Newsletters & Information > Captain Branch died 10 April
Captain Branch died 10 April

Apr 20, 2005

Fellow members, friends,

This has been a most busy month for the Montford Point
Marine Association. Topping this month’s update is the
Death of Captain (ret) Frederick Branch. Captain Branch
died 10 April and his funeral was 19 April in Philadelphia
and he was interned 20 April at Quantico National Cemetery
next to his wife Peggy who preceded him in death about 5
years ago. His Funeral Service in Philadelphia was well
attended by Association members. Past National Presidents
Gene Doughty and Sam Saxton were in attendance. Also on
hand were the Northern Regional Vice President, Ken Rollock
and Chicago Vice President Racine “Tree” Wilson.
Representing our friends in Connecticut were Paul Young and
Howard Hunter. Lawrence Brown, Philadelphia Chapter
President was there with a contingent of Original Montford
Pointers and Chapter members. General Stanley, a fellow
Kappa of Captain Branch, was also there with his wife Roz.
Colonel Chris Baker and his wife Marcie were also there.
Special thanks to Colonel Baker for getting the word out
and keeping us all updated with the times and places of the
services. A very special thank you to our National Public
Relations Officer, Carmen Cordoba, who released a very
timely Press Release so that Captain Branch’s passing
received the Country-wide publicity he so richly deserved.
Captain Branch’s inspirational leadership and pioneering
spirit will be missed by many.

Captain Branch was interned at Quantico National Cemetery
on Wednesday 20 April. Navy Chaplain and Montford Point
Marine Life Member Captain Ronnie King gave a very moving
invocation. Those in attendance included the Commandant of
the Marine Corps, The Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps,
Major General Select Walter Gaskin, Retired Lieutenant
General Frank Peterson, Retired Major Generals Leo Williams
III, Jerome Cooper and Clifford Stanley, retired Brigadier
General George Walls and a host of other General Officers.
From the Montford Point Marine Association Past National
Presidents Jerome Milburn & Sam Saxton, Maryland Chapter 28
President James Stewart, DC-6 President William Wilbur,
DC-6 founding member Lieutenant Colonel Joe Montgomery,
MPMA Hall-of-Fame member Jim Fairfax and National Public
Relations Officer retired Marine Master Sergeant Carmen
Cordoba. There was great news and print press coverage at
this event. Thank you to all the members that went out of
their way to pay their last respects to a true American

Brooks Gray Building Dedication

On Friday, 15 April, a magnificent building at Camp
Johnson, Montford Point was dedicated to our founder and
first National President, Master Gunnery Sergeant Brooks
Gray. Under a cool and very windy day, many spoke of
Brooks’ accomplishments putting MPMA on the map. In
attendance were Brooks’ widow, Melvia and their children
and grandchildren. Also in attendance was Brooks’ sister.
From the General Officer Ranks were the Base Commander,
Major General Robert C. Dickerson, Major General Cornell
Wilson, Major General select Willie Williams and Brigadier
General Ron Coleman. The Gray family was treated like
royalty during the entire day’s events. Friday evening
many of use gathered at Camp Lejeune Chapter #10’s brand
new clubhouse in Jacksonville. Camp Lejeune has
aggressively sought to have a clubhouse for years and it
has finally come to fruition. Museum Director Finney Greggs
and his wife Louise worked tirelessly to ensure the Museum
was well prepared to receive the many visitors that passed
through that day. Finney even stayed up very late the
evening before to ensure that there was a Special display
of the memorabilia that the family donated. All in all it
was a marvelous dedication!!!

Spring Council

Our 2005 Spring Council was a huge success! Many business
issues were settled or significantly moved forward. Camp
Lejeune will be the site of the 2006 convention. The audit
will be done very soon. Instead of waiting until our books
are perfect, we decided to have the audit now and take what
is learned from that audit to refine our financial
reporting. We also got a first look at the National
Newsletter. National Public Relations Officer, Carmen
Cordoba promises this will be in the mail to all paid up
members very soon. Also, a decent Convention SOP was
drafted. Special thanks to those individuals who stayed
after the business meeting on Saturday to draft this most
important document. Convention Committee members including
myself, our National President, Nathaniel James, Convention
Director Ken Rollock, Delegate Director Gus Willis and
MGySgt James Carr of the NY Chapter all worked diligently
to ensure future chapters have a great guide to
conventions. Chapters should receive a copy of this draft
prior to convention 2005 and the members will vote to
ratify this SOP at the convention. On the Friday of the
Council the Chicago Chapter invited all council attendees
to their clubhouse in South Chicago. There we socialized
and ate heartily. The Chicago clubhouse has undergone
extensive renovations over the past few years. Under the
leadership of Chapter President Norman Payne, members
Howard Neal and others have made the Chicago Clubhouse the
standard of buildings within the Association. We are
definitely looking forward to returning to the Windy City
in July. Please continue to visit the Chicago website for
up-to-date convention information at: all members must
register for the convention in order to attend the business
meetings. Registration fee is $35.00.

