Meet The Chapter's Original Montford Point Marines
The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to the Montford Point Marines on 27 June 2012, at the Capital Visitors Center, Washington, DC in Emancipation Hall. With the completion of this initiative, it will forever serve as a fitting symbol honoring the legacy of Black Marines and the effect of Executive Order #8802 which allowed Blacks to be recruited in the United States Marine Corps. It will also serve as a reminder of the sacrifices, and to honor the 20,000 African American Marines who trained on the hallowed grounds of Camp Montford Point and on to fight for the "Right to Fight.”
Carroll Braxton, a Manassas, Va., native was 18 years old when he joined the Marines and was sent to Montford Point for training. "They let us know they didn't want us," Braxton recalled. "They tried everything they could to encourage us to not finish boot camp." Braxton went on to serve 28 years in the Marines, including, 2 and one-half years in the Pacific during World War II.
Born in Macon Georgia, he joined the Corps on 22 July 1946 to serve his country and to escape a system of discrimination that pervaded nearly every aspect of life. After 24 honorable years of service Mr. Walker retired in July 1970 at the rank of Gunnery Sergeant as the Supply Chief at Headquarters Battalion Marine Corps Base, Quantico Va. He also worked for Norfolk and Southern Railroad retiring after 21 years.
Johnny B. Cody
SSgt. Johnny “B” Cody enlisted in the Marine Corps on the 29th of January 1948 and served 20 years 6 months and 2 days prior to retiring as a Staff Sergeant. Of note, on the 23rd day of August, 1951, SSgt Cody re-enlisted aboard Quantico Marine Corps Base. 63 years to date, SSgt Cody received his Congressional Gold Medal aboard Quantico Marine Corps Base. After his training at Montford Point, Johnny went on to various bases around the country- Miami, FL, Long Beach, CA, Norfolk, VA, and Camp Lejeune and Quantico several times. He was stationed aboard several ships like the USS Pocono and the USS Spiegel Grove. He served his country during the Korean War and the Vietnam War and retired after 20 plus years in the US Marine Corps.
Wilbur A. Smith
Biography coming soon..................
Private First Class (Deceased)
Fauquier County native, Stanley Tapscott, currently of Washington, grew up in the Warrenton-Catlett area. Stanley Tapscott’s experience in the Marine Corps was much shorter, but no less intense, at least as far as Montford Point was concerned. Following his older brother’s example, he volunteered to serve in the USMC in 1944, when he was only 17 years old. Always a neat dresser, he arrived at the reception center at Montford Point on Dec. 14, 1944 wearing a black suit and coat. While he was waiting, he was approached by a black DI, who stared at him and said, “You look pretty neat.” Stanley Tapscott replied, “I try to be…” and with that, the DI kicked Stanley’s foot off of his leg, and ordered him to stand. That DI was SgtMaj. Hashmark Johnson. Stanley Tapscott had been at Montford Point just over three months when he came down with “cat fever,”and was quickly separated from the Marine Corps with an honorable discharge.
Mr. Tapscott was an Army draftee who went on to join the Marine Corps. He was the first black member of the Fauquier Planning Commission, post commander of American Legion Post 72, inductee in the Library of Congress and recipient of the Montford Point Marines’ Congressional Gold Medal. Mr. Tapscott received two promotions during his service, from private to private first class. He returned home as a corporal. Mr. Tapscott went on to work for the federal government for 34 years in the Federal Housing Administration with the U.S. Navy. He joined the NAACP and served on the Fauquier Planning Commission for eight years. He did not forget the trials of racial prejudice, and took part in Fauquier County's integration efforts and founded the Fauquier Housing Corporation in 1970.