Welcome from the Montford Point Marines, and James E Stewart Jr President Montford Point Marines 28, and son of original Montford Point Marine James E. Stewart Sr.
James E Stewart Jr was awarded the following military decorations: National Defense Service Medal (US), Vietnam Service Medal (US), Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon (US), Navy Unit Citation (US), Presidential Unit Citation (US), Gallantry Cross Medal with Palm (RVN), Military Merit Medal (RVN) and the Vietnam Campaign Medal with Date (RVN).
The Presidential Unit Citation is awarded to armed forces units of the United States and allies for extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy on or after December 7, 1941. The unit must display such gallantry, determination and esprit de corps under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions so as to set it apart from and above other units participating in the same campaign.
THE HISTORY OF MONTFORD POINT MARINES
History on Tape Button Historical advisor Byron Stewart PhD
The Montford Point Marines were the first African-Americans to serve in the United States Marine Corps. The black Marines were segregated at Montford Point Camp to train between 1942-1949. The men served in all-black units, mostly in the Pacific Theater, and distinguished themselves while battling racism from within and enemies from without. In 1965, the Montford Point Marine Association, a military service group, was founded following a convention of former Montford Point Marines.
The integration of the American military was a long process that started in 1941 with an executive order by President Roosevelt that was intended to create fair employment practices in the United States Armed Forces. In 1942, Montford Point Camp was established so that African-American Marine recruits could train. 20,000 men trained at the camp, but the Montford Point Marines were not allowed into neighboring all-white camps without being accompanied by a white Marine. In 1949, President Truman signed another executive order to force full integration of the United States: in the same year, the first African-American woman, Annie Graham, enlisted in the Marines.
The Montford Point Marines are often hailed as important figures in American history, because they willingly fought to protect a nation that still did not offer them basic civil rights. Today, African-Americans make up approximately 20% of the United States Armed Forces. The Montford Point Marines helped to integrate the armed forces and to encourage respect for African-American men and women in the armed forces.
In 1965, a reunion of Marines was held in Philadelphia which included former Montford Point Marines along with Marines on active duty. Over 400 men showed from from all over the country, and they decided to establish the Montford Point Marine Association, one of many nonprofit veterans programs which exist all over the United States to help people in need and preserve military history. The Association has many chapters, and is a member of the Marine Corps Council, which is a council of Marine-related service groups.
The Montford Point Marine Association maintains a National Museum and archives pertaining to the Montford Point Marines, and also works to build ties of friendship in the communities in which it is active. A convention is held annually to celebrate the Montford Point Marines, make organizational decisions, and distribute scholarships
CLICK TO SEE VIDEO MADE BY MY SON STACY STEWART
Marines of Montford Point visit with members of the United States Senate. Senators Durbin and Burris both from Illinois join in a conversation with MPMA President James Averhart, MPMA Public Relations Officer Joe Geeter, along with Original Montford Pointers George Kidd, Joe Carpenter, James Ferguson, while at a US Senate visit in Washington DC.