Tampa Bay Times
Howard Altman, Times Staff Writer
Friday, January 27, 2017
"When they would go out on furlough, the black Marines couldn't go certain places," she said. "There was an incident on a train to New York. They were trying to put out my father, but the white Marines all stood up and said, 'No, we are all Marines, stay right here.'"TAMPA — In 1943, as the Marines were slogging through a bloody Pacific island-hopping campaign, two good friends from Nyack, New York, showed up at a recruiting station to join the fight.
David Knight was given orders to report to boot camp within a week. His friend, Charles Robert Fountain, passed the physical too, but then had to undergo questioning about his personal life, education and marital status. It would be seven months before the corps would accept him.
Knight was white, Fountain black.
Friday at noon, Fountain's service as one of the first black Marines was honored during a ceremony at MacDill Air Force Base presided over by the commander of Marine Corps Forces Central Command, Lt. Gen. William Beydler. Fountain's daughter, Kim Fountaine of Ruskin, received a Congressional Gold Medal, awarded to those black Marines stationed at the Camp Montford Point — a rundown barracks outside of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where some 20,000 were housed in substandard, segregated quarters between 1942 and 1949.
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Feb 12, 2012
Last night at the Orlando Nam Knights there was a surprise guest. Charles O. Foreman, a WWII veteran, member of the Montford Point Marines came. He is part of the group of Marines receiving the Congressional Gold Medal. At 87 he is just amazing. No matter what he had to go through because of the color of his skin, he'd do it all over again. He credits the Marines with making him the man he is today.