First African-American Marine - 1942

First African-American Marine - 1942 Visual Arts African American History Social Studies

The U.S. government did not allow African-Americans to join the U.S. Marine Corps until 1942.  The first black Marine was Howard P. Perry.

This photo, of Perry, is maintained at the U.S. National Archives.  Its description reads as follows:

Breaking a tradition of 167 years, the U.S. Marine Corps started enlisting Negroes on June 1, 1942.  The first class of 1,200 Negro volunteers began their training 3 months later as members of the 51st Composite Defense Battalion at Montford Point, a section of the 200-square-mile Marine Base, Camp Lejeune, at New River, NC.  The first Negro to enlist was Howard P. Perry shown here.

Click on the image for a better view.

Media Credits

Image from Record Group 208:  Records of the Office of War Information, 1926 - 1951.  Online, courtesy U.S. National Archives, ARC Identifier 535870.


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"First African-American Marine - 1942" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jun 01, 2020.
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