JACKSONVILLE, NC (WITN) - If you know a Marine who served decades ago during segregation in Jacksonville at Montford Point, your contribution could be invaluable to a group of leaders who've began a nationwide search to find and honor all the Monford Point Marines.
February, during Black History Month, is one of the many appropriate times of the year to recognize the Marines historic contributions.
From 1942 to 1949, approximately 20,000 African American men were admitted to the Marine Corps. With segregation in place, these men trained at a separate base at Montford Point in Jacksonville, a part of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
During World War II, just months after Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the order to admit African Americans into the Corps. The Marines were the last branch of the service to include African Americans.
Dr. Alfreda Carmichael with the association said, "The Montford Point Marine Association is looking to find and recognize those marines and honor them with the Congressional Gold Medal for their service."
Every Montford Point Marine will be given the Congressional Gold Medal. With no record of those who served from 1942 to 1949, they hope the public can help. If you would like to contact them you can do so at MontfordPointMarines.Org