One Lafayette Plaisance Suite 912
Detroit, Michigan 48207
Detroit, Michigan is home to “America’s Greatest Generation” where during WWII the automotive industry converted its gigantic plants into production of the world’s most formidable wartime machine to produce warplanes, bombers, tanks, military vehicles, and ammunition in order to fight the “Two Ocean War” against Nazi Germany and Japan. Since that time Detroit has earned the motif of “The Arsenal of Democracy”.
During that era, America recruited a significant number its very first Black recruits into the United States Marine Corps on June 1, 1942 after passage of President FDR’s Executive Order 8802 which ended discrimination in the Defense industryand in the armed services of the United States. The impact on the Marine Corps was that it abolished a 167 year color barrier that denied enlistment of men of color.
The history about the Marines of Montford Point has been one of America’s best kept military secrets until recent years. Their story is that of the Marines Corps Black “hidden heores” who were coerced to train at a segregated facility “away from whites” known as “Montford Point” located at New River (MCB) Camp Lejuene, N.C. This Jim Crow policy against Blacks prevailed until 1949 when President Truman enacted Executive Order 9901 which finally desegregated the Marine Corps.
Today, a number of these “hidden heroes” are still active participating members of the Montford Point Marines of Michigan, Inc and remain to give their first-hand accounts that dispel all myths “that no Blacks fought in combat during WWII”. They can tell you how they fought in the Battle of Saipan, Invasion of Peleliu, Okinawa, and Iwo Jima, and many denied promotions or recognition. However, Time Magazine war correspondent Robert Sherrod wrote in his article dated July, 1944 that the Marines of Montford Point ranked a 4.0 (Annapolis’s highest performance mark of perfection) from their commanding officer Colonel Earl Phillips as they conducted themselves in combat. Also, in February 1945, Sherrod wrote about a group of Black Marines from the 51st Defense Battalion in the 2nd and 3rd wave to reach the beachhead on Iwo Jima performing magnificently under fire. Each year hundreds of people travel from all over the nation to attend the annual Montford Point Marines Military Heritage Banquet in June in honor of the Nation’s first Black U.S. Marines that paved the way for many generations of Afro-American Marines to follow. As you enter this website you will discover a number of Black marines who have their indelible mark in Marine Corps tradition and American history.
Robert B. Middleton President
Congressional Gold Medal Recipients
501 (c) 3 Public Charity (Pending)
All meetings are held every third Saturday of the Month from 9:00am-1:00pm located at 2951 Woodward Ave.(corner of Temple )in the Vietnam Veterans of America Bldg.
The Veterans History Project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. Created and authorized by Congress, the Veterans History Project received unanimous support in the House and Senate and was signed into law on October 27, 2000.