June 1, 1942 – Alfred Masters Becomes The First Black Marine
Alfred Masters became the first African American United States Marine on June 1, 1942 in Oklahoma City. He then received his training at historic Montford Point which is featured below. In the Marines, Masters was promoted to the rank of Technical Sergeant. He was born February 5, 1916 in Palestine, Texas and died in Anthony, New Mexico on June 16, 1975 at age 59.
The Montford Point Marines
In 1942 African Americans were recruited for the Marines to receive basic training at the segregated Camp Montford Point in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Over 20,000 troops were trained at Montford Point between 1942 and 1949. The base was deactivated in September of 1949 following President Truman’s Executive Order #9981 negating segregation in July of 1948.