Read More: Entereing World War II


As it was becoming clear that the United States would be drawn into World War II, Onslow County attracted interest from the defense industry.  The county’s proximity to the coast and the availability of land were strong incentives.  Holly Ridge, which was an insignificant crossroads settlement, became the location of the 3,200-acre Camp Davis in 1940. One thousand buildings were constructed in several months time in order to facilitate the arrival of trainees. An antiaircraft training facility, the camp was operated by the War Department during World War II. Soldiers at Camp Davis, noting Holly Ridge’s amazing growth, often referred to it as “Boom Town” (Watson 1995:106-107; Onslow County Historical Society, 1983:23). Military training facilities were also created at Topsail Island and Fort Fisher. Following the war, Camp Davis was turned over to the Marine Corps (Watson 1995:132-133).