Bobby Troup Memorial

 
 

Webmaster Note: I am uploading this page on June 27, 2012. Today, the U.S. Congress awarded the Montford Point Marines with the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian honor. The Montford Point Marines were the first all black unit in the U.S. Marine Corps. 20,000 Monford Point Marines trained at the segregated section of Camp LeJeune, N.C. from 1942 to 1949. Captain Bobby Troup was one of their commanding officers.

Bobby Troup died suddenly February 7, 1999 from a heart attack. He was 80-years-old. Weeks later on February 28th, friends gathered at Moonlight Tango Cafe in Encino to honor his life. Encino, CA is where Bobby and Julie lived for 40 years. The following is from a memorial page at Goodnight Kiss Music.

The most impactive speeches were given by the Montford Point Marine representatives who came to honor Bobby's service in the Marines. It seems that Captain Troup was the first white officer to be given command of an all black unit in Jackson, North Carolina. When Bobby came in, the men were living in tents, with filthy latrine conditions, and nothing anywhere to relieve the stress of their condition. (This was in the days where a black in Jackson had to cross the street or literally stand in the gutter while a white walked by.) Captain Troup took a "haul ass" attitude, and with the help of the men, created Quonset huts, new latrines, a nightclub, a basketball court and team, a boxing ring, a jazz band, an orchestra, and get this . . . he somehow maneuvered a friend to come and install a miniature golf course. Soon, the other (white) units (who had given an intolerable time to the unit before Bobby's arrival) suddenly wanted to come and hang out in their area.

Those who spoke said that Bobby didn't recognize color . . . only soul.

 

The Montford Point Marines

February 28, 1999