Red Tail Project
America's Flying Tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen
182 West Division St. River Falls, WI 54022 CAF
Home   Media Kit   Donate   Contact Us
History
The Project
Donate Now
E-Store

Archer Lee Andrew Archer
Decorated World War II aviator and "Ace" Lee Andrew Archer Jr., 84, says he dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot at an early age.
Brown Harold Brown
In what had been labeled as an "experimental" army program, the men were the first African American fighter pilots to fly combat missions in U.S. history
.
Larry Brown Larry Brown
The transition from serene family life to a segregated life in the army during World War II was very traumatic for me. I found myself having to be who the army...
Brown

Roscoe C. Brown, Jr.
Former pilot and Tuskegee Airman Roscoe C. Brown, Jr. has led a life of visionary public service in fields as diverse as the arts, education, the military, and government.

Dryden Charles W. Dryden
Tuskegee Airman Charles W. Dryden was born on September 16, 1920, in New York City to Jamaican parents who were educators.
Gaulden Harold L Gaulden, 80, of Fort Wayne, died Monday, Oct. 15, 2007, at VA Northern  Healthcare. Born Feb. 20, 1927, in Gramb-ling, La., he served in the Air  Force as a Tuskegee Airman, and was a truck driver for Omni Source.
Gomer Joe Gomer
Gomer got his pilots license before his driver's license. Born in Iowa Falls, he grew up in one of two African American families...
Gray Leo. R. Gray
Lieutenant Colonel Leo. R. Gray made significant contributions to the welfare of this country throughout his military and civilian careers.
Good George E. Hardy
George E. Hardy entered military service in July 1943. He started Aviation Cadet Training at Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama...
hopson Vernon Hopson
Vernon Hopson entered military service in July 1943, applied for Aviation Cadet Flight Training in Biloxi, MS...
Willis Hubert Willis J. Hubert
Willis J. Hubert of Atlanta, Georgia died on Friday, May 11, 2007. After a distinguished military career in which he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Dr. Hubert became Academic Dean and, later, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Morehouse College.
Jones Elmer Jones
Elmer Jones was sent to Tuskegee Institute, Ala., in the summer of 1940 to be a student pilot in the first black Secondary Civilian Pilot...
Jones Richard Macon
A member of America's famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II and later a longtime educator with Detroit Public's Northern High School....
Mann Hiram E. Mann
Became an Aviation Cadet and completed Single-Engine Combat Pilot Training at Tuskegee Army Air Field...
Charles McGee Charles McGee
Charles McGee was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1919 and spent his childhood there and in Illinois and Iowa. WWII interrupted his education...
William Morgan William Morgan
Dr. William Bethel Morgan (Bill) was born on June 4, 1921 in Homestead Pennsylvania the son of William B. Morgan, Sr. and Susie Harris.
Richardson Eugene Richardson
Eugene J. Richardson, Jr. was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1925. His father was a minister and Eugene spent his childhood in a number of small towns in Ohio.
Richard Rutledge Richard Rutledge
I was born on May 26, 1922 in Jersey City, New Jersey, but I was raised in Brooklyn, New York where I graduated...
Whitney Yenwith Whitney
When 18-year-old New Yorker Yenwith Whitney was sent to Tuskegee, AL, for military training in 1943, he was entering several new worlds.
Harry Stewart Harry T. Stewart Jr.
Harry Stewart's passion for flying has transcended nearly 60 years, fueling his dedication as a combat pilot in the Armed Forces.
Williams Eldridge F. Williams
Eldridge F. Williams was born November 2, 1917. In 1941, he was drafted and after a year of service.
Kenneth Wofford Kenneth Wofford
Active Duty military service during World War II through Viet Nam era; post military in position of Aeronautics Operations Director, State of Minnesota. Attained pilot rating...
 
   
TA who have passed on symbolizes those Tuskegee Airmen who have passed away.
Lee Andrew Archer
Lee Archer Now
Lee Archer Then

Decorated World War II aviator and "Ace" Lee Andrew Archer Jr., 84, says he dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot at an early age.

The Yonkers, N.Y.-born veteran recalled reading comic books during his boyhood that featured illustrated stories depicting World War I duels in the skies between Germany's Baron von Richthofen and allied fliers.

The steely-eyed African-American eventually realized his goal: he became a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps' famed Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. During the 169 combat missions he flew in the European Theater, Archer was credited with downing five enemy aircraft, earning him the coveted title of "Ace."

The Tuskegee Airmen, he said, flew a variety of combat missions in Europe, totaling 200, and destroyed about 500 enemy aircraft and a destroyer. And the Tuskegee Airmen never lost a bomber to the enemy during allied B-17 and B-24 bomber formation escort duties, Archer noted.

Archer said he was a sophomore at New York University in early 1941 when he decided to enlist in the Army Air Corps to become a pilot. At the time, however, the U.S. military didn't allow African-Americans to serve as pilots. And although he passed the preliminary pilot's test with flying colors, Archer was assigned to Camp Wheeler, Ga., as a communications specialist.

In 1942, the government decided to train a select group of African-American applicants for military flying duty – a decision, Archer noted, that was rumored to have been precipitated by Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of then- President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Archer said he reapplied for pilot's training and was accepted, earning his wings in 1943.

Yet, before and after they won their wings, Archer said he and the other Tuskegee Airmen had to endure the widespread racism that was prevalent across the U.S. armed forces before President Harry S. Truman's 1948 order that desegregated America's military.

