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Gadsden County man was in first class of all black Marines in U.S.

Posted at 6:38 PM, Nov 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-11 20:14:50-05

GADSDEN COUNTY, Fla. — A Gadsden County man was in the first class of all black Marines in the United States.

Chester Davis Sr. was in the Montford Point Marines. His unit, formed in 1942, was segregated from the white Marine units, and even had a separate base, in Montford Point, North Carolina.

Davis' sons say his unit fought the Japanese alongside the U.S. Marines in the South Pacific, all the way to the surrender to the Japanese in 1945.

While he has passed on, Veterans Day is a special day for their family.

"This is a challenge, this is something I wanted to do, that was to help defend my nation, and so he fought with vigor, courage, valor, and patriotism, and for that, I am extremely proud of my dad," said Tom Davis, Davis Sr.'s second oldest son.

Davis' sons said their father's unit didn't get the recognition it deserved until recently.

70 plus years later, in 2011, Congress unanimously voted in favor, and President Obama signed into law, a proclamation recognizing the Montford Point Marines.

They also now proudly display his Congressional Gold Medal.