Welcome - the goal of the Montford Point Marine Association is to preserve the memories, values and foundations of those who have past before us. In doing so we have hosted programs, provided education, sponsored youth programs such as the Harlem Youth Marines, and many other community based programs. The New York Metro Chapter has a long-standing commitment, of reaching out toward interacting and educating all that are interested in the continuing legacy of Marine Corps traditions past and present. The history of the Montford Pointers as they are often referred - can be found on several MPMA websites which chronicles the long standing legacy of these men. Recent articles "Montford Point Marines Honored" and the Right to Fight, are just recent examples of MPMA Members in the news.
Congressional Gold Medal Recipients
At ceremonies held in Washington DC (June 27th and 28th) the Montford Point Marines were awarded the highest civilian award in the nation, the Congressional Gold Medal. The Associations pursuit of the medal and recognition of these storied individuals was culminated at events held at the U.S. Capital Visitors Center as well as Marine Barracks Washington. With special thanks to Congresswoman Corrine Brown (Fla.) and Senator Kay Hagan (NC) they spearheaded legislation which ultimately turned the tied and enabled the President to sign the legislation into law.
These men of distinction and honor served at the segregated camp known as Montford Point just outside of Camp Lejeune North Carolina. The story of these men is also chronicled in a film project titled "The Marines of Montford Point: Fighting for Freedom". This documentary film, narrated by stage and screen actor Lou Gosset Jr. tells the stories, and the quest of African Americans to serve there country during their entry into the U.S. Marine Corps. Yet in the face of this difficult time of personal and un-toll challenges, they maintained loyalty, friendships, dignity and pride which this film captures. With airing's occurring on PBS Stations around the country - the NY Chapter extends a profound thanks to all entities and individuals who were involved with this project.
CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL AWARD UPDATED INFORMATION
Click above for latest information
There is a long list of websites which along with our sister Chapter in Maryland, openly tells the stories of African Americans in segregated New River and Jacksonville North Carolina during 1942. The resistance by the Corps during this period though documented is masked by many other tales of Marine folklore for the same period. Unlike the Navy which made an effort to address the inclusion - though in relatively small numbers and mainly steward roles, Maj Gen Holcomb (then Marine Commandant) resisted. Eventually the country & the Corps yielded to the efforts documented by Eleanor Roosevelt as a champion against racism, the Fair Employment Practices Commission and signing of Presidential Executive Order 8802, by the Administration, and a pressing need to engage more troops to the pacific, the formation of black units began to emerge. Many began training in isolation at Montford Point - and it would be some time before any actually deploy or actually see combat......
Ultimately after standing on the shoulders of so many before them - the legacy of those who trained at Montford Point ended as quickly as it began. President Harry Truman in an effort to expand on the de-segregation of America established Executive Order 9981. This order ultimately established the committees and the early formation of recommendations which lead to the closure of Montford Point as a segregated boot camp. What was clear was that the prewar policies of the past were now disappearing. While the African-American Marines in the United States braved loneliness and racial discrimination, those overseas might wait on distant islands for Japanese attacks that never came; manhandle heavy containers out of ships' holds; load all sorts of supplies into landing craft; sort out the cargo on the beachhead, often under deadly fire; and move the desperately need material inland to the fighting units. Men in the defense battalions sometimes unloaded ships, whereas members of the combat support companies became infantrymen in an emergency, and stewards often doubled as stretcher bearers.
Documentation of these units inside and out of the Marine Corps is sparse even to this day. Sadly publications relegate the story line to just a few pages, while other publications and films of the WWII era communicate a different story line. The Library of Congress, 1975 publication (Appendix B) makes strides to outline those units and the men who served during this period.
Where we are today;
In the summer of 1965,
twenty years after World War II, an enterprising group of Marine veterans from
the Philadelphia areas formulated and developed plans to hold a national reunion
of Montford Pointers. The late Attorney Cecil B. Moore, then president of the
largest chapter of the NAACP and later a Philadelphia City Councilman, was a
member of this founding group. On September 17th and l8th, at the Adelphia Hotel
in downtown Philadelphia, over 400 former Marines, retired and active duty
Marines, representing 17 states, attended this reunion. The fervid response led
to the establishment of the Montford Point Marine Association, Inc., a
non-profit veteran organization, chartered in Pennsylvania. Chapters were
immediately organized in 11 major cities. Today there are well over 35 Chapters
within each major region of the U.S.
We are interested in you joining our organization. As a veteran regardless of branch of service you have the ability to provide valuable insight, and skills - not just to the Chapter but to the organization as a whole. If you have the desire to make a difference and are willing to contribute feel free to contact us via our Feedback Link or complete the Application and send it in.
Local Chapter Contact Information - New York
Annual Chapter Dinner Dance November 18th, 2012 4:00PM At Antun's Queens, NY
Please use one of the following to contact us at your
convenience. Meeting's are held every 2nd Saturday at the Harlem YMCA located at
135th Street Lenox Ave at 1PM.
1 Centre Street, Suite 2208
Telephone (212) 416-5250
Send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2007 Montford Point Marine
Association NY Chapter