This medal is a bronze duplicate of the Congressional Gold Medal awarded collectively to the Montford Point Marines at a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Building on June 27, 2012, in recognition of their personal sacrifice and service to their country during World War II. These were the first black Americans to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps after President Franklin Roosevelt issued an Executive Order establishing the Fair Employment Practices Commission in June 1941. The recruits trained at Camp Montford Point, near Jacksonville, North Carolina. Black Marines of the 8th Ammunition Company and the 36th Depot Company landed on the island of Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945. The largest number of black Marines to serve in combat during World War II took part in the seizure of Okinawa, with approximately 2,000 seeing action. Some of these Marines also participated in amphibious landings on Peleliu and Saipan. During World War II, more than 19,000 black Americans served in the Marine Corps, with some 13,000 of these serving in units overseas.
The obverse (heads side), designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso, features three Montford Point Marines in varying uniforms with an action scene from training filling the lower portion of the palette. The inscriptions on the outer rim are MONTFORD POINT MARINES, 1942 and 1949. The U.S. Marine Corps was integrated in 1949.
The reverse (tails), designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart, depicts Montford Point Marines in formation during training, with the signature water tower, a notable feature to all Montford Point Marines, in the background. The inscriptions are FOR OUTSTANDING PERSEVERANCE and COURAGE that INSPIRED SOCIAL CHANGE in the MARINE CORPS, 2011 and ACT OF CONGRESS.
|Design:||Obverse: Michael Gaudioso|
Sculpted by Michael Gaudioso
Reverse: Don Everhart
Sculpted by: Don Everhart
|Struck Under Authority of: ||Public Law 112-59|
|Place Minted:||Philadelphia Mint (no mint mark)| Program Information: Shipping Information: Purchasing Information: