'The Journey' A Montford Marines Tale

20 Nov 2007 | Lance Cpl. Thomas J. Hermesman,

 The Montford Point Marines fought for their right to fight for this country. In the early 1940s the Marine Corps started to accept its first black Marines. However, this was a time of segregation in America, so black recruits were sent somewhere different then the original Marine Corps Recruit Depots. One such Marine was Turner G. Blount.

 “We thought we were going to Parris Island [S.C.] but the train just stopped in Jacksonville [N.C.],” said Blount. “I had no idea where I was going.”

 Montford Point Marines went through identical training to the training that took place at the other recruit depots, said Blount. Black men were just segregated and sent to a different place.

 “Segregation was a way of life back then, so it was normal for us not to be with the white men,” Blount said about his experiences.

 “Folks are now going to understand more about what we went through; it’s all a good part of the Marine Corps history,” Blount said.

 “This new book and the documentary are really a small part of we went through when I was there,” said Blount. “They’ll know that what we went through was extremely tough,” he said. “I’m excited for the fact that the world is going to know more about Montford Point and its Marines.

 A documentary aired on the Public Broadcasting Service, Nov. 1, showing the history and story of the Marines trained at Montford Point. For future air times check your local listings.