05.16.16

Peters Presents Congressional Gold Medal to Montford Point Marine

FARMINGTON, MI – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today presented Mr. John Willie Jordan a Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the Montford Point Marines in 2012. Corporal Jordan, who served in Hawaii during World War II and is a long-time resident of Metro Detroit, was among the first African Americans to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps. Senator Peters’ office worked to secure the medal for Mr. Jordan and ensure his contributions to our nation were properly honored. Peters’ office also secured the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal that were awarded to Mr. Jordan for his service.

“Our nation is better, stronger and safer because of Mr. Jordan’s service and the Montford Point Marines,” said Senator Peters, a former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. “Despite the discrimination and hardships Corporal Jordan faced during his time in service, he never lost his love for his country or his pride in the Corps. Our nation owes the Montford Point Marines a debt of gratitude than can never be fully repaid, and it was my great honor to present the Montford Point Congressional Gold Medal to Mr. Jordan.”

The Montford Point Marines is the name given to the first African Americans who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. African Americans were brought into the Marine Corps after an executive order from President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941, and were first trained at segregated Camp Montford Point near Jacksonville, North Carolina. Corporal Jordan was one of the nearly 20,000 Montford Point Marines who trained at Camp Montford Point before its closure in 1949. In 2012, Congress approved legislation awarding the Congressional Gold Medal – the highest civilian honor award bestowed by Congress - to the Montford Point Marines.

Mr. John Willie Jordan joined the Marine Corps in 1944. After his training at Montford Point, Corporal Jordan went on to serve in Hawaii during World War II, where he helped defend one of America’s most strategic locations from threats of possible attack and invasion from Japanese forces. After being honorably discharged in 1946, Mr. Jordan returned to Flint, Michigan and  worked at the General Motors (GM) and Chevrolet plants for six years before moving to Detroit and working at the Cadillac Motor Division for 25 years. A longtime UAW member, Jordan retired after 31 years with GM. Mr. Jordan currently resides in Farmington Hills.