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|Edgar R. Huff|
Sergeant Major Edgar R. Huff, USMC
December 2, 1919|
|Died||May 2, 1994
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1942-1972|
|Unit||2nd Battalion, 1st Marines|
|Battles/wars||World War II
|Awards||Bronze Star (2)
Purple Heart (3)
Marine Corps service
Huff, a native of Gadsden, Alabama, enlisted in the Marine Corps on September 24, 1942 as one of the first African-Americans to do so. Huff received his recruit training with the 51st Composite Defense Battalion, Montford Point Camp, New River, North Carolina. Following graduation, he joined the 155mm gun battery of the 51st Composite Defense Battalion and served with that unit as a gun commander.
In early 1943, he was assigned duty under instruction at drill instructors school, and upon completion of his course, was assigned duty as a drill instructor in March 1943. At that time, Montford Point Camp was the receiving point for all blacks entering the Marine Corps, and by November 1944, Huff had been assigned duty as field sergeant major of all recruit training at the Montford Point Camp.
In November 1944, he was promoted to first sergeant and assigned duty with the 5th Depot Company, departing for the Western Pacific area, serving as first sergeant with this unit on Saipan, Okinawa, and in North China. The 5th Depot Company furnished logistic support for Marine divisions in that area. Gilbert Johnson, the only other black sergeant major besides Huff to serve during World War II, was Huff's brother-in-law. They were married to twin sisters.
Following World War II, he served as Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of Recruit Training at Montford Point Camp until May 1949. He was then assigned duty as guard and infantry chief, Marine Barracks, Naval Ammunition Depot, Earle, New Jersey, until May 1951, at which time he assumed duty with the famed 1st Marine Division in Korea. There, he saw combat as a company gunnery sergeant with the 2nd Battalion 1st Marines, and participated in operations in the "Punch Bowl" area, eastern front, and in the spring-summer offensive on the West Central front.
Upon his return to the United States in August 1952, he was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, serving as First Sergeant, Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion 8th Marines. In March 1955, he was assigned duty as Guard Chief, Marine Barracks, Naval Air Station, Fort Lyautey, French Morocco.
Huff was promoted to first sergeant in the new rank structure on December 30, 1955, and to the rank of sergeant major a day later on December 31, 1955. From that date he served at the following Marine Corps installations: Post Sergeant Major, Marine Barracks, Port Lyautey, French Morocco; with the 2nd Force Service Regiment; Landing Force Training Unit, Little Creek, Virginia; the 3rd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, Okinawa; the 3rd Force Service Regiment; the 1st Infantry Training Regiment, Camp Geiger, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Base Sergeant Major, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California; the 1st Military Police Battalion, Force Logistic Command, and with the III Marine Amphibious Force, Republic of Vietnam (May 1967 - June 1968); and with the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (July 1968 - October 1970).
Huff served a second tour of duty in the Republic of Vietnam, as Sergeant Major with the III Marine Amphibious Force from October 1970 until October 1971. He then served as Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Air Station New River, Jacksonville, North Carolina, until his retirement on September 30, 1972.
Huff died on May 2, 1994 at Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital.
Awards and decorations
Huff's awards and decorations include:
|1st Row||Bronze Star w/ 1 award star & valor device||Purple Heart w/ 2 award stars|
|2nd Row||Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/ 2 award stars||Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal||Combat Action Ribbon||Navy Presidential Unit Citation w/ 1 service star|
|3rd Row||Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal w/ 9 service stars||China Service Medal||American Campaign Medal||Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 6 service stars|
|4th Row||World War II Victory Medal||Navy Occupation Service Medal||National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 service star||Korean Service Medal w/ 3 service stars|
|5th Row||Vietnam Service Medal w/ 2 service stars||Korean Presidential Unit Citation||United Nations Korea Medal||Vietnam Campaign Medal|
- Desegregation in the United States Marine Corps
- List of Korean War veterans who are recipients of the Bronze Star
- Fitzpatrick, Sean (February 1999). "Breakthrough: Hashmark Johnson's iron leadership helped Marine Corps eliminate segregation". Pass in Review (PDF). Reprinted in The Barstow Log, 1 February 2001 p.4
- Nalty, Bernard C. (1995). "Starting from Scratch: Two Who Succeeded". The Right to Fight: African-American Marines in World War II. Marines in World War II Commemorative Series. Retrieved December 14, 2008.
- "Sergeant Major Edgar R. Huff, USMC". Who's Who in Marine Corps History. History Division, United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- "Sergeant Major Edgar R. Duff, USMC". Marine Corps Legacy Museum. Retrieved 2006-10-23.
- Rudi Williams (August 1998). "Gravely, Huff Widow Witness Exhibit Debut". DefenseLINK News. American Forces Press Service. Archived from the original on 2006-10-22. Retrieved 2006-10-23.
- "History". Montford Point Marine Association. Archived from the original on 2006-06-30. Retrieved 2006-10-23.
- Bernard C. Nalty (1995). The Right to Fight:African American Marines in World War II. Marines in World War II Commemorative Series, United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 2006-10-23.