Archer said that a mid-1920s U.S. War Department study was responsible for much of the shoddy treatment African-American service members experienced before Truman's desegregation edict. That study, he pointed out, essentially said African-Americans didn't have the intelligence or courage necessary for rigorous combat duties – even though U.S. African-American combat troops had fought with documented courage and élan alongside French forces against the Germans during World War I.

So, although Archer was preeminently qualified to be a fighter pilot, his coffee-colored skin at first proved to be a hindrance to his dream.

However, Archer did become an Army Air Corps pilot, and flew P-40 Tomahawk, P- 39 Air Cobra, P-47 Thunderbolt, and P-51 Mustang fighters during World War II, earning the rarely awarded Distinguished Flying Cross among numerous other decorations. 

The "Tuskegee Experiment," Archer noted, proved that African-American pilots could fly and fight as well as their white counterparts and played a key role in Truman's decision to desegregate the U.S. military, which in turn opened up opportunities for all African-Americans.

"This country can be what it is supposed to be, and what it claims to be," Archer said. "It is in the hands of new troops now, and I want to wish them luck. I personally see the best for them and for their country, which is my country, too," he concluded.

Back To Top

Harold Brown
Harold Brown Now
Harold Brown then

Harold Brown flew with the famed "Tuskegee Airmen" fighter pilot group in World War II. Named after a flight training facility in Tuskegee, AL the Tuskegee Airmen comprised the four squadrons of the Army Air Corps' 332nd fighter pilot group.

In what had been labeled as an "experimental" army program, the men were the first African American fighter pilots to fly combat missions in U.S. history.

Members of the 332nd fighter pilot group encountered numerous political obstacles before being able to participate in combat missions, Brown said. Once allowed to fight, however, the group posted an outstanding record, never losing a single bomber.

"Most of us just fell in love with the airplanes", said Brown of World War II fighter pilots. "Those were the days when if an aircraft flew overhead, everyone looked up to see."

Brown, who spent 23 years in postwar military service, today lives in Columbus, Ohio. There he runs a consulting firm, and also owns an Internet service provider called Net Express. Prior to his latest enterprises, Brown had been vice president of academic affairs at Ohio state university.

Brown, who graduated from north High School in Minneapolis, said his love of airplanes dates back to childhood, when he dreamed of being a pilot while building model airplanes reading books like "The Life of a Flying Cadet."

"I read that book so many times, I could practically recite it from memory," Brown said with a chuckle.

Exerpts above from the article:
War veterans sought for city's fourth of July parade
Originally printed in the Edina Sun on July 20, 2001

Top of page

Larry Brown
Larry Brown Now
Larry Brown Then

The transition from serene family life to a segregated life in the army during World War II was very traumatic for me. I found myself having to be who the army wanted me to be and doing what they dictated. No negotiations.  I soon learned why very strict discipline has to be a part of the military environment, but I will never understand the segregation part.

I had heard about segregation at home – both of my parents were from Alabama – but being thrust into it was a whole new world.  Reality – not hearsay! I understand the reasons for World War II well, but the segregation part left me no answers.  Here I had troubles.  Mot of the army that I was supposed to be a part of considered me inferior.  All troops in segregated units were inferior.  We were clones – what a dilemma!

Anger soon began to enter the picture but survival and fear were also on the horizon. Logic told me that anger could get one into trouble and military justice could be brutal and maybe fatal. 

I discovered that to win this war, you first had to win the smaller battles.  But also, that you had to have the desire, ability, and courage to fight again, if you did not succeed the first few times.  I didn’t win many battles, but I feel that my efforts and those of others helped win the “inside” war.  Segregation of the military no longer exists.

After 30 months in combat zones, I learned that my brother, a Tuskegee airman fighter pilot, was also in Italy with the 49th Fighter Squadron near Foggia.  I hitchhiked to Foggia to see him.  First, I flew to Foggia, and then I hitched a ride on a truck until dark.  On my way there, we were traveling on a newly built, wooden, one lane bridge – the original bridge had been blown up by the Germans, the truck somehow flipped through the side rails, and dropped into the river below.  Four people were killed, four had the scare of their lives, and four were seriously injured.  I was one of those seriously injured.  I spent 18 months in military hospitals, which, to my surprise, were totally integrated with both black and white people.

After I recovered, I returned home to Minnesota.  I spent my time adjusting to civilian life, traveling, rethinking things, and working.  Several years later I got my degree from the University of Minnesota.

Now, I am a retired vice president of a 750-employee construction company. I’ve been married to Jo for nearly 50 years.  She’s an intelligent, quick homemaker, paralegal, and the best mom to our two kids.  Our son is an M.D. with two daughters.  Our daughter is a homemaker and CPA with three sons, and a daughter.  We couldn’t be prouder parents. 

After retirement, I lived some of my wartime dreams: assisted craft unions, and civic organization coalitions, coached Little League and Babe Ruth baseball teams, taught math and civic class in elementary and high schools, was the assistant football coach for seven years at an old alma mater high school, director of two scholarship committees – co-founder of one, founded Ronald McDonald House, teacher of US AID Uganda Easy Africa for two years, Official Minneapolis Aquatennial for five years, and board member of the Phyllis Wheatley House for 30+ years.

I am much too busy now to be angry about what I have gone through. I plan to do whatever I can to repay some of the people who helped me throughout my “survival” years.

Roscoe C. Brown (STEINHARDT '49, '51)
Roscoe Brown
 

Former pilot and Tuskegee Airman Roscoe C. Brown, Jr. has led a life of visionary public service in fields as diverse as the arts, education, the military, and government. He is considered by many as one of the country's most distinguished African-American advocates.

