When were the famous yellow footprints first used at Paris Island?
The answer is: around 1964.
I contacted Ms. Susan Hodge at the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. and asked her this question. She got the answer from the Museum Director at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, SC, home of the first set of yellow footprints. The Museum Director emailed her this answer, which I'm sharing with you:
"From its beginning in 1915, the receiving barracks has been located in a number of places on Parris Island. The initial receiving barracks was located at the old state of South Carolina quarantine station which stood on Ballast Creek where the Depot's club "Traditions' is located today. During World War Two and Korea receiving was conducted at Building 145 in the Headquarters and Service Battalion Barracks complex. In 1964 the facility was moved to Building 631, a 2nd Battalion barracks on Panama Street and at about the same time yellow footprints were painted on the pavement on which newly arrived recruits was placed. In 1986 recruit receiving and the yellow footprints were moved to a new facility on Panama Street - Building 6000 - where recruits are today processed upon their arrival at Parris Island."
It's been a pleasure to find this answer and share it with you!
Best Regards and Semper Fi!
-Sgt. Christopher M. Chinchilla, USMC veteran