1st Black Air Force Academy Grad Dies

Illustration for article titled 1st Black Air Force Academy Grad Dies

Charles Vernon Bush, the first African American to graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy, died at his home in Lolo, Mont., on Nov. 5 after a battle with colon cancer.


The squadron commander, recipient of multiple medals and a former member of the academy's debate team and rugby teams, was 72 years old. From Our Tri Lakes News:

After graduating in 1963 Bush received his Master of Arts degree in International Relations from Georgetown University in June 1964 and was inducted into the Georgetown chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society…

Included among his many distinguished business and academic activities Bush was an Academy Falcon Foundation Trustee and a guest lecturer at the academy's department of management. He was a diversity consultant for both the Air Force and Air Force Academy.

Bush received many accolades in both his military and civilian careers. While in the Air Force he received the Bronze Star Medal, Joint Services Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.

"A member of the Class of 1963 and the first African-American graduate, Mr. Bush's courage and commitment to enhancing diversity in the United States military will pay itself forward for many generations," Gould added. "The academy family is truly proud to call Mr. Chuck Bush one of our own."


Read more at Our Tri Lakes News.

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