Frederick C. Branch
|Frederick Clinton Branch|
Frederick C. Branch being pinned with his second lieutenant bars by his wife, Camilla "Peggy" Branch.
May 31, 1922|
Hamlet, North Carolina
|Died||April 10, 2005
Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1943-1955|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Other work||Science teacher|
Marine Corps career 
In June 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt opened the Marine Corps to African Americans through an executive order (8802) that prohibited racial discrimination by any government agency. Previously, African Americans had been barred from Marine Corps service.
Branch attended Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte where he became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, before transferring to Temple University in Philadelphia where he received a draft notice from the Army. When he reported for induction to Fort Bragg, North Carolina in May 1943, he was chosen to become a Marine. He underwent training at Montford Point, North Carolina along with other African-American Marines (who became known as the "Montford Point Marines").
Branch applied for Officer Candidate School, but was initially denied. While serving with a supply unit in the Pacific, his performance earned him the recommendation of his commanding officer. He received his officer's training in the Navy V-12 program at Purdue University and was commissioned as second lieutenant on November 10, 1945.
Following World War II, Branch left active duty for the Reserves. He was re-activated during the Korean War, serving at Camp Pendleton, California in command of an antiaircraft training platoon. He was discharged from active duty in 1952, returning to the Reserves, reaching the rank of captain before leaving the Marine Corps in 1955.
On April 25, 2005, after his death, a U.S. Senate resolution 116 was sponsored by North Carolina's senators Dole and Burr "to commemorate the life, achievements, and contributions of Frederick C. Branch".
In 2006 Marine Corps Recruiting Command created the Frederick C. Branch Leadership Scholarship. It is a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps scholarship for students who are currently attending or have received letters of acceptance to one of 17 historically black colleges and universities that have NROTC programs on campus. A total of 68 scholarships are available per year. Each participating school may give two four-year scholarships, one three-year scholarship and one two-year scholarship. Graduates are commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the Marine Corps.
Captain Branch died 10 April 2005 and was buried on 20 April 2005 with full military honors at Quantico National Cemetery in Quantico, Virginia. His wife, Camilla, predeceased him on 11 May 1999 and was buried on 20 May 1999. Their grave location is Section 17, Grave 472.
See also 
- Military history of African Americans
- List of African-American firsts
- Golden Thirteen, first African-American commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy
- Danelo, 2005.
- The Washington Post, April 12, 2005.
- Dole press release, 2005
- Burial information provided by Patrick McGrady, a Cemetery Representative at Quantico National Cemetery.
- "Senators Dole, Burr Sponsor Resolution Honoring Frederick C. Branch: North Carolina native the first African American to be commissioned as a U.S. Marine officer" (Press release). Office of Senator Elizabeth Dole. April 25, 2005. Retrieved 2006-12-29.
- "Frederick C. Branch (1922-2005)". Find A Grave. Retrieved 2006-12-29.
- Matt Schudel (April 12, 2005). "Obituary: Frederick C. Branch; Was 1st Black Officer In U.S. Marine Corps". The Washington Post. p. B06. Retrieved 2006-12-29.
- David Danelo (June 2005). "Branching Out". Proceedings. The Naval Institute. Retrieved 2006-12-29.
Further reading 
- 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 2006-12-29.