|Birth: ||Feb. 9, 1907|
|Death: ||Apr. 13, 1996|
Tuskegee Airman, civilian flight instructor. Considered the father of Black Aviation in America. Trainer of the Tuskegee Airmen, including the famed Fighting 99th squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group and the United States Air Force's first all-Black air combat unit. He taught himself how to fly at a young age by reading books and getting tips from White pilots who were willing to be friendly. He officially earned his private pilot's license in 1929 and his commercial pilot's license in 1932(the first Black to accomplish such an achievement). From 1932 to 1934, he made several history-making long-distance flights accompanied by his friend Dr. Albert Forsythe. He and Forsythe became the first African Americans to fly a transcontinental trip from Atlantic City to Los Angeles and back in 1933. The two later flew a goodwill flight to Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, and six other Caribbean countries in their plane named "The Spirit of Booker T. Washington". His flights attracted world-wide attention and was a catalyst for the growth of aviation in African American communities. He went on to teach civilian pilot training courses at Howard University in Washington, D.C. In 1940, he joined the faculty at Tuskegee Institute as head of the Civilian Pilot Training (CPT) program. That same year He took one of his most memorable flights when he flew first lady Eleanor Roosevelt who visited the Tuskegee Airmen training base. The 40-minute flight further advanced the cause of Black Aviation in America. The flight, with Roosevelt led to the eventual creation of the famed "Tuskegee Experiment" and eventually, the Tuskegee Airmen of WWII. He also flew Vice President Henry Wallace from Tuskegee to Atlanta during that period. He touched many thousands of the nation's military and civilian pilots, such as, General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., General Daniel "Chappie" James, Colonel Herbert Carter and other Tuskegee Airmen during the Tuskegee Experiment. He also gave countless free airplane rides to the youth of the world, and was a founding member of the NAI (Negro Airmen International), Black Wings in Aviation. He was an inductee of the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame (1991),The International Order of the Gathering of Eagles (1990), winner of the famous Brewer Trophy (1985), and held many other aviation awards. An Honorary Doctorate of Science was conferred to him by Tuskegee University in 1988. On August 6, 1981, the Federal Aviation Administration established the Anderson Intersection in honor of him. He went on to become the program's greatest mentor and remained so until his death from colon cancer in 1996. His first love remained teaching new students to fly, and he amassed over 52,000 flying hours.
Created by: Curtis Jackson
Record added: Feb 10, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 47974299