Veterans Day photo: A Marine Corps baseball team, 1943

In honor of Veterans Day, here's a photo of a Marine Corps baseball team made up of some members of the 51st Composite Defense Battalion at Montford Point, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. It's dated 1943 ... 

This photo was taken the year following the integration of the USMC in 1942, and you'll note that this particular baseball team is also integrated -- a good four years before MLB teams would be. As the caption at Shorpy notes, black enlistees were indeed playing with and alongside white non-commissioned officers. In combat, individual units remained segregated until President Truman's 1948 executive order took full effect, but on the baseball diamond at Montford Point, things were at least a little for the better, even in '43. 

As for the soldiers of the 51st, they'd later see action in the Pacific Theater of World War II. 

Happy Veterans Day to all the men and women who have served and the families who have supported them.

(Wink of CBS eye: Shorpy)

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