Congressional Gold Medal recipients John L. Spencer, left, Manny Maxwell and Creo McIver Sr. have a sparkle in their eyes while watching a video near the end of the ceremony that mixed footage from the start of the Montford Point Marines training and all aspects of their lives from pictures when they were young to current times.
Roger Smith, a black photographer for the US Office of War Information, took hundreds of pictures of black Marines training at Montford Point at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. These Marines started enlisting in the Corps in early June of 1942. Of the 20,000, many saw combat and action in the South Pacific including several Montford Marines that live in Detroit.
Bobby Jones (pictured right) and his friend Fred Johnson in the Montford Point Marines – the first African American Marines in the U.S. The Montford Point Marines were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by Congress June 27, 2012.
Veteran Montford Point Marines attend their Congressional Gold Medal ceremony. Under hazy skies Thursday, the Marine Corps honored more than 400 African-American Marines, many of whom served during World War II and are now well into their 80s. The men went to a segregated boot camp, called Montford Point, and served in all-black units.