JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — On Monday, 79 years ago in 1942, Camp Johnson opened to train the first Black Marine recruits.
With segregation in order, the base was a training facility for the Montford Point Marines at Camp Lejeune. From 1942 to 1949, around 20,000 soldiers were admitted into the Corp.
The establishment of the camp happened months after Pearl Harbor, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an order to admit African Americans into the military. It wasn’t until 1948, when President Harry S. Truman desegregated the military.
In 2012, the Montford Point Marines who served were awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.
Click here for more on the establishment and history of these soldiers.