Tuskegee Airman

One of the many things I respected about the military I served in during my twenty-nine plus years was the focus on getting the mission done. That was above all, number one. To that end team work and excellence became the standard for performance. Regardless of where you came from or who you knew it was all about what you brought to the team to achieve the mission.

Everyone, in my time, joined for various reasons (the draft ended before my enlistment). Regardless of color or faith (or lack thereof) we worked together and got it done. Thankfully, good leadership made the job easier. We had our share of bad and good.

General Davis was a good one. Back on this day in 1954 Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. became the first African-American general in the United States Air Force. Benjamin Oliver Davis Jr. (December 18, 1912 – July 4, 2002) was an American United States Air Force general and commander of the World War II Tuskegee Airmen. He was the first African-American general officer in the United States Air Force.

On December 9, 1998, he was advanced to four-star general by President Bill Clinton. During World War II, Davis was commander of the 99th and the 332nd Fighter Group, which escorted bombers on air combat missions over Europe. Davis himself flew sixty missions in P-39, Curtiss P-40, P-47, and P-51 Mustang fighters. Davis followed in his father’s footsteps. Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. was the first African-American general in the United States Army.

To those committed to duty and service there are no barriers, only challenges to be met, conquered, and left in the dust of history.

I highly recommend watching the movie Tuskegee Airmen. It is an excellent movie. I had the privilege of visiting the museum in Tuskegee long ago and do a skydive piloted by a staff member of the flying school at that location. It is a memory I still cherish.

On the local front, be sure to reserve some time to attend the annual Veteran’s Day (Friday 11 November) lunchtime event at the High School. We will be recognizing three of our best veterans and the students-faculty always do an amazing job. I’ll get you the details next week. Also, we will be running over to Fairfax on that Saturday morning (12 November) for our Veteran’s Day Parade featuring Daisy the confused 1973 military jeep. She is Army but thinks she is Air Force (inside joke for O’Leary).

Our regular meetings are the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month. (The next one after this evening 3rd and 17th of November). The Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings for October Monday’s are still scheduled for biscuits and gravy and always a cup of Joe (coffee to the civilians).  Keep your eye on the weather in case things have to be postponed. If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print. Also keep up with us at website “americanlegion142.org”.

 

About Gary Lanham

Authors the weekly article "News from the Hut", about local American Legion Post #142 in Hominy, OK. Read his weekly articles in the "Hominy News Progress".
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