Camp McDougal

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Camp McDougal (1937-1944) - A World War II Marine Corps training camp established in 1937 on Hilton Head Island, Beaufort County, South Carolina. Abandoned in 1944.

Camp McDougal on Hilton Head Island in 1939.
Leamington Lighthouse on Hilton Head in 2018.


A World War II U.S. Marine training camp located in near the old Leamington Lighthouse (1879-1932) on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Used to train Marine anti-aircraft units and defense battalions.

Gun emplacements and searchlights were built on the beach. Training was conducted on guns ranging from 5" naval guns to 30 and 50 caliber machine guns.

The old Leamington Lighthouse iron skeleton tower was painted green and used by the Marines as a lookout tower. Tents surrounded the tower base and nearby were barracks, a mess hall, a hospital, an exchange, a headquarters building and various other support buildings. The Marines reportedly paved the first road on the island, which ran from the lighthouse complex to the ferry landing at Jenkins Island.

The Camp was abandoned sometime in 1944 as WWII conflict shifted to Europe and the Pacific islands.

Current Status

The Leamington lighthouse tower, also known as the Hilton Head Rear Range Light, is the only viewable remains of Camp McDougal. The tower still stands on the golf course of the gated Palmetto Dunes Plantation community.

Accessable by applying for a pass to view the Lighthouse at the main gate of the Palmetto Dunes Plantation community.

Location: Hilton Head Island, Beaufort County, South Carolina.

Maps & Images

Lat: 32.16448 Long: -80.74005

See Also:


  • Hefter, Natalie, Hilton Head Island, Arcadia Publishing, 1998, 128 pages, page 25-30.


Visited: 7 Mar 2018

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