Mildred Carter of Tuskegee was Alabama’s first licensed black female pilot. She earned her pilot’s license on February 1, 1941. With 150 hours of flight time logged, Carter flew the skies in a two-plane formation with her husband and fellow Tuskegee Airman, Herbert Carter. In a campus publication, Mildred Carter had been given the title of “Miss Tuskegee Army Flying School” by her colleagues at Tuskegee Air Field.
Known as the Tuskegee Airmen Organization’s “First Family,” the Carters were married for nearly 70 years. Carter’s days of flying included an in-flight rendezvous in which she and her husband Herbert met above a local lake to send “I love you” signals in the air.
Carter, a Benson, Alabama native, graduated with a business degree from Tuskegee Institute at 19 years old. She was denied entry into the Civilian Pilot Training Program the first time because she was too young, but was granted entry the next year and became the first woman graduate. In the meantime, she was also making history as the first civilian to be hired as a clerk at Tuskegee’s Army Air Field. She was taught to fly by historymaker, Charles Alfred “Chief” Anderson, a man known as the Father of Black Aviation. She dressed unlike traditional women of the times; while they wore skirts, Carter, also known as “Mike” by her husband, wore aviator attire, down to the leather boots.
Women were not allowed to join combat during WWII but it was Carter’s dream to have an aviation career. According to her son, Herbert Carter Jr., Mildred’s only regret was not being able to join the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots organization (WASP), which was an all-white female service group during World War II. She was rejected because she was black. It wasn’t until she was 70 years old that she finally received a letter inducting her into the program.
When her husband Herbert went to war, she saw a film at the theater of the Tuskegee Airmen and right on the screen was her husband, one of the original 33 pilots, tending to his aircraft. She cried.
In September 2011, Mildred Carter was honored at the Tuskegee Human and Multicultural Center with a ceremony and roses. She had hoped to stick around for her husband’s 94th birthday a few weeks later and was able to do so prior to her passing one month later. She was 90 years old. Ninety-five year old Herbert Carter died late last year.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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