On July 2, 2016, former Tuskegee Airman Roscoe Brown, Jr. pased away at the age of 94. Brown is credited with two kills during the Second World War- an Me 262 and Fw 190. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
After the war, he earned his doctorate in education and taught at New York University. Later on, he became the president of Bronx Community College, a title which he held for 17 years.
“My message to young people is to keep on working. You’ve
got to be better, you’ve got to be disciplined, you’ve got to believe.
And if you believe you can overcome… That’s the story of the
1st Lt. Roscoe Brown of the 332nd Fighter Group, popularly known as the Tuskegee Airmen, scores his first air-to-air victory, downing a German Me 262 of JG 7 on March 24th, 1945, as part of a long range escort mission over Berlin.
It was one of three jets that the African-American fliers, flying P-51 Mustangs, shot down during that mission. The Fighter Group was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for the eight and one half hour mission, the longest flown by any unit of the American Fifteenth Air Force.
Tuskegee Airmen sitting on their Army Air Corps jeep in the ETO (European Theater of Operation), 1945.
“Everything was black or white. They wouldn’t let black officers in the white officers’ club. Someone tried to enforce segregation on the base when we moved to Walterboro [Army Airfield], South Carolina, for our combat training.”
“We went to the movie theater and they had a sign up that said ‘blacks in the back.’ We wouldn’t tolerate that, so we went and sat up in the front of the white section. An MP came by and said, ‘We’ll court-martial you if you don’t move.’ We said, ‘The government has spent $75,000 training us, so I don’t think they’d appreciate us being court-martialed for standing up for our citizen’s rights.’ The next day, the signs were down.“ -Dr. Roscoe Brown (age 93), US Army Air Corps combat pilot, member of the Tuskegee Airmen.
The Tuskegee Airmen went on to serve with honor, receiving 744 awards and decorations during the course of the war, including 95 Distinguished Flying Crosses.