Home History ‘They Are Marines, Period’: Trailblazing All-Black Marine Unit From WWII to Feature in New Docuseries

‘They Are Marines, Period’: Trailblazing All-Black Marine Unit From WWII to Feature in New Docuseries

by Enochadmin

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order in June 1941 opening up protection jobs “with out discrimination due to race, creed, colour, or nationwide origin,” then-Commandant of the Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Thomas Holcomb responded, “If it have been a query of getting a Marine Corps of 5,000 whites or 250,000 Negroes, I’d somewhat the whites.”

What adopted quickly after Holcomb’s infamous declaration was the 1942 institution of the Montford Point Marines, an all-Black, North Carolina-based unit that fought valiantly in quite a few the Pacific theater campaigns of World Struggle II — most notably on Okinawa, the place roughly 2,000 males noticed intense motion.

The unit’s battlefield success prompted the Marine commandant who succeeded Holcomb, Lt. Gen. Alexander A. Vandegrift, to adamantly dismiss his predecessor’s stance, stating, “They’re Marines, interval.”

Simply over 80 years after the Montford Level Marines built-in the ranks of the Marine Corps, the historic unit is taking middle stage as the topic of an upcoming iteration of ABC’s “Our America” documentary collection.

The one-hour “Mission Montford Point” chronicles not solely the accomplishments of the trailblazing — and oft-forgotten — Marines, however their ensuing struggle for acknowledgement amongst a sea of World Struggle II tales that too usually exclude them.

Greater than 60 years elapsed following the unit’s dissolution — President Harry S. Truman signed an executive order in 1948 ending segregation within the Marine Corps — earlier than recognition got here. In 2012, then-President Barack Obama awarded a collective of practically 20,000 Montford Level Marines with the Congressional Gold Medal. However regardless of that distinction, fewer than 2,000 Montford Level Marines have really acquired their medals.

As a part of the documentary, crews observe the indefatigable efforts by a handful of people to trace down descendants of the Montford Level Marines, a process made all of the tougher given the dearth of a Montford Level personnel log.

“The legacy of the Montford Level Marines has been a largely hidden story and it’s our accountability to amplify the voices of those heroes whereas making an attempt to proper a historic incorrect,” Porsha Grant, ABC’s Race and Tradition govt producer, stated in a launch.

“We hope this information particular will encourage the viewers to not solely embrace the Marines’ contributions but in addition to be impressed by the energy it took to serve and love a nation that didn’t at all times love them again.”

The episode will probably be accessible starting Sept. 20 through ABC-owned stations and most streaming platforms, together with Apple TV, Hulu, Prime Video and Roku.

Watch the trailer under.

Initially revealed by Military Times, our sister publication.

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