Friday, July 25, 2014

Deaths: Trained Montford Marines

From July 22, 2014, TDN.com (Oregon) "Officer who trained black Marines laid to rest" by Christina George.

Major Joseph Giesel, 94, of Doreen died June 20.  He had served four years in 1942 when President FDR directed that blacks be given the opportunity to join the U.S. Marines.

White officers trained them at Montford Point, North Carolina, near present-day Camp Lejeune.  Because of this, Mr. Giesel received a Congressional Gold Medal.  He served in the Corps for 21 years and was in the Pacific theater, at Okinawa and the Korean War.

Born in 1920, he enlisted in the marines on August 24, 1938 and served on the USS Indianapolis for two years.  He was transferred to Washington, D.C. where he became a drill instructor.

Nearly 20,000 black Marines trained at Montford Point between 1942 and 1949 when the camp was deactivated by President Truman when he was integrating the military.

--GreGen

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