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WWII: Tuskegee Airman must have some tales to tell

Letter by Ric D. Hillsberg, Olympia on Aug. 23, 2011 at 1:14 pm with 5 Comments »
August 23, 2011 1:14 pm

My wife and I stopped by the Old Country Buffet in Lakewood on Friday, Aug. 19. As we entered, a man and his wife were leaving. I noticed the hat he was wearing; he was a Tuskegee Airman.

He was walking with some difficulty and with a cane and seemed to be in some pain. I wanted to shake his hand and tell him what a honor it was to meet him. I didn’t bother him, but I’ve spent the last few days wishing I had. I wanted to tell him what a inspiration he is, to overcome all the obstacles in his life. I wanted to tell him he is the best of the best.

If he or his lovely wife reads this, maybe he could give me a call and we could sit down and he could tell me tales of World War II.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. Copper2Steel says:

    If the airman misses your letter, be sure to watch for next year’s air show at JBLM. At last year’s air show (it’s an every-other-year event) a couple of Tuskegee Airmen made an appearance, sold and autographed books, posed for photos and told stories. And you’re right — they had some great stories! For me, it was the highlight of the whole air show!

  2. m9078jk3 says:

    I have a new neighbor across the street from me.His friends (who comes over a lot) step father was a Tuskegee Airman named Hugh Warner in the 332nd FG,302nd FS.When I looked up his combat record it turned out that he was on the same combat mission on July 18,1944 on escort duty with the 5th BW to bomb a Luftwaffe Airdrome at Memmingen as my father who was a B-17 Pilot in the 463rd BG in World War 2.Hugh Warner on that date shot down a Messerschmidt Bf-109.They escorted my fathers 5th Bomb Wing (2nd,97th,99th,301st,463rd,483rd BG’s) of B-17’s on quite a few occasions.

  3. All airmen have tales to tell. The Tuskegee Guys have tales in addition to the regular stuff. That’s the difference everyone should recognize.

  4. I can understand the curiosity. However, what most of the curious dont always connect with, is the reality that what many people who weren’t there want to know, is exactly what those who were, want to forget.

    My life has been filled with a number of “wartime heroes”. Of course I have always been curious. But I respect their silence.

  5. My wife and I met a Tuskegee airman at the Black History Museum many years ago. He was proud of his achievements in war and peace time. It was an honor to talk to him. I also went to the Museum of Flight on a Father’s Day several years ago, where they were being honored. I think most of these men want to be remembered and acknowledged for their wartime efforts I think they may want to forget the treatment they received when they returned to their communities.

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