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Tuskegee Airmen


Prior to World War II, the U.S. military did not permit African Americans to become aviators, in spite of the numerous accomplishments of black civilian pilots during the first decades of the aerial age. By the early 1940s, however, as American involvement in the European conflict intensified, military leaders had grown concerned about a shortage of trained pilots in the United States. Meanwhile, civil rights organizations and black newspapers were publicly urging the military to allow African Americans to fly. Thus, in June 1941, the U.S. Army Air Corps launched an experimental training program for black aviators, located at Tuskegee Army Airfield near Tuskegee Institute, a historically black university in Alabama. Between 1941 and 1946, 966 African American men completed military pilot training at Tuskegee. The "Tuskegee Airmen" formed the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Composite Group of the U.S. Army Air Forces. These mostly black units (often commanded by white officers) completed more than 1,800 missions during World War II, which included 351 bomber escort missions and 112 aerial victories. Their loss record was among the lowest of all American escort fighter groups, and the 332nd Fight Group received the Presidential Unit Citation. 

A memorial tree and plaque, pictured above, stand in Section 46 of the cemetery. Below are the names and gravesite locations of Tuskegee Airmen interred at Arlington: 

Lt. Col. Lee A. Archer Jr.: Section 6, Grave 9215

Lt. Col. Howard L. Baugh: Section 60, Grave 3216

Tech. Sgt. Christopher H. Brown: Section 67, Grave 1773

Lt. Col. Eugene Calvin Cheatham: Section 60, Grave 699

Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Jr.: Section 2, Grave E-311

Col. Ernest J. Davis Jr.: Section 33, Grave 256

Capt. Lawrence E. Dickson: Section 60, Grave 11831

Maj. Elwood Thomas Driver: Section 2, Grave 4955-E

Lt. Col. Charles Walter Dryden: Section 59, Grave 3370

Maj. Joseph D. Elsberry: Section 42, Grave 2804

Col. Vernon Vincent "VV" Haywood: Section 35, Grave 4597

Lt. Col. Henry P. Hervey Jr.: Section 68, Grave 1147

Lt. Col. James A. Hurd: Section 30, Grave 1617-B

Gen. Daniel "Chappie" James Jr.: Section 2, Grave 4968

Gravesite of 2nd Lieutenant Samuel Gordon Leftenant, a Tuskegee Airman

2nd Lt. Samuel Gordon Leftenant: Section MK, Grave 374

Capt. Wendell Lucas: Section 35, Grave 3465

Staff Sgt. Elliott W. Lucas: Section 35, Grave 3465

Col. Vance H. Marchbanks Jr.: Section 3, Grave 1677-C-1

1st Lt. Joseph L. Merton: Section 67, Grave 162

Lt. Col. Armour G. McDaniel Sr.: Section 65, Grave 2822

1st Lt. Ira J. O'Neal Jr.: Section 23, Grave 16912

Brig. Gen. Noel F. Parrish: Section 3, Grave 1667-A

Col. Price D. Rice: Section 68, Grave 2255

2nd Lt. Robert C. Robinson Jr.: Section 34, Grave 2824

Col. Harry A. Sheppard: Columbarium Court 5, Section GG, Column 6, Niche 3

Lt. Wilmeth W. Sidat-Singh: Section 8, Grave 5381

Col. Thomas B. Smith: Columbarium Court 8, Section X, Row 12, Niche 5

Maj. Gen. Lucius Theus: Section 60, Grave 347

Lt. Col. Spann Watson: Section 8, Grave 8384

Lt. Col. Luke J. Weathers: Section 64, Grave 64-2

2nd Lt. Malvin Greston Whitfield: Section 8A, Grave 262

Lt. Col. Bertram W. Wilson: Section 68, Grave 2063

Maj. Eddie Lee Young: Section 59, Grave 56


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