Born in Washington, DC in 1922, Brown attended Dunbar High School and received his bachelor's degree from Springfield College in 1943. He joined the Air Force shortly after graduation, and after training at the Tuskegee facilities, he became commander of the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group. In his illustrious military career, Brown is credited as being the first 15th Air Force pilot to shoot down a Nazi jet fighter aircraft. For his bravery he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with eight Oak Leaf Clusters.

After his military service, he received his masters and doctorate degrees at NYU in 1949 and 1951 respectively. In 1969 he became the director of the Institute of Afro-American Affairs and a professor of education at the University. In 1977, he was named president of Bronx Community College, a position he held until 1993. Today, Brown serves as director of the Center for Urban Education Policy at the Graduate School and University Center of CUNY. His work focuses on the role of school-based management and parental involvement in school reform.

During his career he has been director or chair of over 25 organizations including the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Metropolitan YMCA, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and Libraries for the Future, among many others. He is also Chairman of the boards of directors of the Greater Harlem Nursing Home, the Urban Issues Group, and the Sports Foundation.

Active in the arts and media, Brown has hosted numerous television programs, including "Black Letters," "Freedom's Word," and the Emmy Award-winning program "Black Arts." He has also authored a long list of renowned publications, including The Negro Almanac, and his articles have appeared in various academic journals.

For his scholarly and community activities, Brown has received numerous honors, among them the NAACP Freedom Award, the Congressional Award for Service to the African American Community, and the Rosenwald Fellowship. He has also completed the New York City Marathon nine times.
Back To Top

Charles W. Dryden
Charles Dryden Now
Charles Dryden

Charles W. DrydenTuskegee Airman Charles W. Dryden was born on September 16, 1920, in New York City to Jamaican parents who were educators. He graduated from Peter Stuyvesant High School and earned a B.A. in political science from Hofstra University and his M.A. in public law and government from Columbia University. In 1996, he was awarded an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters by Hofstra University.

In August 1941, Dryden was selected for aviation cadet training at the Tuskegee Army Flying School in Alabama. He was commissioned on April 29, 1942 as a second lieutenant in a class of only three graduates, which was the second class of black pilots to graduate in the history of the U.S. Army Air Corps. Upon completing his training, Dryden was named a member of the famed 99th Pursuit Squadron, and later the 332 Fighter Group, which served in North Africa, Sicily and Italy during World War II. On June 9, 1943 Lt. "A-Train" (his P-40 nickname) led a flight of six pilots engaging enemy fighter aircraft in aerial combat over Pantelleria, Sicily. It was the first time in aviation history that black American pilots of the U.S. Army Air Corps engaged aircraft in combat.

Following the war, Dryden served as a professor of air science at Howard University and retired in 1962 as a command pilot with 4,000 hours flying time. A member of the board of directors of the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame, he also is a member of the Atlanta Metro Lions Club, Quality Living Services (a senior citizens organization) and the Atlanta Chapter-Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. (ACTAI), which he helped found in 1978 and which he served as president, vice president, and national convention committee chairman in 1980 and 1995. He has been inducted into the Honorable Orders of the Daedalians, the Kentucky Colonels and the Palmetto Gentlemen of South Carolina. In 1998, Colonel Dryden was inducted into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame. His autobiography was published by the University of Alabama Press in 1997 with the title A-Train: Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman. He was designated an Outstanding Georgia Citizen by the Secretary of State in 1997.

Colonel Dryden has three sons, by a former marriage. His wife, Marymal Morgan Dryden, has three sons and a daughter, also by a former marriage. Between them they have five grandchildren. They have made Atlanta their home.

Back To Top

Harold L. Gaulden
Gomer
 
HAROLD L.  GAULDEN, 80, of Fort Wayne, died Monday, Oct. 15, 2007, at VA Northern  Healthcare. Born Feb. 20, 1927, in Gramb-ling, La., he served in the Air  Force as a Tuskegee Airman, and was a truck driver for Omni Source. He received the Congressional Gold Medal. Surviving are his wife, Maude  Gaulden; sons, Gregory J. (JoAnn) Gaulden and Gaylord C. Gaulden, both of  Indianapolis, and Gilbert (Charleta) Gaulden of Fort Wayne; two brothers,  Howard Gaulden of Fort Wayne and Charles (Dorthea) Gaulden of Raleigh,  N.C.; one sister, Alma Josephine (Frank) Chandler of Fort Wayne; 10  grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Funeral service is 1 p.m.  Saturday at Southern Heights Baptist Church. Visitation is from 6 to 8  p.m. Friday at the church. Arrangements by Carmichael Funeral Service.  

Published  
http://www.legacy.com/FortWayne/DeathNotices.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonId=96297616


Back To Top
Joseph Philip Gomer
Gomer
Gomer

Retired United States Air Force Major Joseph Philip Gomer, served as a fighter pilot with World War II's famed Tuskegee Airmen. He was born on June 20, 1920 in Iowa Falls, Iowa. From the time he was a small boy, he dreamed of flying airplanes...

