The Montford Point Marines 1.5” Bronze Medal (931)
This medal is a bronzeminiature 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.
Obverse: Michael Gaudioso Sculpted by Michael Gaudioso Reverse: Don EverhartSculpted by: Don Everhart
Struck Under Authority of:
Public Law 112-59
Philadelphia Mint (no mint mark)
These brave men persevered in the face of racial discrimination and proudly defended our Nation as Marines. The Montford Point Marines’ history includes:
On June 25, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order No. 8802 establishing the Fair Employment Practices Commission and opening the doors for the very first black Americans to enlist in the United States Marine Corps.
The first black Marine recruits were trained at Camp Montford Point, near the New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
On August 26, 1942, Howard P. Perry of Charlotte, North Carolina, was the first black private to set foot on Montford Point.
During April 1943 the first black Marine Drill Instructors took over as the senior Drill Instructors of the eight platoons then in training; the 16th Platoon (Edgar R. Huff), 17th (Thomas Brokaw), 18th (Charles E. Allen), 19th (Gilbert H. Johnson), 20th (Arnold R. Bostic), 21st (Mortimer A. Cox), 22nd (Edgar R. Davis, Jr.), and 23rd (George A. Jackson).
Black Marines of the 8th Ammunition Company and the 36th Depot Company landed on the island of Iwo Jima on D-Day, February 19, 1945.
The largest number of black Marines to serve in combat during World War II took part in the seizure of Okinawa in the Ryuku Islands with some 2,000 seeing action during the campaign.
Overall, 19,168 black Americans served in the Marine Corps in World War II.
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