Cosmas Eaglin Obituary, Death –On August 15, 2023, Cosmas D. Eaglin Sr., who served in three different wars and was a veteran of three of them, passed away at the age of 108. He was one of the first Montford Point Marines.
Eaglin enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 27, and he participated in the Solomon Islands campaign during World War II for a total of two years.
After President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order in June 1941 opening all branches of the armed forces to African-American soldiers, the first African-American Marines to serve in the United States Marine Corps were those who received their training at Montford Point in North Carolina.
According to the account provided by the National Museum of the Marine Corps, the Marines who arrived at the segregated post close to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina in 1942 were subjected to racism and severe treatment. When Montford Point was finally decommissioned in 1949, the museum claims that a total of 20,000 Marines had completed their training there. Eaglin was one of the first 300 people out of those 20,000 total participants.
After World War II, he left the Corps, but during the Korean War, he joined the Army and trained to become a paratrooper. He received his wings during this time. Since 1951, Eaglin has made his home in Fayetteville, which is located in the state of North Carolina. During the 1960s, he was deployed to Vietnam on two separate occasions.
In January, on the occasion of Eaglin’s 108th birthday, the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs honored him with the presentation of a certificate of recognition as well as a challenge coin. We are grateful to you, Mr. Eaglin, for the service you have rendered to this country. May you finally find rest, Sir.