Local Montford Point soldier recognized with Congressional Gold Medal

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by Eric Gonzales / Kens 5

kens5.com

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 11 at 8:21 PM

Unlike the Buffalo Soldiers and the Tuskegee Airmen there is another group of African-American soldiers that served in World War II  who didn’t get quite the notoriety that others did. 

They are the Montford Point Marines.

Local World War II  veteran Calvin Curtis has finally been recognized for being part of the Montford Point Marines—68 years after he served in the segregated unit that pioneered the way for other soldiers and ended segregation in the military.  

His son, Todd Curtis, said, “They were a group that were marginalized and ostracized even. Had to serve in segregated units, had to serve in substandard conditions, yet overcame that and patriotically did their duty.”

Despite opposition from southern Democrats, in 1948 President Truman signed an executive order ending segregation in the military.

Calvin Curtis received his medal only after his son learned from a CBS episode of "NCIS" that the Montford Point unit had been recognized with the Congressional Gold Medal this past summer in Washington.
 
In his own personal ceremony on Tuesday at Brooke Army Medical Center, Calvin Curtis at long last received his Congressional Gold Medal surrounded by family and friends.
 
“It’s a great day to have that honor. That’s what I want to say. It’s a great day because people recognize what you did,” said Calvin Curtis.
 

 

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