This web site was supported by the Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research, through a grant with South Carolina State University and developed by the University of North Carolina Wilmington, working in close cooperation with the Montford Point Marines Museum at Camp Johnson on Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C.

The nation's first African American Marines

In a race against time, the largely untold story of the nation's first African American Marines will at last be made known through a broadcast quality video documentary. More than 20,000 African Americans trained in segregated facilities between 1942 and 1949 at Montford Point, NC, and became the first African Americans to serve in the United States Marine Corps.

From its inception until 1942, the Marine Corps refused to recruit African Americans, American Indians and other minorities. Franklin D. Roosevelt's creation of the Fair Employment Practices Commission in 1941 forced the Corps, despite objections from its leadership, to begin recruiting African American Marines in 1942. The Marines' first black recruits received basic training at the segregated Montford Point Base adjacent to Camp Lejeune, NC and would continue to do so until 1949.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the web site developers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Naval Research.