Oral History Overview
Col Herbert L. Brewer
Col Brewer describes his service in the Marine Corps in World War II and experiences as one of the first African-American Marine officers. This includes family background, decision to join the Marine Corps, boot camp at Montford Point, drill instructors, defense battalion, anti-aircraft gunnery, deployment to the Pacific in the Ellice Islands, relationships with white Marines, attitudes, and treatment, selection for officers training, V-12 program at Purdue University, memories of Fred Branch (who was the very first black officer in the Marine Corps), training at the Basic School prior to the Korean War, activation for Korean War, service at Camp Pendleton, after Korea joining a Philadelphia Reserve unit (VTU 4-9) and later another one in San Antonio.
Brewer's interview provides good detail on Montford Point boot camp experiences, the rifle range, and discussion of aspects of segregation and racial issues.