The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.

Historian to share untold story of Black troops guarding coast during World War II

Heroes Hall Museum & Education Center presents its new speaker series, Fighting for the Right to Fight, which will run from March through September 2022 on select Saturday mornings.
The series will be about the tremendous achievements and challenges Black service members and other groups have faced while serving in the U.S. armed forces.

The first event in the series will be held this Saturday and will cover the topic: “The Untold Story of the 54th Coast Artillery Regiment in WWII.”

During World War II, an all-Black Coast Artillery Regiment helped protect California’s Central Coast, but their story has been largely forgotten. The soldiers who were stationed in these small coastal communities often faced racial prejudice and discrimination while trying to serve their country. Military historian Erik Brun talks about the search for more information about this important part of California history.

SPEAKER SERIES The Untold Story of the 54th Coast Artillery Regiment in WWII

When: Saturday, March 5, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Where: Heroes Hall Museum at the OC Fairgrounds

Space is limited. RSVP at

About the speaker: Erik Brun is a local military historian who grew up in Goleta. He began his military career with the local National Guard unit in 1979. He is a veteran of the Gulf Wars and served in the California, Arizona, and District of Columbia National Guards before his retirement in 2011. He is currently a graduate student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and holds an MA in Public History from the University of Arkansas Little Rock, an MBA from University of La Verne, and a BA from UC Santa Barbara. Erik and his wife Heidi Brodmarkle-Brun, who is also a veteran, live in Morro Bay. Erik currently serves in the California State Guard’s Military Museum Command.

For more information about the Speaker Series, contact Carol Singleton at 714-397-7300.

Heroes Hall is located next to Centennial Farm on the fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. The museum is open to the public year-round.

OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa is home to the annual OC Fair and Imaginology. Year-round attractions include Centennial Farm, Table of Dignity, Heroes Hall and Pacific Amphitheatre. Throughout the year, events ranging from recreation shows to cultural festivals are held at the Fairgrounds. For more information, visit

Support of OC Fair & Event Center provides year-round educational opportunities and helps fund community give-back programs.

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