is an email below from Wayne Chinault. He was looking for photos of platoons that he worked with from 1961-1963. I was a member of one of his platoons; Platoon 117 of 1st Battalion from Mar. to May of 1962. I have a photo of our platoon. I’d dearly like to be in contact with Wayne. I hope you will forward my email address to him.

Jim Gosnell
Chandler AZ

Mrs. Richard Applebee says:
January 6th, 2015 at 11:58 am

My husband has a photo of Platoon 6 from January 1948. He was wondering if there was a way to find the names of the persons in the photograph. Is there a website he can go to? If you’d like a copy of the photo, I can send one. Thanks for any help.

SCIWAY says:
June 30th, 2014 at 8:15 am

Hi, Judith. We are a website that showcases South Carolina’s landmarks and landscapes, but we have no access to such records. Everything we have on the SC Picture Project is sent to us by contributors. Hopefully, someone will see your request and respond! Best of luck!

Judith K. says:
June 28th, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Hi, I graduated from PI in October 1965, Women Marine Platoon 10 A. My platoon photograph and platoon book were lost a few years ago. Is there any way I may have a copy of the Platoon photograph which was a color photo and the platoon book? Please let me know how this may be arranged. I just found this site. I have been looking for it many years without luck.

Wendy says:
June 5th, 2014 at 11:44 pm

Hello Mrs. Maag,

Do you have a website with platoon photos from the early 1960s? My father-in-law (deceased) went to bootcamp at Parris Island in the very early 1960s. I don’t know when. We have requested his military service records from the archives and hopefully will be able to pinpoint a date or at least come close to figuring out when he went through PI. I’m asking because my oldest son is presently in bootcamp in San Diego following the footsteps of my husband and my father-in-law. We want to pass some of the Marine Corps history on to our son. Any advice/help you can offer would be beyond appreciated!

Thomas J.Wicker says:
March 31st, 2014 at 7:19 pm

My husband is looking for a bunk buddy, during training in Parris Island, SC. This buddy recieved the Medal of Honor after his tour of Vietnam in the 1960s. My husband had a stroke about six years ago and has a hard time remembering names. However, if you can give us information on how we could obtain information, please me e-mail at susywicker@hotmail.com. We would be grateful for any info or how to obtain this information. Thank you in advance, Thomas

Mrs. John Maag says:
March 5th, 2014 at 9:26 pm

I have one picture taken Oct 30, 1961, Platoon 255. S. SGT. C.L.DANIELS, S. SGT. J.V.LARKIN, and SGT. L.D.FERRER. I have not scanned, but can do so. I have two others, one woman recruit, and another which has no information, but looks to be officers or maybe recruiters. Will scan and place on this site. Give me couple days. Mrs. Maag.

Mrs. John Maag says:
March 5th, 2014 at 9:03 pm

To those who are searching for their own photos: The photo I just posted of my husband, might help you as we/I have met many who remembered John, when told he took their pictures. You might use Google and post your request on the internet. Will scan what I have and place on this site. Mrs Maag

Mrs. John Maag says:
March 5th, 2014 at 8:53 pm

My late husband may have one or possibly two pictures. All others were on file at Parris Island when he left. I can put those on the site; possibly one may be yours. At present I cannot find his, but did write the story, and plan to put it on the web. Have paper copy of his platoon picture. Have many more shots of the base and marines which he took during his time there. I was his assisant for a short time. I am now trying to scan a mountain of pictures to save. I have been on many Marine and Navy bases, as my first husband was a Navy Hospital Corpsman and was at the Beaufort Hospital. I have photos form every location stationed for duty.

Joseph Lacey says:
February 21st, 2014 at 11:31 am

Dear Mrs. Maag, I would love to have a copy of my Plt. graduation picture – Plt. 127, 1961 August, Senior Drill Inst. Sgt. Winn. Everyone I call tells me they were destroyed by fire for that year, so you’re my only hope. Thank you very much.

Wayne Chinault says:
January 27th, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Dear Mrs. Maag, I was a D/I at Parris Island in 1961 through 1963. I lost all my pictures of the platoons that I helped train in boot camp. I am hoping that there are copies that I can purchase. Thank you.

Rochelle Maag says:
January 17th, 2014 at 2:33 am

My late husband was J.F. Maag, the photographer who took the plantoon photos up till 1966. He also went through Boot Camp in 1941 and took a band to Tinian. I have seen the pictures and his name appears in the lower right had corner of the pictures. I worked for him until 1966 and have much of his history and pictures. If interested, please reply. I can put them on my own site.

Mrs John F. Maag

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