Montford Point Marine, Jessie James Henderson, passes away at 91

Montford Point Marine, Jessie James Henderson

Jessie James Henderson was drafted into the Marine Corps just after his 18th birthday. He was sent to train at Montord Point, North Carolina during World War II.

The men who trained at Montford Point during the war were the first African Americans who served in the Marines.

On Sunday morning, December 17, Mr. Henderson passed away. He was 91 years old.

Jessie James Henderson grew up in Alabama.

"I got a letter from the government," Mr. Henderson told us when we interviewed him in 2016. "I had to go and register for the military because they were needing everybody that they could get."

Mr. Henderson said the training was difficult. He said the drill instructors were hard on them, "he look at us and said that's just the beginning of it. He said you ain't seen nothing yet."

After training they sent him to Pearl Harbor for the rest of the war.

Mr. Henderson was presented a Congressional Gold Medal in 2015 for his service. The Congressional Gold Medal was presented collectively to the Montford Point Marines in 2012.

Memorial Services for Mr. Henderson will be on Friday December 22 at 10AM at New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church.

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