Parris Island – Parris Island, South Carolina

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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 soldiers 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

Parris Island Map

Parris Island – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Parris Island, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!

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14 Comments about Parris Island

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 jrNo Gravatar 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 GosnellNo Gravatar 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 ApplebeeNo Gravatar 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.

SCIWAYNo Gravatar 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.No Gravatar 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.

WendyNo Gravatar says:
June 5th, 2014 at 11:44 pm

Hello Mrs. Maag,
Do you have a website with platoon photos from the early 1960’s? 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.WickerNo Gravatar 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 6 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 We would be grateful for any info or how to obtain this information. Thank you in advance, Thomas

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

My 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 can not 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 shot of the base and marines of which he took during his time there. I was his assisant for a short time. I am now trying to scan mountain of pictures of his and mine 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 LaceyNo Gravatar 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 chinaultNo Gravatar 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 MaagNo Gravatar 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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