On Thursday, a piece of history died when original Tuskegee Airman Herbert Eugene Carter passed away at the age of 95. The retired Army officer died at East Alabama Medical Center, according to the Associated Press. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American pilots trained for combat, in a segregated unit called the 99th Fighter Squadron at the Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University, durring World War II.
After being admitted to the Army Air Corps, they were prohibited from fighting alongside white counterparts and faced severe prejudice, yet went on to become one of World War II’s most respected fighter squadrons, successfully escorting countless bombers during the war.
Carter flew 77 missions and crashed landed only once.
After the war, Carter served as a professor of air science and Air Force ROTC commander at Tuskegee University from 1950-1955 and as professor of aerospace studies from 1965-1969.
“He fought for freedom from tyranny internationally and for freedom from discrimination at home in America. His commitment to excellence and determination to succeed will set the standard for the next generations of Tuskegee Airmen,” university President Gilbert L. Rochon said Friday.
His wife, Mildred Hemmons Carter, who was also a pilot, died in 2011.
Read more at Associated Press.