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Montford Marine finally gets congressional medal

Jul. 3, 2013 - 04:16PM   |  
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SPRINGFIELD, ILL. — A Springfield man who was a Marine in World War II is finally getting his Congressional Gold Medal.

DeLoyce McMurray is now 87 and was one of nearly 20,000 men who trained at Montford Point, a segregated camp for black Marines in North Carolina that operated in the 1940s before training was integrated.

The Edwardsville native who spent more than 60 years living in Alton enlisted in the Marines in 1944. He eventually helped evacuate wounded troops during the battle of Iwo Jima.

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin gave him the nation’s highest civilian honor during a special ceremony in Springfield on Tuesday. McMurray couldn’t travel to Washington, D.C. last year to receive the award with 300 other Montford Point trainees.

Durbin called the award a “long overdue symbol of gratitude.”

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