AfriGeneas Military Research Forum
Clarence Hunt a Black Marine
Event salutes black Marines
By Elisabeth J. Beardsley
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Clarence Hunt was taken aback when he arrived at boot camp in 1943 as one of the first African Americans admitted to the Marine Corps.
Hunt, a native of Louisville who was drafted into World War II at age 18, chafed when his white sergeant barked "you people" and other verbal abuse at members of his all-black unit.
Even so, Hunt often didn't want to go into town at Jacksonville, N.C. -- the location of the segregated Montford Point camp that trained 20,000 black Marines between 1942 and 1949, when the military was ordered integrated.
"It was hard for me," said Hunt, now 80. "I wanted to be a tough Marine, but I didn't want to be mistreated. I had to fight race prejudice all the while I was in the Marine Corps."
Yesterday, Hunt and other members of the Louisville chapter of the Montford Point Marines Association were honored at the third annual Black History Month celebration at the state Capitol.
Members of the Louisville chapter of the Montford Point Marines Association, who were among the first African-American Marines, were honored yesterday at the state Capitol in Frankfort. Montford Point was a camp near Jacksonville, N.C., that trained Marines in the 1940s. From right were Cpl. George Bennett, Pfc. Clarence Hunt and Lance Cpl. Thomas Cork.