Gomer got his pilots license before his driver's license. Born in Iowa Falls, he grew up in one of two African American families within a population of 5,000. They were readily accepted and embraced by the community. He became interested in planes before the United States was involved in World War II. The only black in his class, he graduated from Iowa Falls High School with honors in 1938. He was fascinated with model airplanes and took pilot training as a student at Ellsworth College in Iowa Falls before the war. In July 1942, at the age of 22, he enlisted in the Army. Later that year his application to Aviation Cadet Training was approved. The Army, having noted his pilot training, sent him to Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama under an experimental program launched by congressional order in March 1941. My father and the other recruits traveled to Tuskegee by Pullman. When the train crossed the Mason-Dixon line, he waged his first war with segregation. Getting up to go to breakfast, he and the other Iowans were shown to seats in the back of the dining car. Then a curtain was pulled across, separating them from the other diners. "I got up and pulled it back a couple of times, then they closed it again. Finally, we got up and walked out."

Gomer went through pre-flight, basic and advanced training. His first combat aircraft training was on the P-40 Warhawk. He claims that his first flight in a P-40 was a monumental occasion in his life. "That long nose and big horsepower really impressed me. I made it okay."

Americans had been flying combat aircraft for more than 30 years, since World War I. But before the Tuskegee Airmen, only white Americans flew these aircraft. A series of legislative moves on the part of congress made possible the activation of the all-black 99th Fighter Squadron on March 22, 1941, despite opposition on the part of the Army Air Corps and the War Department. Tuskegee Army Air Field, located at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, became the training center not only for the 99th but for all black fighter pilots during World War II. The program expanded to include the all-black 332nd Fighter Group and 447th Bombardment Group, requiring additional training facilities. There were critics of the plan to put Black Americans into the cockpits of combat aircraft during World War II, stating that Blacks would be incapable of learning to fly, or would prove inept and be a liability in battle.

"We were fighting two battles. I flew for my parents, for my race, for our battle for first-class citizenship and for my country. We were fighting for the 14 million black Americans back home. We were there to break down barriers, open a few doors, and do a job."

"But we're all Americans. That's why we chose to fight. I'm as American as anybody. My black ancestors were brought over here, perhaps against their will, to help build America. My German ancestors came over to build a new life. And my Cherokee ancestors were here to greet all the boats." Joseph P. Gomer

Back To Top

Leo R. Gray
Leo Gray Now
Leo R. Gray Then

Lieutenant Colonel Leo. R. Gray made significant contributions to the welfare of this country throughout his military and civilian careers. As a youth in the Boy Scouts of America, Gray met all qualifications for a Life Scout, and achieved the rank of Junior Assistant Scoutmaster in his Troop.

After graduation from Boston English High School in 1942, Gray enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp as a private. After completing the College Training Detachment Program at Tuskegee Institute, he entered aviation cadet training to become a pilot. He graduated from the Tuskegee Army Air Filed Flying School as a 2nd Lieutenant Single Engine Pilot in Class 44-G (SE).

After completing combat fighter pilot training at Walterboro Army Air Field, Gray was stationed in Italy as a fighter pilot with the 100th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group. He flew 15 combat missions over Europe in P-51 Mustangs. He had a total of 750 hours flying time. He was separated from active duty in 1946 and remained in the USAF Reserve until he retired in 1984. During his 41 years of military service, Lt. Col. Gray was awarded the Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster, a Presidential Unit Citation, and the Mediterranean Theatre of Operation ribbon with three battle stars. In addition, he earned the American Theatre and World War II Victory button.

Back To Top

George E. Hardy
George Hardy Now
George Hardy Then

George E. Hardy entered military service in July 1943. He started Aviation Cadet Training at Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama, in December 1943, and graduated as a pilot in September 1944. He received additional combat flying training at Walterboro AAF, SC, and was shipped overseas to Italy in February 1945. In Italy he was assigned to the 99th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group and flew twenty-one (21) combat missions over Germany.  Following return from overseas, he served at Tuskegee AAF and at Lockbourne AAF, Ohio, and was discharged in November 1946.

He was recalled to active duty at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio, in June 1948, and was assigned to the 301st Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group.  In September 1948 he was assigned as a student in the Airborne Electronics Maintenance Officers School at Keesler AFB, Mississippi, graduating in August 1949. In September 1949 he was transferred to the 28th Bomb Squadron, 19th Bomb Group (B-29 aircraft), on Guam, as a Maintenance Officer.  In 1950, he flew 45 combat missions over Korea in B-29 aircraft.  From 1951 through 1962 he served in various Armament & Electronics Maintenance Squadrons in the Strategic Air Command and in Japan as Maintenance Officer and as Squadron Commander. He received his Command Pilot Rating in 1959.

In 1964, following receipt of a Masters Degree in Systems Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, he was assigned to the Electronics Systems Division at Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts. In August 1966 he was assigned as Chief of Engineering and Program Manager for Development, Installation and Cutover of the 490L Overseas AUTOVON Communications System, the Department of Defense’s first worldwide direct-dial telephone system.  The initial sites in Europe, Panama and in the Pacific were successfully cutover in 1969.

In 1970 he was assigned to the 18th Special Operations Squadron in Vietnam as a pilot in AC-119K Gunships.  He served as Operating Location Commander at Udorn Air Base, Thailand and also at Danang Air Base, Vietnam and flew 70 combat missions.  He returned from Vietnam in April 1971 and retired in November 1971 with the rank of Lt. Colonel. 

His decorations include: the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with eleven (11) Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Commendation Medal with one (1) Oak Leaf Cluster.

Back To Top

Vernon Hopson
Vernon Hopson Now
Vernon Hobson Then

A native of Lee County, Texas, Vernon Hopson grew up 60 miles southeast of Austin. He entered military service in July 1943, applied for Aviation Cadet Flight Training in Biloxi, MS., and by November 1944, found himself checking out in the Curtis P-40 at Tuskegee. Hopson was assigned to the Operational Training Unit in North Carolina, and was soon assigned as a fighter pilot with the 477th Composite Group, flying P-47s to escort B-25 bombers for deployment to the Pacific.

