As part of the Marines’ planned use of paratroop landings in offensive support of amphibious assaults, parachute training facilities were established at Camp Lejeune and at Camp Gillespie near San Diego, California, in mid-1942. Camp Lejeune’s facilities included three steel training towers with associated equipment buildings (PT-4, PT-5, PT-6), a parachute storage and packing building (PT-1), a training building with airplane fuselage mock-ups (PT-2), jumping platforms, and a small heating plant (PT-3). After training four battalions of paratroop Marines at Camp Lejeune, the Marine Corps consolidated the Lejeune and Gillespie programs into one program stationed at Camp Gillespie in July 1943. The Marines discontinued their parachute training program altogether prior to the war’s end because of its ineffectiveness as a weapon in the islands in the Pacific theater. Although somewhat short-lived, the Camp Lejeune parachute program served an important role in Camp Lejeune’s overall mission of training and preparing personnel for combat roles.
By supplying parachute training, the three buildings contributing to the Parachute Training Historic District directly participated in and supported training critical to the survival of paratroop Marines. Associated with Camp Lejeune’s primary mission during World War II, providing Marines with the skills and instruction necessary for conducting war, the Parachute Training Historic District meets significance criteria for the National Register as a “Training Facility” under the historic context “Marine Mobilization and Training.” Built by the Marines expressly to instruct its personnel in parachute jumping and landing skills, the Parachute Training buildings also reflect the military’s development of distinctive specialized structures utilized solely for training personnel in specific skills necessary for conducting war. As a result, the three Parachute Training buildings are also eligible for the National Register within the historic context “Marine Mobilization and Training” as specialized buildings developed by the military for the instruction of its personnel in parachute skills.
Management Plan Buildings PT-4, PT-5, and PT-6 Parachute Training Historic District MCB Camp Lejeune
PT-5 (radio towers in the background – are later add-ons for the use of the area for radio training – they are not related to the PT-5)
PT-4 now serves as the Game Warden’s office