Tuskegee Airman Lt. William Johnston
The grandson of slaves, Hickman grew up in St. Louis, and joined the segregated pilot training program in Tuskegee, Ala. in 1943, serving until 1945, according to his Army profile.George Hickman The 84-year-old is one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, the country’s first black military pilots and ground crew, who fought in World War II. George Hickman passed away in August of 2012 he was alive long enough to see the first black president get sworn in at the inauguration.
Robert M. Glass was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on December 17, 1920; he died on January 24th, 1955. Already a qualified pilot, Robert Marshall Glass was one of the highly skilled and committed young men to join the 332nd Fighter Group of the Tuskegee Airmen. Glass was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he attended public school. He graduated from Carnegie Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Glass signed up at Tuskegee Army Air Field on January 28, 1943, and attended cadet school at Tuskegee. Charles “Chief” Anderson was one of his flying instructors at Tuskegee and Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., was his commanding officer. Glass served his country in World War II and during Korean conflict. He was a senior pilot with the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medial, EAME Campaign medal, American Campaign Medal, Distinguished Unit Citation and the National Defense Service medal. His last duty station was a Wright Air Development Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. At the time of his death, Captain Glass was at the Air Command Staff School, Maxwell Air Force Base. His name is inscribed on the Memorial Honor Roll of Air Force Aid Society, Washington, D.C.
Already a qualified pilot, Robert Marshall Glass was one of the highly skilled and committed young men to join the 332nd Fighter Group of the Tuskegee Airmen. Glass was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he attended public school. He graduated from Carnegie Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Glass signed up at Tuskegee Army Air Field on January 28, 1943, and attended cadet school at Tuskegee. Charles “Chief” Anderson was one of his flying instructors at Tuskegee and Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., was his commanding officer.
Benjamin O. Davis Jr., First Black General in Air Force
Benjamin O. Davis Jr., 89, a pioneering military officer who was the leader of the fabled Tuskegee Airmen during World War II and the first African American to become a General in the Air Force, died July 4, 2002, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He had Alzheimer’s disease.
In a career that began in the days of segregation, General Davis, who was born in Washington and lived here for much of his life, compiled a long history of achievements and accomplishments. His combat record and that of the unit he led have been credited with playing a major role in prompting the integration of the armed services after World War II.
In 1970, after retiring from the Air Force, he supervised the federal sky marshal program that was designed to quell a rash of airliner hijackings. In 1971, he was named an assistant secretary of transportation. At the time he left the Air Force as a Lieutenant General, wearing three stars, he was the senior black officer in the armed forces. In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded General Davis his fourth star, advancing him to full general. “General Davis is here today as living proof that a person can overcome adversity and discrimination, achieve great things, turn skeptics into believers; and through example and perseverance, one person can bring truly extraordinary change,” Clinton said.
As the World War II commander of the 332nd Fighter Group, General Davis and his pilots escorted bombers on 200 air combat missions over Europe, flying into the teeth of some of the Nazi Luftwaffe’s most tenacious defenses. It was one of the 332nd’s proudest achievements that not one of the bombers it protected was lost to an enemy fighter.
Article courtesy of: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/bodavisjr.htm
This month for Black History we will honor the Tuskegee Airmen… The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the United States armed forces. During World War II, African Americans in many U.S. states were still subject to the Jim Crow laws and the American military was racially segregated, as was much of the federal government. Tuskegee Airmen were dedicated, determined young men who enlisted to become America’s first black military airmen, at a time when there were many people who thought that black men lacked intelligence, skill, courage and patriotism. They came from every section of the country, with large numbers coming from New York City, Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit. Each one possessed a strong personal desire to serve the United States of America at the best of his ability. Those who possessed the physical and mental qualifications were accepted as aviation cadets to be trained initially as single-engine pilots and later to be either twin-engine pilots, navigators or bombardiers. Most were college graduates or undergraduates.
The black airmen who became single-engine or multi-engine pilots were trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field (TAAF) in Tuskegee Alabama. The first aviation cadet class began in July 1941 and completed training nine months later in March 1942. Thirteen started in the first class. Five successfully completed the training, one of them being Captain Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., a West Point Academy graduate. The other four were commissioned second lieutenants, and all five received Army Air Corps silver pilot wings. From 1942 through 1946, nine hundred and ninety-two pilots graduated at TAAF, receiving commissions and pilot wings. Black navigators, bombardiers and gunnery crews were trained at selected military bases elsewhere in the United States.