The 477th assignment was cut short due to the end of the war, but Hopson remained in the Air Force, and began a career in the Air Traffic Control. Serving in this capacity in locations such as Japan, Guam, Korea, Greenland and Italy. Hopson retired from the military in 1963.

His field of expertise continued in his civilian life with the FAA, working with the Air Traffic Control in Chicago, Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, until his retirement after 23 years, in 1987. Vernon continues to reside in Minneapolis, MN are, and maintains active involvement with Tuskegee Airmen activities.

Back To Top

Willis Jones Hubert
Jones
 
WILLIS J. HUBERT Willis J. Hubert of Atlanta, Georgia died on Friday, May 11, 2007. After a distinguished military career in which he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Dr. Hubert became Academic Dean and, later, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Morehouse College. In 1943, he entered the U.S. Air Force (until 1947, the U.S. Army Air Corps) and trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field, where he was one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, under the command of General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. During a military career of 27 years, he had tours of duty in Europe and the Pacific, and he was the first African American to earn M.A. and Ph.D. degrees while on active duty, as well as the first to complete the Harvard Business School (Military Co-op) Statistics Training Program. As a Tuskegee Airman, he was awarded, in absentia, the Congressional Gold Medal on March 29, 2007 at a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. Dr. Hubert was born in Savannah, Georgia on May 9, 1919, the youngest child of Lillie Jones Hubert and John Wesley Hubert. He graduated in 1936 from Cuyler-Beach High School, where his father was principal and his mother was a former teacher. After receiving a B. S. degree in 1940 from Hampton Institute, he completed requirements for an M.A. degree in rural sociology at Fisk University and then taught at Trinity High School in Athens, Georgia for a year. He later earned an M.A. degree from New York University, as well as a Ph.D. degree from NYU in 1961. A member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, he was active in several professional organizations, serving as president of the Southern Conference of Deans of Faculties and Academic Vice Presidents and as First Vice President of the National Association of College Deans, Registrars and Admissions Officers. He was a long-time member of Friendship Baptist Church.

Reprinted from the Atlanta Metro Observer
http://kacom.com/observer/
Elmer Jones
Jones
 

As one of three graduates of the Howard University Primary Civilian Pilot Training program selected for advanced flight training, Elmer Jones was sent to Tuskegee Institute, Ala., in the summer of 1940 to be a student pilot in the first black Secondary Civilian Pilot Training program.
 
In February 1941, the Army Air corps offered Jones an opportunity to participate in Aviation Cadet training as a non-flying officer. He was sworn-in on May 28, 1941, and reported to Chanute Field in June to join five other black aviation cadets, who were also to be trained as Technical Officers for the 99th Fighter squadron.
 
After six months of class and shop instruction the cadets were transferred to the Tuskegee Army Flying School for three months of “hands-on” experience. Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, Jones was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant, Air Corps and assigned duties involving aircraft repair and technical supply.
 
Jones became a part of the 99th AAF Service Detachment, which was shipped overseas with the 99th Fighter Squadron in April 1943. He performed essential services for the Squadron until it became a part of the 332nd Fighter Group in June 1944. Jones served as the Commanding Officer and Engineering Officer of the Detachment, and was later assigned as Commanding Officer of the 366th Service Squadron serving the 332nd FG.

After returning to the United States, Jones served in a variety of positions, including Base Director of Maintenance and Supply at Lockbourne Air Force Base in Ohio.
 
While still on active duty, he earned his MS degree in Electronics from the University of Illinois and MBA degree in R & D Management from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
 
After several years of service in R&D assignments, Jones was transferred to Air Force Headquarters for duty on the staff of the Asst. Chief of Staff for R&D.   
 
Jones retired from the USAF in January of 1970 and was appointed Assistant Commissioner for Telecommunications of the General Services Administration in the grade of GS-17 where he worked until retirement in February of 1980.

Back To Top

Richard Macon
Jones
 
RICHARD MACON 1921-2007
HERO REMEMBERED: Tuskegee Airman inspired others as a teacher, principal
October 11, 2007

BY JOE ROSSITER
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
A member of America's famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II and later a longtime educator with Detroit Public's Northern High School, Richard Macon was held in the highest esteem for his wartime bravery and the valuable knowledge he imparted.

Macon died Tuesday at John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit.
       
The Detroit resident's cause of death was not disclosed. He was 86.
"I have nothing but the utmost admiration and respect for the man," said Ted Talbert, a former student and TV writer who produced an award-winning documentary about the Tuskegee Airmen.

"It was his influence that inspired me to want to know more about history and life, in general."

Born in Birmingham, Ala., Macon earned a degree in mathematics from Miles College in 1942. A year later, he joined the Army Air Forces and graduated from the segregated flying school for black airmen at Tuskegee, Ala., to become a fighter pilot.

Lt. Macon served as a replacement pilot with the 99th Fighter Squadron and had 16 successful missions to his credit.
While strafing ground targets over southern France in August 1944, Macon's P51 Mustang was hit by ground fire, flipping the airplane and separating the right wing.

His neck was broken and the lower part of his body paralyzed by the crash. He became a prisoner of war for more than nine months before the camp where he was held was liberated by Gen. George Patton's 3rd Army. Macon received several war decorations and retired with the rank of captain. After the war, he earned a master's degree in mathematics from Indiana University and started teaching at Northern High School in 1956. He later served as high school principal and personnel administrator before retiring in 1987.

