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Montford Point Marine Documentary

Nov 28, 2006

Montford Point Marine Association Inc. National Update
November/December 2006
Fellow members and friends,

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.

Montford Point Marine Documentary: The Documentary Film
about the Montford Point Marines premiered on 14 November
2006 at the Fisher Student Center on the Main Campus of
University of North Carolina Wilmington. In attendance
with me were Museum Director Finney Greggs and his wife
Louise, Mr. Louis Gossett Jr., who of course provided the
voice over for our Documentary, Dr. Melton McLaurin of the
University of North Carolina Wilmington and Dr. Clarence
Willie from South Carolina State University along with
nearly 2 dozen original Montford Pointers who traveled from
as far as Rhode Island to see the finished product. Also
in attendance was the author of the poem Montford Point
Remembered, Glynis A. Harvey. The immediate plan is to get
a copy of the Documentary into the hands of all Chapter
Presidents and to release the film to Public Television.
While there still is no definite date for public release,
we are hoping it will be prior to Black History Month in
February. I know and the powers that be know that the
desire is great to obtain a copy of this film. We are
continuing to ask that members be patient. As soon as
public purchase information is available it will be passed
to all. For the latest information about the documentary
please visit the following website; this
website is constantly being updated with new information
and video clips.

Lieutenant General Promotion: The promotion of Major
General Ronald S. Coleman to Lieutenant General on Friday,
27 October at 3:00 PM at the Clubs of Quantico was a
spectacular event! The crowd of 400 guests included over a
dozen General Officers and many senior enlisted to include
the current and immediate past Sergeant Major of the Marine
Corps, Sergeants Major John Estrada and Alford McMicheal
respectively in attendance. Major General Walter Gaskin
and retired Major Generals Arnold Fields and Clifford
Stanley were there. Also a contingent of Original Montford
Pointers from the DC Chapter witnessed only the 2d African
American Officer in Marine Corps history have his three
stars pinned on by his wife and famed Aviator Lieutenant
General Frank E. Petersen Jr. USMC retired. General
Coleman’s promotion appears in the 4 December 2006 JET
Magazine. We all wish Lieutenant General Coleman much
success as he begins this historical chapter in his
outstanding Marine Corps Career!!!!

Fall Council: The Fall Council was held on Saturday, 4
November. Nearly all the members of the National Executive
Committee were on the call. Each one received their
package of reports from the committee members and we have
successfully closed the books on Association year
2005-2006. Past National President, National Convention
Director and host Chapter President Nathaniel James
reported over $10,000 in profit for this year’s

Thank you Nat and Chapter #10 for keeping the Association
“in the black” as far as our National Accounts are
concerned! I’d like to also thank all the officers from
getting their reports into me and the National Recording
Secretary Regina Lawrence for again setting up this
conference call. This call has proven to be the most
economical way to close the books on our year and to
prepare for the Spring Council.

Spring Council: The Spring Council dates are 3-6 May with
the 3rd and the 6th being travel days. The site of
Convention 2007 will be Jacksonville, Florida. Both the
Spring Council and the National Convention will be held at:
The Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront which offers 966
sleeping rooms
with 110,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. The Regency is
located in the heart of Downtown Jacksonville along the St.
Johns River. Adjacent to the Hyatt is the Jacksonville
Landing, a riverfront festival marketplace and our city is
surrounded by ocean & golf. Please visit their web-site at

Convention 2007: The dates for our 2007 convention in
Jacksonville, FLORIDA have been set. Convention will be
from 25-29 July with the 25th and 29th as travel days. We
envision the President’s reception once again being held on
the Wednesday travel day. We also received three
notifications of interests for Convention 2008 and we look
forward to receiving additional information at the 2007
Spring Council.

Association Happenings: Past National President Gene
Doughty attended an International Conference on World War
II at the National WWII Museum located in New Orleans from
November 16-19. As a Marine veteran and Combat survivor of
the epic battle of Iwo Jima, PNP Doughty provided his vast
knowledge and experience to the Conference. Many will
remember that Gene was scheduled for this conference last
year but Hurricane Katrina postponed this event.

Kudos: Original Montford Pointer and retired 1stSgt
William “Jack” McDowell was honored with numerous awards by
the City of Los Angeles and the NAACP at the NAACP Beverly
Hills/Hollywood Branch Armed Services and Veterans Affairs
Luncheon on November 11th, 2006. Also honored were Dave
Culmer and original Montford Pointer Lowell Arnold.
Congratulations Gentlemen!!!

To Author Yvonne Latty for getting the word out on how the
Association feels about the missed opportunity to include
Montford Point Marines in the movie Flags of Our Fathers.
Yvonne wrote an editorial which was published in USA Today
on November 3d 2006.
USA has a circulation of about 2.3 million. Despite some
very negative emails to both Yvonne and me, many people now
know that Montford Pointers served on Iwo Jima! Thank you
for your courage Yvonne!!!

Philadelphia Chapter President Reverend Lawrence Brown’s
(PhD) book, Kwanza King & Queen has been published and may
be purchased by contacting Reverend Brown at or call: 1-888-795-4274.
Book will be available at, Barnes & Noble
and Borders in November.

