Tuskegee Airmen Recognized at Board of Supervisors Meeting

Malia Cohen

Supervisor Malia Cohen recognized the service of the airmen from the William “Bill” Campbell Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., during Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.
The  Tuskegee Airmen served as the first African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces, during a time when many U.S. states were still subject to Jim Crow laws and segregation policies divided the military.
Composed of the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air corps, the Tuskegee Airmen flew with expertise and distinction, in spite of the racial discrimination they endured from both inside and outside the military. The pilots fought overseas as part of Operation Torch and served in action over Italy before being deployed as bomber escorts in the Europe, for which they are most celebrated.
“These airmen bravely exceeded the expectations that others had for them and celebrated their African-American background vocally, as a point of pride,” said Supervisor Cohen. “ Rather than hide their origins, they advertised their African-American background loudly and for all to see in the skies.”
Seven original Tuskegee Airmen were scheduled to attend: LeRoy Gillead, James Goodwin, Clyde Grimes, Richard Harder, Harold Hoskins, James Warren, and Les Williams. Also attending were descendants, widows, and family members of the original airmen, David Cunningham, President of the William “Bill” Campbell Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., and Rodney Gillead, Western Region Representative to the Board of Directors of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.

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