Macon married his second wife, Eleanor Gurley, in 1977.
"He was a truly caring person who enjoyed helping others and believed in education as a means of bettering oneself," his wife said. " Talbert recalled how his former teacher would recount his days as a wartime flier to his class. Years later, after reading articles and doing research about the Tuskegee Airmen, Talbert produced a documentary about them called "An Eagle Should Fly." Beside his wife, survivors include two daughters, Toni Eubank and Phyl Macon; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; two stepsons, Dwayne Gurley and Norman Gurley; seven stepgrandchildren, and eight stepgreat-grandchildren.

Visitation is from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday at James H. Cole Home for Funerals, 2624 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit. Funeral services are 11 a.m. Tuesday at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 17567 Hubbell, Detroit. A family hour will precede services at 10 a.m. Burial will be Oct. 18 in Arlington National Cemetery.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071011/NEWS08/710110387/1001/NEWS
Hiram E. Mann
Hiram E. Mann Now
Hiram E. Mann Then

Born in New York City, reared in Cleveland, Ohio. Entered the Army Air Corps as a Pre-Aviation Student in 1942.  Became an Aviation Cadet and completed Single-Engine Combat Pilot Training at Tuskegee Army Air Field (TAAF), Alabama, 27 June 1944.  
 
Initially assigned to the 302nd Fighter Squadron, reassigned to the 100th Fighter Sq, of the 332nd Fighter Group in Italy. Flew combat missions with both squadrons. Returned to TAAF Jan '46, transferred to Lockbourne AAF (LAAF), Ohio, and the 477th Composite Group. Attended the Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, (MAFB), Alabama, Command and Staff College, Class of '57. Served at various Air Force Installations.  Last assignment was an Admissions Counselor for the US Air Force Academy. Total military time at retirement was 21 years, which includes some reserve time. Program Analyst Supervisor. Moved to Titusville, Florida, Nov 1974.
 
 CO-AUTHOR - "FOREVER DREAMING" A book dedicated especially to impress Minority Youth on the need to set goals, to persevere, to work hard, and to obtain a high level of education, to achieve their maximum potential goals.

Back To Top

Charles Edward McGee
Charles Edward McGee Now
 

Charles McGee was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1919 and spent his childhood there and in Illinois and Iowa. WWII interrupted his education at the University of Illinois. He was sworn into the enlisted reserve October 26, 1942 and entered army air corps flight training in November. He received his silver wings as a single engine pilot and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on 30 June 1943 graduating in Class 43-F, Tuskegee Army Air Field.

McGee remained on active duty 30 years. He became a command pilot with over 6,100 total hours. He flew fighter aircraft combat tours in three major military conflicts; the P-39, P-47, and P-51 planes with the 302nd Fighter Squadron in Italy during WWII, the F-51 with the 67th Fighter Bomber Squadron in Korea and the 16th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron in Viet Nam. He commanded the 44th Fighter Bomber Squadron in the Philippines 1951-53, the 7230th Support Squadron in Italy 1961-63, the 16th TRS 1967-68, and Richard-Gebaur ARB, Missouri in 1972. Colonel McGee's awards include the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with two clusters, Bronze Star, Air Medal with 25 clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with cluster, Presidential Unit Citation, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, the Hellenic Republic WWII Commemorative Medal, the French Legion of Honor, and several campaign and service ribbons. He retired from the United States Air Force on 31 January 1973.

He earned a BA degree in business administration and in the civilian arena served as Director of Real Estate and Purchasing for ISC Financial Corp., Vice President of Real Estate for its subsidiary, Interstate Securities Co. He later managed the Kansas City, Missouri downtown airport and retired from this endeavor in 1982. Active community interests include participation with the Boy Scouts of America, the Boy's and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He served several years on the Kansas City, Missouri Amory Advisory Board, Aviation Advisory Commission, and as Director of the KC Municipal Assistance Corporation.

Colonel McGee and his late wife, the former Frances E. Nelson of Champaign, Illinois, reared three children, became grand parents of ten and great grand parents of three, Colonel McGee now resides in Bethesda, Maryland where he moved in 1995 after calling Kansas City, Missouri home for twenty-two years. He now enjoys four additional great grand children and remains active fraternally with the Airmen Association, and in his church.

Back To Top

William Morgan
William Morgan
Willaim Morgan Then

Internment for Dr. Wm. B. Morgan (Bill), will be held at Fort Snellling Cemetery Monday June 4, 2007 at 11:30 AM  Assembly Area #4. Fort Snelling Memorial Cemetery is located at 7601 34th Avenue South in Minneapolis MN. Enter at the second gate, turn right , on you will see signs directing you to Area #4. There will be a casual light lunch at Sue's home, about 15 miles West of Fort Snelling. We hope you will be able to attend this memorial to Bill. Feel free to pass this announcement on to those we may have missed.

Dr. William Bethel Morgan (Bill) was born on June 4, 1921 in Homestead Pennsylvania the son of William B. Morgan, Sr. and Susie Harris. He grew up in western Pennsylvania, graduated from South Huntington Township High school in 1939.

After graduation he farmed and was employed at the Glassport Steel Foundry in 1941, where toiled as a steel chipper.

In 1942, Bill volunteered to become a pre-aviation cadet for the US Army.After wading through and enduring years of testing, interviews and screening, Bill was accepted as a Pre-Aviation Cadet reporting to Tuskegee Institute. After 9 months of training Bill received his commission and wings as an Army Air Force Pilot in the summer of 1945, at which time he became one of the Tuskegee Airmen.

