The images in this photo exhibit offer the best visual record of what the men of Montford Point experienced while in training at the segregated facility at Montford Point and during their participation in the World War II island campaigns of the South Pacific.
The work of a single African American photographer, Roger Smith, provides the bulk of the images of life at Montford Point. Working for the United States Office of War Information, Smith photographed members of the first combat unit formed at Montford Point, the 51st Defense Battalion, in training in March, 1943. His images reveal both the rigors of training the men endured and the close camaraderie that developed among them. They are taken from the Documenting America Collection of the Library of Congress. Smith's photographs, each identified, are supplemented by the work of other government photographers, whose identities, when known, are noted.
Photographs of Montford Point Marines in combat are difficult to find. The combat photographs reproduced here are taken from Pictures of African Americans during World War II, an online exhibit of the United States National Archives and Records Administration, and convey some concept of the men's combat experiences. When possible, the identity of the photographer is noted.