The First Black United States Marines: The Men of Montford Point, 1942-1946

McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers

The First Black United States Marines: The Men of Montford Point, 1942-1946 Overview

On June 1, 1942, the United States Marine Corps broke a 144 enlisted the first black Marines. Three months later, more than 400 black volunteers began their training as members of the 51st Composite Defense Battalion at Montford Point, a Marine camp of over five square miles located within Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Compiled from personal interviews, this volume takes an in-depth look at the men who braved the color barrier and became the first black Marines. Beginning with a look at the pre-World War II Marine Corps, it examines the creed and contemporary image of the USMC. The main focus is the Marine Corps and the fighting experiences of their newest members. Additional topics include internal Marine perspectives on the admittance of blacks, initially enforced quotas, and the difficulties of segregation. Appendices provide information regarding monthly inductions into the Marine Corps from 1941 to 1945; rank and pay structure; depot and ammunition companies from 1943 to 1946; and Pacific Ocean area units of fire for ground weapons.

The First Black United States Marines: The Men of Montford Point, 1942-1946 Table Of Content

Preface     1
Pre-World War II
"No Negro, Mulatto, or Indian to be enlisted..."     7
The U.S. Marine Corps - A Very Brief History     10
A Closer Look     19
A Chance to Join "The Club"     23
1941-1942: The War Begins
The Exigencies of War     29
Blacks Accept the Challenge     33
American Strategy     38
The First Black Marine Unit     44
Training the First Black Recruits     54
Changes Come Quickly     66
Proving Amphibious Doctrine     73
Segregation Is Still the Rule     78
Training with the Guns     90
War Is Serious Business     97
Change Comes Slowly     102
A Time of Turmoil     112
Activating the 52d Defense Battalion     125
South Pacific     129
Leaving the States     132
The Marianas     139
Operation Forager Countinues     159
Moving Out     167
Pushing Black Marines Through     177
Garrison Life     188
No End in Sight     193
Hounded by the Press     205
Okinawa - Operation Iceberg     208
"...A very lovely day..."     216
Future for Black Marines     226
A Few of the Men, Continued     231
Appendices     235
Chapter Notes     241
Bibliography     253
Index     261

Readers' Reviews