He spent his time at Tuskegee Institute, continuing to train as he waited for his call to active duty. He was discharged as the war ended in 1945.

After being discharged he returned to the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. He married Martha Ruth Butler on November 3, 1952, and decided to give up farming and become a dentist. Bill graduated from the University Of Pittsburgh Dental School in 1957. He practiced dentistry in the city of Pittsburgh for 9 years. After 9 years of practice in Pittsburgh he and his family of 4 and many beagles, moved to Wanamingo, Minnesota where they lived for a little over 15 years.

Bill and Martha moved to Fergus Falls Minnesota in the early 1980’s where he practiced dentistry in the State Hospital. Bill retired in 1986.

During his life in Fergus, Bill has spent time as a volunteer for the Humane Society; he has been an active member of the Lake Region Amateur Radio club for close to 20 years. He was an ardent sportsman, as a hunter, fisherman, trap shooter, dog trainer, and camper. Bill had a great love of nature, dogs and the outdoors.

In February of 2006, Bill was honored with a Doctorate in Public Service from the Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee Alabama for his service to the United States Army as a Tuskegee Airman.

Bill attained the amazing age of 85. He lead a rewarding and independent life, surrounded by wonderful and caring friends at 320 Western Avenue in Fergus Falls. Bill past away quietly on December 30, 2006 in Minneapolis, while in Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

Back To Top

Eugene J. Richardson, Jr.
Eugene Richardson Now
Eugene Richardson, Jr. Then

Eugene J. Richardson, Jr. was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1925. His father was a minister and Eugene spent his childhood in a number of small towns in  Ohio.  He lived in Toledo for ten years prior to moving to Camden, NJ.  WWII provided the opportunity for Eugene to realize his dream of becoming a pilot.  He passed an exam and became a pre-Aviation Cadet in the Spring of 1943.  He was inducted into the Army Air Corp in October, 1943.  He had basic army training at Keesler Field Miss.  He went to Tuskegee in January, 1944 and completed flight training in March, 1945 and was commissioned 2nd Lt. in class 45A, Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama. He then went to Waterboro Army Air Field, S.C. for combat training in April 1945. There he flew the P-40 and P-47 type aircraft. The war in Europe ended in May 1945. He did not have to go into combat and was discharged in June 1946.

The war ended in May, 1945 so Eugene did not fly in combat. He was discharged in July 1946.  Back in civilian life he used the G. I. Bill to get a
College education, earning degrees of B.S., M.A. and D.Ed.   His career in Education spanned 35 years as a teacher and principal of middle schools in Philadelphia, Pa. He retired in 1991.

Back To Top

Richard Rutledge
Richard Rutledge
Richard Rutledge Then

I was born on May 26, 1922 in Jersey City, New Jersey, but I was raised in Brooklyn, New York where I graduated from Elementary School and High School. On April 1, 1941 I enlisted in the U.S. Army Corps in the ground crew of the 99th Pursuit Squadron.

I was commissioned as a Warrant Officer Junior Grade at Tuskegee Army Field on January 20, 1943 as an Administrative Officer when the 99th Fighter Squadron departed Tuskegee in April or May 1943. I was transferred to an all black Engineer Aviation Squadron on March Field, Riverside, California. I was the Adjutant for the Headquarters Company. I went with them in a convoy of over 100 ships under the command of Admiral “Bull” Halsey and was part of the Invasion of the Palau Islands on the South West Pacific. Our battalion’s job was to build an air field on the Island so that General Douglas MacArthur could use it and “…Return to the Phillipines.” The Japanese surrendered and the war ended. I spent 20 months overseas and a total of five years 1941 to 1946 in the Army Air Corps.

After the war I attended New York University, Washington Square College of Liberal Arts & Science and Brooklyn Law School where I graduated in 1950, passed the N.Y. State Bar Exam and was admitted to practice as a Lawyer in December 1950. I moved from Brooklyn to Queens and had a private, general practice of law for 34 years. My law firm Rutledge, Holmes, Mitchell, Willis and Kellam was in St. Albans, Queens, New York. On January 1, 1985 I was elected to the Civil Court of the City of New York for a term of 10 years. I served the Queens County for 5 years. On the 5th year I was appointed the Supervising Judge of the Court. On January 1, 1990 I was elected as Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York for a term 14 years. I served in Queens County for 7 years and retired because of age on December 31, 1996 and moved to south Florida.

On January 1, 2000 I was appointed by the Florida Supreme Court as a Circuit Court Mediator. In 2003, I was appointed by the U.S. District Court as a Federal Court Mediator. Since 2000 I have been working part-time with a firm Mediation, Inc. at their offices in Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and West Palm Beach.

I was married for over 22 years. I am now divorced, have six children, 2 sons and 4 daughters who have all graduated from college.

I presently live in the City of Plantation, Florida. I am a member of the Miami Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen where monthly meetings are still conducted.


Back To Top

Harry T. Stewart, Jr. (ENG '63)
Harry Stewart
 

Harry Stewart's passion for flying has transcended nearly 60 years, fueling his dedication as a combat pilot in the Armed Forces. As a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, Stewart fought in World War II with the United States Army Air Corps and Air Force, flying combat missions to aid Allied Forces. With his service work, Stewart was part of a revolutionary movement that ultimately allowed for the integration of blacks into the Armed Forces.

