See significant monuments and historic sites that honor the Marines throughout history and learn about the heritage of the United States Marine Corps and the past of the Port Royal region in the Parris Island Museum during your tour of Parris Island Marine Base.
The Douglas Visitors’ Center
Start your time at Parris Island Marine Base in the Douglas Visitors’ Center, named after Paul H. Douglas, who at the age of 50 became the oldest recruit to complete training. Here you will check in and find maps of key locations around the island.
Erected in 1924 and designed by Robert Ingersoll Aitken, Iron Mike, officially known as the “Monument to U.S. Marines” is a monument dedicated to the Parris Island Marines who gave their lives during World War I. The statue is depicted carrying a Maxim gun over his right shoulder and an M1911 pistol in his raised right hand.
Iwo Jima Monument
The Iwo Jima Monument in remembrance of the heroic flag raising on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, in 1945 is a source of pride for Marines and a testament to the value of the Corps. Reflect on the many qualities of the Marine as you admire the Iwo Jima Monument: confidence, discipline, fidelity and the rugged determination to overcome insurmountable odds.
See the recruits as they undergo rigorous training in preparation for hand-to-hand combat. The Confidence Course, first introduced in 1958 and updated in 2002 is the square’s main point of interest.
Memorial Park and Molly Marine
Sculpted by Mexican immigrant Enrique Alferez, the Memorial Park honors the 5th, 9th and 14th Defense Battalions which trained at Parris Island during World War II. At its center you’ll find a replica of the famous Molly Marine statue dedicated to the service of all women Marines.
4th Recruit Training Battalion
The 4th Recruit Training Battalion is home to the training facilities for female recruits. Learn about the fascinating past of women recruits including how they were not fully integrated into the United States Marine Corps until 1949.
Weapons and History Trail
Known today as part of the Weapons and Field Training Battalion, Page Field was named in honor of Captain Arthur Hallet Page Jr., a Marine aviator from 1918 to 1930. The historic airfield was most active during World War II when it used aircrafts such as Corsairs, Wildcats and B-25 Mitchell bombers. Discover fascinating facts about United States Marine Corps Aviation and Page Field airfield.
Charlesfort-Santa Elena Site
As you head toward the Charlesfort-Santa Elena site you can admire a crashed World War II bomber, the Parris Island lighthouse keeper’s home and the Santa Elena Monument. Also known as Ribault Monument, the Charlesfort-Santa Elena Site is the location of two historic settlements dating back to the time of the European colonization. While Charlesfort was founded by French explorer Jean Ribault in 1562, Santa Elena is said to be founded by the Spanish in 1566.
Finish your sightseeing tour of Parris Island Marine Base at the Rifle Range. Here recruits learn the basics of the M16A2 rifle and must become proficient in firing from the 200, 300 and 500 yard lines.
In the 10,000 square foot Parris Island Museum, learn about the long and rich legacy of the United States Marine Corps through artifacts, images and other materials in the exhibit galleries which illustrate varied stories from Native Americans to modern Marines.