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First Name: Frederick

Last Name: Branch

Birthplace: Hamlet, NC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: C.

Date of Birth: 31 May 1922

Date of Death: 10 April 2005

Rank: Captain

Years Served:
Frederick C. Branch

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


Frederick C. Branch
Captain, U.S. Marine Corps

Frederick C. Branch was born on 31 May 1922 in Hamlet, NC.

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, NC, 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, NC, in May 1943, he was chosen to become a Marine. He underwent training at Montford Point, NC, 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 a Second Lieutenant on 10 November 1945.

Following World War II, Branch left active duty for the Reserves. He was re-activated during the Korean War, serving at Camp Pendleton, CA, in command of an antiaircraft training platoon. He was discharged from active duty in 1952, returned to the Reserves, and reached the rank of Captain before leaving the Marine Corps in 1955.


In 1995, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his commissioning, a U.S. Senate resolution was passed honoring Branch.

In 1997, Branch was honored for his pioneering role in integration of the Corps - a training building in the Marine Officer Candidate School in Quantico, VA, is named in his honor.

In 2004, he was honored at the 95th annual convention of the NAACP in Philadelphia.

On 25 April 2005, after his death, 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.

In Retirement

He completed a degree in Physics at Temple and established a Science Department at Philadelphia's Dobbins High School, where he taught until his retirement in 1988.

Death and Burial

Captain Frederick C. Branch died 10 April 2005. He is buried at Quantico National Cemetery in Quantico, VA.

His wife, Camilla, predeceased him on 11 May 1999 and they are buried together.

Honoree ID: 2278   Created by: MHOH




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