Born in Newport News, Virginia, near Langley Air Force Base, Stewart's fascination with aviation began at a young age. When he was two years old his family moved to Queens, New York, just a few minutes from North Beach Airport, (now LaGuardia Airport) where he would watch in awe at the planes soaring overhead. At the age of 17, and aware of his imminent conscription into World War II, he both took and passed a military exam designated to identify potential pilots. As a result, he entered flight training at Tuskegee, Alabama, and eventually was awarded his wings and a commission while still a teenager.

He was sent to Italy in 1944 where he flew 43 combat missions with the all-black 332nd Fighter Group. On April 1, 1945, he shot down three German aircraft, a feat that earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross. Stewart received an honorable discharge in 1950 and stayed in the Reserves, eventually retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Stewart returned to New York, eventually attending the Evening Division of NYU's College of Engineering, earning his bachelor's degree in 1963. During his six years at NYU, Stewart served as president of the Student Council and chair of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

One of the highlights of his military career was in 1949, by winning an Air Force national flying competition as one of an all-black trio of pilots. In 2004, the Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum honored Stewart and his "top gun" teammates by reuniting them with the competition trophy, which had been missing for 55 years.

In 1976, Stewart joined ANR Pipeline Company in Detroit as vice president. He currently resides in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. In 2005, the Historical Museum asked Stewart if he would serve as a pilot of their three motor gliders. In a short time, Stewart acquired a Commercial Glider Pilot's license.
Back To Top

Yenwith Whitney
Yenwith Whitney Now
Tenwith Whitney young

When 18-year-old New Yorker Yenwith Whitney was sent to Tuskegee, AL, for military training in 1943, he was entering several new worlds. First, he was leaving childhood to join the military in wartime. Second, he was learning to fly, then an unlikely dream for African Americans. Third, the young black man from the Bronx was joining an all-black community for the first time.

"My first real experience with black kids was living in the army air corps," Whitney said. "It was my first profound exposure to being part of a group that was exclusively black." Whitney's parents had moved to a suburban neighborhood for better schools and safer streets in the 1920s, so Whitney grew up going to a predominantly white school and local church.

Growing up, he loved to tinker with mechanical things and was delighted to receive a model-airplane kit for a birthday. He built the plane, flew it, and promptly fell in love with flying. But "it never crossed my mind that I could be a pilot. That was an impossibility."

Yet war needs intervened. The army air corps began training black military pilots at Alabama's Tuskegee Institute and nearby Tuskegee Army Air Field in 1941. Whitney applied for and was ecstatic when he was accepted for pilot training. Joining the group that later became famous as the Tuskegee Airmen was one of the highlights of his life. "We were very close," he said. "It was a life and death experience."

Whitney's life had changed profoundly. "I went into the army air corps and did something I wanted to do tremendously-I wanted to fly-and I was successful. That set me apart in both black and white society. And that had a tremendous impact on me."

Whitney flew 34 combat missions as a fighter pilot escorting heavy bombers in Europe before the war ended. He wanted to study engineering and worked hard to pass the MIT entrance exam. His acceptance to the Institute was another turning point in his life.

Yenwith Whitney, like a lot of MIT alumni, has followed his own path to achieve his goals. From the historic accomplishments of the Tuskegee Air Corps to his volunteerism for both the Institute and his neighborhood church, Yenwith Whitney is leading a life that makes a difference.

Back To Top

Eldridge F. Williams
Eldridge Williams Now
Eldridge Williams Then

Eldridge F. Williams was born November 2, 1917. In 1941, he was drafted and after a year of service. was selected to attend Officer Training School. Commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps and assigned to Tuskegee Army Airfield, he rose to  the rank of captain. But with no desire for a military career, he left the service and became head basketball coach at North Carolina A&T College in Greensboro.

In 1948, Williams was recalled to military service during the Berlin Airlift. In December of 1949, a year after President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981, which integrated the U.S. armed forces, Williams departed for his first integrated assignment on the island of Okinawa. Williams served in various military capacities, and after 23 years, he retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

In January 1964, Williams joined the Dade County Public Schools. He was named coordinator of federal programs, and later chosen as the director of administrative staffing and policy development. In 1971, he assumed the job of director of school desegregation. The position eventually became director, Office of Equal Opportunity, which encompassed the implementation of Titles VII, IX and other federal regulations on discrimination. Williams became executive director of personnel in 1978 and retired in 1985.

Back To Top

Kenneth Wofford
Kenneth Wofford Now
 

Active Duty military service during World War II through Viet Nam era; post military in position of Aeronautics Operations Director, State of Minnesota. Attained pilot rating at the racial segregated Pilot Training location of Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama (“Military Aviation Experiment” site). Flying experience was in single-engine, two engine, and four engine type airplanes; accumulated 9,000 (+) flying hours and 100 combat zone missions.

Major job assignments included the positions of Executive, Director, Manager, and Supervisor; also 14 years as the Commander of varied type Support Units, Aviation Flying Squadrons, and the large Tachikawa Air Base Complex (with six satellite bases). Served with Tactical Air Command, Air Defense Command, Military Airlift Command, United States Air Force Europe (twice) Pacific Air Command and Air University. Had periods of duty in Joint-Service capacities with the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and NATO (National Atlantic Treaty Organization); also years of interrelations with many allied Foreign Government (Agencies/Officials).

Years of active involvement (local and national) with volunteer work in diverse associations and organizations and some mentor/counseling of youth toward educational preparedness for life & opportunities. Also dedicated to promoting of Aviation/Aerospace Industry (general and commercial and military) and possibly (an option) of career in military and government.

Back To Top

Commemorative Air Force
 © Copyright Commemorative Air Force, Inc. Unless otherwise marked. All Rights Reserved.