Tuskeegee Airmen

One of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen has died. Lt. Col. Robert Friend, who flew 142 combat missions in World War II passed away on Saturday from sepsis. He was 99 years old. Friend was a member of the Airmen, an elite group of African-American military pilots who fought the Nazis during the Second World War, […]

On this day in 1941, the War Department bent to the pressure from Black activists, forming an all-Black combat pilot division. The 99th Pursuit Squadron whose pilots received training at Tuskegee became one of the squadrons that became known as the Tuskegee Airmen. Resistance to the formation of the 99th was expected, and they were […]

Florida aviator   Charles P. Bailey Sr. was the first Black native of the state to fly for the elite Tuskegee Airmen. Bailey was one of nine siblings who served during the major wars of the 20th Century. Bailey was born in 1919 in Punta Gorda, Fla., the youngest of seven boys who were collectively […]

NEW YORK (AP) — A former member of the pioneering black aviation group the Tuskegee Airmen has died. Audley Coulthurst was 92. Audra Coulthurst says her father died Thursday at a Veterans Affairs facility in Brooklyn after suffering a cardiac arrest. Coulthurst enlisted in the Army in 1942 and became one of the first black […]

Norman Lear has been behind the creation of some of television’s most iconic series, including Good Times and The Jeffersons among others. Before his television producer and director fame, Lear was also a World War II veteran with a connection to the Tuskegee Airmen. During the War, Lear served as a bomber plane gunner. These […]

Lieutenant Calvin Spann was an original member of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen and military pilot who fought in missions during World War II. Lt. Spann died last week at the age of 90, and has been honored in both his adopted home of Texas and his home state of New Jersey. Spann flew 26 missions […]

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two members of the Tuskegee Airmen — the famed all-black squadron that flew in World War II — died on the same day. The men, lifelong friends who enlisted together, were 91. Clarence E. Huntley Jr. and Joseph Shambrey died on Jan. 5 in their Los Angeles homes, relatives said Sunday. […]

First Army Lt. Dina Elosiebo has become the first African-American female pilot for the D.C. National Guard. She earned her wings last month after completing the Initial Entry Rotary Wing Flight School at Fort Rucker, Alabama. “This is an extraordinary, historical event for us,” said Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, commanding general of the D.C. […]

Charles Alfred “Chief” Anderson will be honored this week in his hometown of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania in recognition of his commemorative stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service. Anderson was a pioneering Black aviator who became the lead trainer for the Tuskegee Airmen. As we detailed in our Little Known Black History Fact, Anderson flew […]

On March 13th, the U.S. Postal Service will commemorate a Black aviation leader. His name is Charles Alfred “Chief” Anderson Sr., and he is the first Tuskegee Airman to be featured on a U.S. postage stamp. Chief Anderson is viewed as “the father of black aviation” for his role as the trainer of the Tuskegee Airmen. When […]