Article by Brandon Thompson Fox 21 News
COLORADO SPRINGS — Machines flying through the sky was still a rare phenomenon when Franklin Macon came into this world in 1923. Even still, it was hard to keep his feet on the ground.
“I started to learn how to fly when I was in high school,” Macon recalled.
The airstrip he learned on was then known as the Pine Valley Airport. It’s now the Air Force Academy Airfield in Colorado Springs.
“We used to fly around to different airports for the fun of it on the weekends, so doing, we happened to be in the Denver area and we saw this airplane sitting out in a field,” Macon said.
The airplane, a Stinson Vultee V-77, was literally in pieces with an asking price of $1,500. Macon negotiated down to $500 and spent more than that fixing it up.
The plane served in the same era as he, both plane and pilot veterans of World War II.
Out of high school, Macon tried to become a certified commercial pilot but was told he was too young to take the test, though, another opportunity found him.
“Then the draft board started breathing down my neck so I went to take the test again and then signed up in the Army air corps,” said Macon.
The U.S Army Air Corp preceded the U.S Air Force during World War II. It was an era of segregation in the country that extended into the service. All black pilots in training were sent to the Tuskegee Airfield in Alabama.
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A statue in honor of 2nd Lt. Eugene Jacques Bullard, the first African-American fighter pilot, is unveiled during a ceremony at the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia, on Oct. 9, 2019. The statue was donated to the United States Air Force by the Georgia World War I Centennial Commission. (U.S. air Force photo by Tommie Horton)
15 Oct 2019
The Macon Telegraph | By Wayne Crenshaw
WARNER ROBINS, Ga. -- Before the Tuskegee Airmen blazed the trail for black military pilots, there was Columbus, Georgia, native Eugene Bullard.
During World War I, while fighting for France, he became the world's first black fighter pilot. Last week, on what would have been his 124th birthday, hundreds of people honored him at the Museum of Aviation. View entire article here.
STEUBENVILLE — The newest addition to the City of Murals, “Tuskegee Airmen – The Red Tails,” will be dedicated at 2 p.m. Sunday at the mural site on Washington between Fourth and Fifth streets.
The mural depicts Steubenville’s own Jerome and John “Ellis” Edwards, who served in the famous African American combat group during World War II.
Jerome Edwards lost his life on a training mission in 1943, but his brother John “Ellis” was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross after singlehandedly shooting down two German Messerschmitts on May 1, 1945. He also earned Air Medals with Oak Leaf Clusters and, as part of the 332nd Fighter Group, a Presidential Unit citation for the combat skills of its pilots. John “Ellis,” who died in 1979, went on to fly multiple combat missions in an F86 Sabre Jet during the Korean War.
“This is a part of everyone’s history,” explained Jerry Barilla, who initiated the project as part of the Steubenville Visitor Center. “But it is especially significant for our African American community who are rightfully proud of these heroes.”
Continue reading this article by LINDA HARRIS Staff writer at The Herald Star.
9/8/2019 0 Comments
LAS CRUCES - One of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen got an early birthday present when two motorcycle clubs gathered at his modest home in a neighborhood off Triviz Drive on Saturday.
The Airborne Motorcycle Club and the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club came to Las Cruces to celebrate the 103rd birthday of James Clayton Flowers and to honor his service in the first African American fighter pilot squadron in the United States military.
Flowers, whose actual birthday isn't until Christmas, said he was honored to host the clubs and enjoy sandwiches and ice cream with friends and fellow military veterans.
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