FARMINGTON, Mich. (AP) – A Congressional Gold Medal has been presented to a Detroit-area veteran who was among the first African-Americans to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps.
U.S. Sen. Gary Peters’ office said in a news release that John Willie Jordan of Farmington Hills was presented on Monday with a medal earlier awarded to the Montford Point Marines. The Congressional Gold Medal is Congress’ highest civilian honor.
“It was a great privilege to present Mr. John Willie Jordan a Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the Montford Point Marines,” said U.S. Senator Gary Peters on his Facebook page. “As a Montford Point Marine, Corporal Jordan, who is a long-time resident of Metro Detroit, served during World War II and was among the first African Americans to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). Mr. Jordan is an American hero, and our country owes him a debt of gratitude that can never be fully repaid. Today, our nation is better, stronger and safer because of Mr. Jordan and the Montford Point Marines.”
According to Peters’ office, the Montford Point Marines is the name given to the first African-Americans in the Marine Corps. African-Americans were first trained at segregated Camp Montford Point, and Jordan was one of nearly 20,000 Montford Point Marines who trained there before it closed in 1949.
Jordan served in Hawaii in World War II and was honorably discharged in 1946.