Veterans

November 14, 2012

Original member of the Tuskegee Airmen dies


Retired Lt. Col. Herbert Carter, 93, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, died Nov. 8 at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Ala., according to Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford.

Carter was a member of the original cadre of the 99th Fighter Squadron, the first black aviatiors in the U.S. military.

Born Sept. 27, 1919, in Amory, Miss., Carter enrolled at Tuskegee Institute, Ala., with plans to become a veterinarian.
“I wanted to be a pilot for a completely different reason than the Air Corps,” said Carter in October. “At Tuskegee, I was majoring in animal science. My plan was to finish and take veterinary medicine. I would get my private license, go out to Texas, and practice my veterinary medicine, flying from ranch to ranch tending the animals. I did not know that the Air Corps was going to bite me.”

In the 1940s, African-Americans were prohibited to serve in combat areas of the Army Air Corps. Solely based on their race, they were deemed unfit both physically and mentally to fly. This, however, intrigued Carter.

“That was not only an insult, that was a dare,” said Carter. “It was the fact that we had been told that we did not have the smarts or the ability to operate something as complicated as an aircraft.”

Taking the dare, Carter obtained his private flying license while enrolled in Tuskegee Institute. Then, he applied for a newly formed program in which the U.S. Army Air Corps would train black men to become pilots.

Upon earning his pilot wings, Carter was sent overseas as the engineering officer with the original 99th Fighter Squadron. His unit, and other squadrons of the 332nd Fighter Group, compiled an outstanding record of performance in tactical air and ground support of allied armies. Carter himself flew 77 combat missions and 200 tactical air-ground Allied support missions over North Africa, Sicily and Italy, crash-landing only once.

Despite the stresses of military life, Carter remained with the newly formed Air Force even after the war ended.

“The pleasure that I got out of flying with the Air Corps made me volunteer for regular service, and I stayed in for 27 years,” he said.

He retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1969 and became associate dean for student services at Tuskegee University and served in several other important capacities during his time there.

With their contribution to the war effort, Carter and his fellow Tuskegee Airmen shattered the widely held myth that blacks were not capable of serving their country in the arena of flight.

Ford said Carter was a local and a national hero and has ordered all U.S. flags in Tuskegee to be flown at half-mast for Carter, “who so valiantly fought fascism abroad and racism at home, and of whom all in Tuskegee are so justly proud.”

The funeral service is slated for Nov. 15, at the campus chapel of Tuskegee University.

Editors Note: Changes have been made to the article Nov. 14, 2012. The article was written with quotes from an Air University Public Affairs article.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines August 25, 2014

News: U.S. sends second carrier to Asia amid tensions with China - The Navy is sending a second aircraft carrier strike group to the Asia Pacific region amid new tensions with China over a dangerous aerial encounter between a Chinese interceptor and a Navy P-8 surveillance aircraft. SpaceX rocket explodes during test flight - A SpaceX rocket...
 
 

News Briefs August 25, 2014

China says U.S. plane intercept was professional China’s Defense Ministry has rejected U.S. accusations that a Chinese fighter jet conducted a dangerous intercept of a U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft off the coast of China in international airspace. The ministry issued a statement Aug. 23 attributed to spokesman Yang Yujun calling the U.S. accusations groundless. It...
 
 

Ukraine plans $3 billion boost to defense spending

KIEV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s president announced plans Aug. 24 to boost his country’s defense spending by an estimated 50 percent as government forces seek to overpower pro-Russian separatists in the east. President Petro Poroshenko pledged to spend an extra 40 billion hryvnia ($3 billion) by 2017 during a speech marking Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet...
 

 

NASA awards research facilities, engineering support services contract

NASA has awarded a contract for research facilities and engineering support services to InuTeq, LLC of Greenbelt, Maryland, in support of the Mission Information and Test Systems Directorate at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. This cost-plus-award-fee contract covers a one-year base period beginning Nov. 1, 2014 and four one-year options, and is valued...
 
 

Navy Awards General Dynamics contract for LCS planning yard services

The U.S. Navy awarded General Dynamics Bath Iron Works a $100 million contract to provide planning yard services for the Littoral Combat Ship program. General Dynamics Bath Iron Works is a business unit of General Dynamics. Bath Iron Works, as the LCS Planning Yard, will provide maintenance and modernization support for all Navy LCS 1...
 
 
boeing-boc

Boeing, BOC Aviation announce order for 82 airplanes

  Boeing announced Aug. 25 an order by BOC Aviation for 50 737 MAX 8s, 30 Next-Generation 737-800s and two 777-300ERs (Extended Range). The order, valued at $8.8 billion at list prices, is the largest in BOC Aviation’...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>