1959 Southern Coach

This bus was destroyed by the fire.

The 1959 Southern Coach was put into service at Camp Lejeuene in 1959 and saw many years of service.  It was later sold to Wilks Community College in western North Carolina who changed the seats for long road trips.  From there it was purchased by a private owner in Virginia to become a motor home, but was never converted.  It was donated by the owner to CC & T in the fall of 2009.  With very little effort, it started up and drove about 25 miles to the CC & T bus barn.  It has a Detroit 671 engine with a five speed, manual transmission.

 

This coach is being restored to give veterans a ride in parades.  The exterior color will be FSN 8010-526-1609 Marine Green Semigloss with three inch yellow semigloss (color #33538) lettering.  Following is some basic information on Camp Lejeune and the destination points (in bold) from Southern's curtain.

 

Camp Lejeune - Marine Barricks (MB), New River ws established on May 1, 1941 under the command of Lieutenant Colonel William P.T. Hill.  Designed to provide training and facilities for all amphibious and ground activities of the 1st Marine Division, Marine Base, New River was developed in three stages.

 

Early in 1941, temporary troop quarters and administrative facilities were erected at Camp Geiger and Montford Point.  A Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp was also established at this time at Camp Knox.  In April 1941, units were established along the New River and at Hadnot Point, with support and industrial facilities farther inland.  Finally, additional barracks and support facilities were created at Montford Point, Camp Geiger, and Courthouse Bay.  World War II brought changes to MCB, New River.  The 1st Division shipped out in the spring of 1942 to join the fighting in the South  Pacific.  Also in 1942, the base was renamed in honor of General John A. Lejeune (1867-1942), commander of the Marines in France during WWI and later 13th Commandant USMC.  Montford Point (now Camp Johnson), was a training facility for all African-American Marines who served during WWII.  The CCC Camp at Camp Knox was converted to a K-9 facility.  The first U.S. Naval Hospital on base was established in 1943.  Throughout WWII, Camp Lejeune served as the Fleet Marine Force’s east coast “combat college” for training replacements and specialists.  After the war, development at Camp Lejeune focused on the permanent population of the base, expanding landscaping and recreational opportunities.  Marine Corp Air Station New River was established in 1951 (then named Peters Point Field Glider Base), and training centers were reactivated in the 1950s to support the Korean War.  In the 1970s, Montford Point was put to use as an educational complex for Marine Corps Service Support, and includes Field Medical Service School and Camp Lejeune Regional Staff Non-Commissioned Officer Academy.

 

Destination Curtain:

 

Camp Knox - Early in 1941, a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp was established at Camp Knox and was later converted to a K-9 facility.

 

Montford Point - In 1942, President Roosevelt established a presidential directive giving African Americans an opportunity to be recruited into the Marine Corps.  These African Americans, from all states, were not sent to the traditional boot camps of Parris Island, South Carolina and San Diego, California.  Instead, African American Marines were segregated - experiencing basic training at at Monford Point - a facility at Camp Lejeune, New River, North Carolina.  Approximately twenty thousand (20,000) African American Marines received basic training at Montford Point between 1942 and 1949 

 

Camp Geiger - The School of Infantry aboard Camp Geiger is separate from Camp Lejeune proper, which is also known as Mainside. The main entrance to Camp Geiger is on US Highway 17, South of Jacksonville, NC. Camp Geiger is a vital training center unto itself. With nearly 20,000 Marines undergoing Marine Combat Training every year, it is a hub of activity that mirrors the original days in 1941 when the 1st Marine Division prepared to ship-out to the Pacific. 

 

MCAF New River - In 1942, Camp Lejeune investigated an area with an existing airfield to host aircraft units in support of amphibious operations. The location was placed under the command of Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune. In 1985, the (Helicopter) designation was dropped from the official name and it is currently known as Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River. 

 

Courthouse Bay - One of Camp Lejeune's outlying "suburbs," Courthouse Bay, is currently home of the Marine Corps Engineer School and the 2d Assault Amphibian (AA) Battalion. The complex was originally used during World War II, however, as a Barrage Balloon School (a history "memorialized" in the continued use of the letters "BB" preceding the numerical designation of buildings here). Because it was far from the main area at Hadnot Point, Courthouse Bay was built as a semi-independent village with its own water supply, recreation facilities, mess hall, barracks, and officers' quarters. The Engineer School, which during the war had been in the 4th Regimental Area at Hadnot Point, moved to Courthouse Bay in 1945. 

 

Rifle Range and Stone Bay - The Stone Bay Rifle Range Historic District is directly and importantly associated with Camp Lejeune’s historic wartime mission, and continues to perform the functions for which it was originally designed and built. 

 

Paradise Point - The Paradise Point Golf Course is located on Brewster Boulevard approximately two miles past the Naval Hospital, MCB, Camp Lejeune. 

 

Naval Hospital – At MCB, Camp Lejeune, established in 1943.

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Site updated January 2018.