4 families of Montford Point Marines receive Congressional Gold Medals during ceremony in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Four Montford Point Marines families were honored with Congressional Gold Medals during a celebration at Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia on Saturday.

The recipients were Colonel Herbert L. Brewer, Corporal Guy Russell Johnson, Pfc Thomas Edison Warren and Pfc William Clerence Green.

The later Colonel Herbert L. Brewer was the first African-American colonel ever.

The Montford Point Marines were the first African American men to integrate with the Marine Corps in 1942 during World War II.

Because of the segregation, the men at Camp LeJeune were not allowed to train with their white counterparts. Instead, they were placed in a field in Montford, North Carolina.

There they were instructed to build their own barracks and dig their own trenches.

Gary Russel Johnson Jr. received a medal on behalf of his father.

“Amazing story of these men who went to war for a country that didn’t even come close to fighting for them at the time,” said Johnson Jr.

“In 2012, just over 10 years ago, the United States Congress awarded the Congressional Gold Medal collectively to the first African American Marines, and today we awarded four replicas of that medal to four families in the Philadelphia area,” Joseph said Geeter, Past National President of the National Montford Point Marine Association, Inc.

Deborah Brown received a medal on behalf of her father. Brown said she heard through Action News that her father was a gold medal candidate.

“It’s amazing, I’m just sorry he’s not here to witness it in person, but in my heart I know that both he and my mother are with me today,” Brown said.

David Jones Jr. said he received the award on behalf of his grandfather.

“To find out that you have an extraordinary person in your family and that he’s also a role model, I mean, that’s the sauce,” said Jones, Jr.

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https://6abc.com/montford-point-marines-world-war-ii-africans-american-marine-congressional-gold-medal/12037067/ 4 families of Montford Point Marines receive Congressional Gold Medals during ceremony in Philadelphia

Alley Einstein

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