Photo: Melanie Rodgers Cox/U.S. Air Force

CATAWBA ISLAND TOWNSHIP, Ohio — While the controversy over whether transgender personnel can serve in the military rages on, there are a few people who experienced exclusion in the armed forces when it was more of a matter of black and white.

Literally.

Harold Brown remembers.

Read More Show Less
(YouTube/WTOC Extras)

Lt. Col. Robert Friend was always glad to share his story with schoolkids — and what a story it was.

Friend, one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen, died Friday at age 99 at his Long Beach, Calif., home.

Not only did Friend fly 142 missions in the iconic black unit in the Army Air Corps, he went on to serve in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Read More Show Less
USAF Photograph by Donna L. Burnett

Retired Lt. Col. Leo Gray, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen who fought in the skies over Europe during World War II, died Friday in his Coconut Creek home. He was 92.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Gregory Williams

Roscoe Brown, the last of the Tuskegee Airmen pilots known to live on Long Island, told his family he did not want an elaborate church funeral. He wanted a jazz band to play instead, and for people to get together over shared stories and maybe a cold beer.

Read More Show Less

As a kid, I spent a lot of time at the beach with my grandparents in Ocean City, New Jersey. I have fond memories, many of them of my grandfather humming something while working or cooking. Once I asked him what song he was singing, and he answered “the Air Corps song.”

Read More Show Less
Photo via Library of Congress

We need to remember and embrace some of the lessons of battlefield excellence that all-black military units displayed during World War II. The perseverance, professionalism, courage, innovation, and sheer guts of all-black military units are significant for a number of reasons. First, the U.S. military was extremely segregated and maintained a structured system of bias toward blacks. Blacks were initially placed in non-combat specialties such as cooks, drivers, and orderlies and they were given second-class equipment and sometimes ineffective combat training. Second, unlike all other military personnel, blacks were told that they wouldn’t and couldn’t be good soldiers.

Read More Show Less
© 2018 Hirepurpose. All rights reserved. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service.