Queens Contest

Chapters are reminded to send in your monthly Queens Report
to the National Special Projects Officer, George Herring.
George reminds us not to send in the ticket stubs but to
bring them to the National Convention. Ticket stubs will
be matched with reports before they are entered into the
raffle. The Queens contest is the Association’s premier
fundraiser and also can be the Chapter’s premier
fundraiser. Just a few years ago Camp Lejeune Chapter #10
took home over $10,000 to assist with their operating cost
and surely contributed to their opening up a clubhouse this
year. Let’s get aggressive and sell those tickets!!!
Don’t forget to buy your own book too!

Retirement Announcement

Lieutenant Colonel Denice Williams’ Retirement Ceremony and
Dinner will be Friday, 29 April 2005 at 6:00 PM at the
Wingate Inn Fredericksburg, 20 Sanford Drive,
Fredericksburg, VA 22406. LtCol. Williams has been a life
member for years in our Association and has been one of our
biggest supporters at HQMC. LtCol. Williams often served
as Mistress of Ceremonies at our National Banquet. The NY
Chapter honored her this past November at their Annual
Banquet. The cost of the dinner is $20.00 per and
attendees are expected to RSVP by 22 April. Point of
Contact is Rodney Blake and he may be reached at
703-784-935 or by email at; We wish
nothing but the best in Lieutenant Colonel Williams’ future

Philadelphia Chapter member Master Gunnery Sergeant William
Hosea retired with ceremonies at Norfolk Naval Air Station
on 18 March 2005. The Master Guns retired with over 30
years of service. This was a touching retirement ceremony
where the Masterguns donated his retirement flag to his
Uncle, A Vietnam Veteran who never had the opportunity to
enjoy a celebration such as this. We wish the Masterguns
and his wife Wanda, the very best in their retirement

National Chaplain

Reverend James Moore reminds us to please timely inform him
of any member’s death. Rev. Moore may be reached at
843-525-1161 or . Chapters are
encouraged to have their members, especially the Original
Montford Pointers, bio information on-hand so that we may
get the word out to members and the press timely. No one
wants to think of their death, but prior planning by
members will ensure that those you leave behind are not too
stressed gathering this information.

2005 Marine Corps Birthday Ball Celebrations

It’s not too early to start requesting your guest speakers
for your Chapter’s Ball event. As a point of protocol,
requests for General Officers should be in writing.
Request for National Officers should include whether the
Chapter is reimbursing travel, etc… For those Chapters
having events, please let our National Public Relations
Officer Carmen Cordoba know as soon as possible the dates,
times, place, etc.. So that she may post this information
on the web. Again, the Ball season is an excellent
opportunity to educated Marines and others about the
Montford Pointers. For those located near Marine Commands,
request special recognition be given to the Montford
Pointers during these events.

Calling All Veterans

Paul Mathes, a Tennessee State Trooper and former Marine,
is calling on Veterans, specially World War II Era
(Original Montford Pointers) to participate in their World
War II Veteran’s Salute on Saturday April 30th in Trenton
Tennessee (Trenton is between Memphis and Nashville).
Events for the day will include a Parade honoring our WWII
veterans, Lunch & Program, Static Display of WWII equipment
and the afternoon will include a re-enactment. Huge hotel
discounts available. Those interested, please contact Paul
at 731-855-1327 or email at

Dining out with Major General Clifford Stanley

The Staff Non-Commissioned Officer of the beltway area will
host a Dining Out on Saturday the 27th of August 2005 at
the Spates Community Club 214 McNair Road, Arlington
Virginia. The Guest of Honor is Major General retired
Clifford L. Stanley. The cost for Field Grade Officers is
$50.00, Company Grade (Blue Dress Alpha) $40.00, SNCO
(Evening Dress) $40.00, Civilian (gentlemen, black tie,
ladies, formal attire) $40.00. All checks should be
received NLT August 5th. Checks should be made payable to
“Bernard H. Colebrook Order of the Sword” Please mail
checks to;
Bernard H. Colebrook
Post Office Box 234
Quantico, VA 22134-0234.
Tickets may be fully refunded if cancelled by 4:00PM July
15th. The point of contact is Bernard H. Colebrook (work)
202-874-5311 (home) 540-720-2633 or email; .
Proceeds from the Dining Out will be used for Scholarship
America “Dollars for Scholarship”

As always, please continue to check our official website
for more information through the Association at or or

Please continue to do all that you do to Preserve the
Legacy of our heroes!

Semper Fidelis!

Joe Geeter
Master Gunnery Sergeant (retired)
National Vice President
Montford Point Marine Association
27 Red Tail Court
Limerick, PA 19468



Historical advisor Byron Stewart PhD


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