Welcome to the many new individuals on this update list. For the benefit of the first timers receiving this update, this email list is to be used exclusively for the passing of information concerning the Montford Point Marine Association. Please do not forward the names on this list for any other purpose. Please do forward this information to anyone you determine appropriate. Because it is so late in the month, this update will serve as the July and August update.
The first order of business is the death of Sergeant Major Louis Roundtree. The services for the Sergeant Major were held on Thursday 15 July at the chapel at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. There were over 220 attendees and nearly three-dozen Montford Pointers. There were also three National Officers; our President Nathaniel James, our National Public Relations Officer, Carmen Cordoba and myself. Everything form the program to the actual service was superb! During the procession to the National Cemetery in Quantico, local, military, County and State police led the way. Aboard base, all traffic was stopped in both directions. Many of the law enforcement personnel saluted as the limousines and vehicles rolled by. At the cemetery the funeral detail executed flawlessly the flag presentation and the firing detail. The final touch of the bugler brought tears to the eyes of many. Sergeant Major Roundtree’s wife, Famie, was extremely pleased in the sendoff her husband of 35 years was given. Expressions of condolence may still be sent to Famie at:
Mrs. Famie Roundtree
1200 Cabinwood Place
Silver Spring, MD 20904
NAACP 2004 Convention
Captain (ret) Fred Branch, the first African American Marine Officer (10 November 1945) received a Proclamation from the City of Philadelphia and an award from the Marine Corps at the National NAACP convention in Philadelphia on 13 July 2004. Captain Branch has been hospitalized since 7 July and was unable to attend the luncheon in which he was honored. It was my pleasure to accept on behalf of Captain Branch. Brigadier General Cornell Wilson and Charles Morrison, Executive Vice President of Uni World were in attendance and Captain Branch received a standing ovation for his pioneering accomplishment. Also in attendance was original Montford Pointer Holsey Gillis from the Philadelphia Chapter. Mr. Gillis was interviewed by the Associated Press and by America’s Black Forum for a future airing. Mr. Gillis also participated in a special tribute to African Americans in the military at the convention. Many thanks to our friends at the Uni World Group for not only promoting the Marine Corps, but the Montford Point Marine’s story during the Convention, specifically, Michael Montgomery, Deryck Thompson & Robin West. These individuals went all out to make sure the Montford Point Story was told.
Convention 2004 was a huge success. Special thanks go to local convention coordinator, DC Chapter 6 President (and MPMA 2004 Man-of-the-year) William Wilbur, who worked tirelessly to ensure all in attendance enjoyed their stay in Arlington VA, Some highlights of the convention:
$500,000 approval form Congress to film a documentary on Montford Point. 16 Original Montford Pointers stories were video taped for the Museum and documentary. A group picture of the convention group at the Marine Memorial (Iwo Jima). A special tribute to Montford Point evening that included a breath taking first person recital of the story of Montford Point by Marine Captain Michael Williams. A spectacular banquet in which nearly 90 Original Montford Pointers were in attendance. THE Marine Band (The President’s Own) provided pre-banquet and ceremonial music. Brigadier General Mary Ann Krusa-Dossin (Commandant’s Public Affairs Officer) was the guest speaker and gave a motivational and well-received talk about the progress of African Americans and Women in the Marine Corps. Also, Brigadier General Cornell Wilson and Willie Williams were in attendance. Lieutenant Colonel Denice Williams again served as our Mistress of Ceremonies and did a splendid job of ensuring the entire evening went smoothly. The unveiling of the Final Roll Call book by Dr. Herman Rhett was a huge success and contributed greatly to the large gathering of Original Montford Pointers. A personal appearance by the Author of the book “We Were There” Yvonne Latty who personally signed each book sold. Original Montford Pointer Thomas McPhatter is feature in her book. Re-election of all incumbent officers; Public Relations (Carmen Cordoba), Special Projects George Herring), Sergeant-at-Arms L.E. Mike Johnson), Scholarship Director (PNP Gene Doughty). And Veteran Affairs (Leo Taylor). The Chicago Chapter captured the Queen title from Camp Lejeune. Maryland 17 received Chapter of the Year honors. Man of the Year went to William Wilbur (DC6) and James Stewart (MD 28). James Calendar award went to Master Sergeant Donna Coursey (DC 6) Gilbert “Hashmark” Johnson Award went to National Treasurer Houston Shinal (Camp Lejeune 10) The Semper Fidelis Award went to Major Brian Milan. Woman of the Year went to Past New York Chapter President Alexandria Johnson (NY). 2004 Hall of Fame inductees were: Major General (ret) Clifford Stanley, Lieutenant Colonel Demetrius Bellizare, Mr William I. Forman Sr., Mr. Leo Taylor & Mr. McFall C. Gourdine. Appointment of a National Quartermaster (PNVP Elijah Abram).
Final Roll Call
There are still copies of the Final Roll Call available as well as posters and other items surrounding Dr. Rhett’s project. To order to Final Roll Call Book, please send $35.00 plus $6.00 S/H to:
Herman Rhett, PNP
Post Office Box 3266
Laurel, MD 20708
Please make check payable to: “MPM Final Roll Call” For questions: call 301-725-0111
We are rapidly approaching the Marine Birthday Ball season. Please inform both the National Public Relations Officer, Carmen Cordoba, firstname.lastname@example.org 703-784-6407, and National Recording Secretary, Regina Lawrence, email@example.com 804-279-3589, the particulars of birthday celebrations and any other activities in your area.
Please see your local chapter presidents for copies of all the reports that were submitted during the convention. The site of Convention 2005 will be Chicago. Chapter President Norman Payne has a very detailed plan to make sure that Convention 2005 is as productive and enjoyable as Convention 2004. Detailed information about Spring Council 2005 & Convention 2005 will be passed as soon as it is available.
I have attached an Application for Membership for our association to this update. Please fill free to tailor this application to fit your individual Chapter needs. Our membership year runs from 31 August – 1 September. This means that membership dues are due for individuals who are paying annually. Recruiting new members is of course the Lifeblood of our Association and cannot be emphasized enough. I sincerely believe that many of the projects your Executive Council and select chapters have been working the past few years will come to fruition within our next year and we need as many paid up members as possible to help us move these projects forward. Please do not put off any longer renewing or becoming current in your membership. ‘nuff said.
Please continue to visit the national website at: www.montfordpointmarines.com the Maryland site at www.mpma28.com and the new New York site at: http://www.mpmanyc.com/
Finally, a very special thank you to the members of DC6 for making Convention 2004 on of the most well attended, memorable conventions in recent memory. The bar has now been set slightly higher for future conventions. We are still looking for a Chapter to host Convention 2006. Hosting a Convention will be the most challenging and rewarding event that a Chapter can do. The National Office and the National Convention Director stand ready to assist you in this endeavor. If your Chapter is interested, your CHAPTER President must contact either the National President or myself to discuss.
Please continue to do all that you do to Preserve the Legacy of our heroes!