Fox Run Resident Herman T. Dudley Receives Congressional Gold Medal for His WWII Montford Point Marines Service
Fox Run retirement community resident Herman T. Dudley was among 400 Montford Point Marines who received their bronze replica Congressional Gold Medals at a special ceremony held at Marine Barracks Washington June 28.
The Congressional Gold Medal is awarded by Congress and is the highest civilian award in the nation. The award comes more than seven decades after the Montford Point Marines broke the military’s last color barrier.
Dudley served as a Corporal in the Montford Point Marines from 1943-1946. “I have never been so proud to be a part of the organization as I was when I received this medal,” said Dudley, who moved to Fox Run in Novi last year from his prior home in West Bloomfield, MI.
The Montford Point Marines were presented the official gold medal, as an organization, during a ceremony held on the United States Capitol grounds a day earlier.
In 1942, President Roosevelt established a presidential directive giving African-Americans an opportunity to be recruited into the Marine Corps. But the African-Americans who were recruited at that time would not train alongside their white counterparts. Instead a separate camp was established at Montford Point in North Carolina.
The nearly 20,000 African-American Marines who trained there from its opening in 1942 to its closure in 1949 were not welcomed by the Corps. The African-American Marines of that era were met with open prejudice, segregation and mistreatment.
The ceremony in which Dudley was honored was another step by the Corps to help recognize the numerous contributions made by the Montford Point Marines and ensure their legacy is not forgotten.