Ocracoke in Hyde County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
U.S. Navy Beach Jumpers - Amphibious Forces, U.S. Navy Monument
—Hyde County Heritage Trail —
U.S. Navy Beach Jumpers
Loop Shack Hill
Advanced Amphibious Training Base, Ocracoke (AATB)
December 1943 to January 1946
In December 1943, the U.S. Navy Section Base became the Advanced Amphibious Training Base (AATB) for the Beach Jumpers. Experienced officers and men from earlier units were brought back to assist in the training of Units 6, 7, 8 and 9 personnel, who would later serve in the Pacific. These units were trained in bothe classroom and live exercises of seaborne deception. To simulate full forces invasions along the beach while on board the 63 ft. ARBs (air-sea rescue boats). The boats were capable of high speeds and carried time delayed explosives, amplifiers, recorders (sound effects), smoke pots, radar, radios, rocket launchers and two sets of twin 50 caliber machine guns. They also used radio and radar counter measures to deceive the enemy. In making them believe an invasion was taking place along the beach. The base was closed in early 1946, after World War II ended and the boats were returned to Little Creek Amphibious Base, VA.
U.S. Navy Beach Jumpers, World War II,
Amphibious Forces, U.S. Navy
[Rendering of Loop Shack Hill, AATB, Ocracoke - WWII]
Turbo Vestri Hostilis
Beach Jumpers were United States Navy tactical cover and deception units which were organized under Vice Admiral H.K. Hewitt, then Commander, Amphibious Forces U. S. Atlantic Fleet, and all U.S. Naval Forces in Northwest African Waters and Western Mediterranean. The concept for Beach Jumpers came about as a result of then-Lieutenant Douglas E. Fairbanks, Jr., the Hollywood actor-turned navel officer during World War II, having been detached from “blue water” duty on the high seas and assigned to duty with British Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten, Combined Operations (Commandos) in England.
U.S. Navy Beach Jumpers - Naval Special Warfare
United States Navy
Hyde County Heritage Trail
[Rendering of three Navy ASR Boats -WWII]
Lt. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Location. 35° 6.376′ N, 75° 58.119′ W. Marker is in Ocracoke, North Carolina, in Hyde County. Marker is on Irvin Garrish Highway (North Carolina Route 12) east of Ocracoke Village. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ocracoke NC 27960, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within Ocracoke Lighthouse (approx. ¾ mile away); Lake Company (approx. 0.8 miles away); British Cemetery - HMT Bedfordshire (approx. one mile away); USRC Mercury (approx. 1.2 miles away); Lt. Robert Maynard (approx. 1.2 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. Ocracoke Attractions. "Beach Jumper Marker on Loop Shack Hill."
When you are driving to the village from the lifeguard beach, look for a large black granite marker on the right side of N.C. Highway 12 just before you reach the village boundary. Behind the marker, up past the dunes is an area of the island called Loop Shack Hill, the site of a little known WWII U.S. Navy project called the Beach Jumpers. This marker was installed in the fall of 2009 at a reunion of the U.S. Navy Beach Jumper Association held at Ocracoke to commemorate the island’s participation in this top secret operation.
The story of the Beach Jumpers has only come to light in recent years. In 1943, during WWII before the Naval Station was built on the island, Ocracoke hosted an advanced amphibious training base where tactical cover and deception units, precursors to the celebrated Navy Seals, were organized and trained for the U.S. Navy. This undercover military project was known as the Beach Jumpers and existed not only on Ocracoke but also in other prime locations along the East Coast. In addition to training, these tactical cover and deception units monitored hidden German submarine activity off the eastern coast of the United States during the war. As part of the project a facility was established at Loop Shack Hill to receive pulses from a magnetic cable that ran from Ocracoke to Buxton that indicated when underwater vessels, possibly German submarines, were in the area.
The Ocracoke Preservation Museum has a new exhibit with photos that tells the complete story of this remarkable project. Go check out this wonderful display and learn about the major role that well known actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr played in the development of the Beach Jumpers, as well as other astounding facts that surround this operation.
2. U.S. Navy Beach Jumpers Assoc.
3. Beach Jumpers.
Categories. • War, World II • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page originally submitted on April 21, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,971 times since then. Photos: 1. submitted on April 21, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 2, 3. submitted on April 22, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.