Documentary Film: Art Holliday, Director of the
Documentary film “Johnnie Be Good” which tells the story of
Rock and Roll Pioneer and Original Montford Pointer Johnnie
Johnson, is constantly updating his web page on the
progress of this historical project. Please check the
webpage at Art is also
looking to contact anyone who served in the Marines with
Johnnie during World War II. Art Holliday’s email address
is The projected completion date
of "Johnnie Be Good" is late 2007 or 2008.

Marine Corps Ball Celebrations:

I was fortunate to attend six separate Marine Corps
Birthday celebrations and was the guest speaker at two, but
provided remarks at all six. My first ball of the year was
3 November 2006 at Chester High School near Philadelphia,
PA. The Marine JROTC contingent there has over 100 cadets.
This was there first Marine Crops celebration in the six
year history of the program. I try to always speak on
history, tradition and of course Montford Point at these
events. Special thanks to instructors Gunnery Sergeant
Freddie Reyes and 1stSgt Joseph G. Cipko for the invitation
and reception I received at this event.

The very next day I flew to Mobile, Alabama for our
recently established Mobile Chapter’s first ever Marine
Corps Birthday celebration. Chapter President Rodney Lee
picked me up from the airport and along with his members,
put on a first class event at The Country Club of Mobile to
which General Gary Cooper belongs. Beside General Cooper
and the guest of honor General Frank Petersen, there was a
who’s who of Mobile’s African American Community and
supporters of the new chapter in Mobile. General Peterson
fondly recalled the 45 year friendship he and General
Cooper have enjoyed and the contributions made by the
Montford Pointers that allowed for both he and General
Cooper to achieved the success they had in and out of the
Marine Corps.

I then presented the Chapter Charter to Chapter President
Rodney Lee and his members at the banquet which featured
five original Montford Pointers. I’d like to thank the
Mobile chapter for taking great care of me from touchdown
to lift off!

On November 9th I was the honored guest at the Philadelphia
Naval Inventory Control Point’s birthday cake cutting
ceremony and the guest speaker at their birthday luncheon.
National Financial Secretary David Fortune was also in
attendance. There were over 200 Navy, Marine Corps and
civilian workers at the cake cutting event and 75 Marines,
former Marines and supporters packed the lunchroom
afterwards for lunch and remarks. Special thanks to Marine
Lieutenant Colonel Steven Kelly for the invitation and to
Marine Master Sergeant Paul Phillppe for the logistics of
setting the day up.

On the Marine Corps Birthday I had three separate events.
The first event was at my job at AmeriGas Propane where I
am continuing the tradition of gathering the former Marines
and families of Marines at work for a traditional cake
cutting ceremony. Then I attended a small ceremony at a
local American Legion and finished the day in Norristown,
PA for a small gathering of former Marines at a local pub.
AT each of these events I had the opportunity to speak
briefly about the traditions and history of the Montford

I closed out my ball celebrations at the DC Chapter 6 Ball
on November 17th. I have attended this ball for the past 9
years and this was one of the best. Major General retired
Leo V. Williams III was the guest of honor and Marine Major
Michael Williams gave his oral presentation of the Montford
Point Marine experience in World War II that received two
standing ovations. There were supporters at this event
from five different MPMA Chapters. Included in the
audience were Major General Cornell Wilson, Past National
Presidents Sam Saxton and Jerome Milburn. Past Ladies
Auxiliary Presidents Clustie A. Ford and Sylvia Saxton.
Ladies Auxiliary National Chaplin Jean Lawrence. Maryland
Chapter #28 President and Museum Board of Director member
James Stewart and Quantico Chapter President and newly
appointed interim Southern Region Vice President James
Averhart were also in attendance. James received his
appointment letter at the ball and we shared that James has
been recently selected for CWO-4 and command of the Camp
Lejeune Brig. His Change of Command is scheduled for 19
February 2006. Approximately 9 Original Montford Pointers
were in attendance including National Historian Lieutenant
Colonel Joseph Carpenter and Past Southern Regional Vice
President Reuben McNair. I like to especially thank DC 6
member Purnell Hudson and his crew for once again putting
on a great Marine Corps Birthday Celebration!

Los Angeles Chapter #8: Our National Vice President Mike
Johnson reports; “The Los Angeles Chapter #8 had their 41st
Anniversary Birthday Ball on November 11, 2006, at 7 PM. In
attendance was our guest speaker the Mayor of the City of
Inglewood, Roosevelt Dorn, his wife Joyce and 100 other
guests. Approximately 15 original Montford Pointers were
given three standing ovations for Preserving the Legacy.
San Diego Chapter members and Major John Collins USMC Ret.
from Vancouver, Washington were special guests. All
commented as to how nice the program went and they look
forward to next year”.

Jacksonville Chapter #29: Western Region Vice President
Nate Hosea attended Jacksonville’s Marine Corps Ball on
Friday, 10 November 2006 and reported that the event also
was very successful. Nate feels that the location for our
convention will offer members all the amenities that they
expect in a large city without traveling too far.

As always, please continue to check our official website
for more information through the Association at or 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 President
Montford Point Marine Association
27 Red Tail Court
Limerick, PA 19468



Historical advisor Byron Stewart PhD


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