Associated Press

HAMPTON — James “JA” Moore, who was recently awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor for helping to integrate the Marine Corps, has died. He was 82.

M.F. Riley’s Funeral Home in Fairfax says Moore died July 3 at Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Ga.

Moore was among hundreds of African-American veterans awarded the Congressional Gold Medal on June 27. The Marines of Montfort Point in North Carolina became the first African-Americans in the last military branch to allow blacks to serve. The base operated from 1942 to 1949.

A native of Hampton, Moore joined the Marine Corps in 1946 and served for seven years, then joined the reserves. He returned to active duty during the Korean War.

He became a local civil rights leader in integration and voter registration drives.