View the history of the first African-American Marines
The courageous and dedicated men who entered Montford Point in the 1940s graduated to become the Marines that brought the U.S. Marine Corps into a new era. Black recruits were sent to Jacksonville, a city about 60 miles northeast of Wilmington, to complete a segregated basic training at Montford Point Base. The Montford Point Marines Association has since launched chapters across the nation and in Japan to celebrate their legacy, and established a museum at Camp Johnson to preserve and share their stories. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, you can visit the Montford Point Museum to immerse yourselves in photos, documents and artifacts that capture the unique history of these African-American Marines from 1942 to 1949. The museum’s mission is to display memories of the past and show how those experiences have influenced the Marines today. At Lejune Memorial Gardens, visit the first of two phases of the Montford Point Marine Memorial and the “Wall of Stars” that honors and represents the 20,000 Marines that trained at Montford Point in the 1940s. African-American Marines were traditionally assigned to non-combat roles such as supplying ammunition to the front lines. The statue of the Marine holding the rifle symbolizes these men earning the right to fight.
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