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Lt. Col. Joseph Carpenter

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Information about Lt. Col. Joseph Carpenter

Profile image of Lt. Col. Joseph Carpenter

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Colonel

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Ribs
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
6/19/1924
Birth Location:
Washington, District of Columbia

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Colonel

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Ribs
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
6/19/1924
Birth Location:
Washington
See how Lt. Col. Joseph Carpenter is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Joseph H. Carpenter was born on June 19, 1924 in Washington, D.C. Carpenter graduated from Cardozo High School in June of 1942. He briefly attended George Washington University from 1964 to 1966 where he studied liberal arts before earning a commission with the U.S. Marine Corps as a second lieutenant.

In May of 1943, Carpenter enlisted into the U.S. Marine Corps along with thousands of African Americans and completed basic training at the segregated boot camp at Montford Point Camp near Jacksonville, North Carolina. He was promoted to chief clerk in 1945 and became the first African American to be assigned duty at the U.S. Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Carpenter separated from the military in 1949 and worked as a civil servant in various government positions. In 1966, after briefly attending George Washington University, he re-entered the military and was commissioned into the United States Marine Corps as a second lieutenant. Carpenter was assigned as an officer with the 4th Civil Affairs Group and deployed during peacekeeping operations to Norway, Panama, and Puerto Rico, and Vietnam. Continuing to serve in data processing and other staff and clerical positions throughout his career, Carpenter rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel before retiring in 1986. In 1965, Carpenter was founding member of the Montford Point Marines Association, which was established to reunite veterans and active-duty Marines Corps personnel that trained at Montford Point Camp between 1942 and 1949. He is also a founding member of the Montford Point Marines Museum, which is housed at Montford Point Camp (now Camp Johnson).

In 2012, President Barack Obama bestowed upon Carpenter the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal for service as a Montford Point Marine. He was honored during a special ceremony at the White House in Washington, D.C with state officials, military personnel, and other African Americans to serve in the United States Marine Corps at Montford Point between 1942 and 1949. Carpenter has also been recognized by the Montford Point Marines Association for his efforts to preserve and share the legacy of the Montford Point Marines as pioneers in the United States Marine Corps.

U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Joseph H. Carpenter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 15, 2013.

See how Lt. Col. Joseph Carpenter is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joseph Carpenter's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joseph Carpenter lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joseph Carpenter describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joseph Carpenter describes his mother's growing up
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joseph Carpenter talks about his maternal grandmother and the Catholic church his maternal grandparents attended in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joseph Carpenter describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joseph Carpenter describes how his parents met and talks about his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joseph Carpenter describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Joseph Carpenter describes the neighborhood he lived in and schools he attended
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Joseph Carpenter talks about his oldest sister who was a principal in the Washington, D.C. public schools
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Joseph Carpenter remembers his elementary school experience
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joseph Carpenter talks about his family and their skin colors and learning to type
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joseph Carpenter talks about his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joseph Carpenter describes his experience in junior high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joseph Carpenter discusses his experience in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joseph Carpenter talks about his joining the U.S. Marine Corps pt.1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joseph Carpenter talks about his joining the U.S. Marine Corps pt.2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joseph Carpenter discusses his travels through the "Jim Crow" South to Montford Point, North Carolina pt.1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joseph Carpenter discusses his travels through the "Jim Crow" South to Montford Point, North Carolina pt.2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joseph Carpenter describes his arrival to Montford Point in North Carolina for U.S. Marine Corps boot camp training
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joseph Carpenter describes his U.S. Marine Corps boot camp training pt.1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joseph Carpenter describes his U.S. Marine Corps boot camp training pt.2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joseph Carpenter talks about his graduation from boot camp and his assignment to the battalion company office
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joseph Carpenter describes his U.S. Marine Corps drill instructor
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joseph Carpenter talks about the limited interactions between white and black Marines
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joseph Carpenter explains the U.S. Marine Corps' Ribbon River Creek incident
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joseph Carpenter talks about the Tuskegee Airmen and working as an office clerk with the U.S. Marine Corps
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joseph Carpenter talks about muster rolls in the U.S. Marine Corps
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joseph Carpenter talks about remaining at Montford Point, while his platoon fought overseas in World War II
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joseph Carpenter talks about being transferred to U.S. Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joseph Carpenter describes his work as a data processor and project officer for the U.S. Marine Corps pt.1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joseph Carpenter describes his work as a data processor and project officer for the U.S. Marine Corps pt.2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Joseph Carpenter talks about being denied accommodations by a Texas hotel
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joseph Carpenter discusses his re-entry into the U.S. Marine Corps as an officer
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joseph Carpenter recalls important historical events from the 1960s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joseph Carpenter talks about his civil affairs work in Panama
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joseph Carpenter describes his experiences with the local people in Panama
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joseph Carpenter recalls the highlights of his service in the U.S. Marine Corps pt.1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joseph Carpenter recalls the highlights of his service in the U.S. Marine Corps pt.2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joseph Carpenter discusses his retirement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Joseph Carpenter reflects on the changes in the U.S. Marine Corps during his service
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Joseph Carpenter recalls how racial prejudice affected his military leave
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joseph Carpenter discusses his post retirement plans and activities
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Joseph Carpenter talks about the Montford Point Marines receiving the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal in 2012
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Joseph Carpenter reflects upon his legacy and the legacy of the Montford Point Marines
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Joseph Carpenter expresses regret for not pursuing a college degree
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Joseph Carpenter describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community and talks about his family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Joseph Carpenter talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Joseph Carpenter describes his photos pt.1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Joseph Carpenter describes his photos pt.2