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99th Fighter Squadron Officers

NOTE: For historical photographs or information regarding the Tuskegee Airmen, contact: Maxwell Air Force Base by e-mail at afhranews@maxwell.af.mil or write the Air Force Historical Research Agency, 600 Chennault Circle, Maxwell AFB, Ala. 36112-6424.

Year 2003 marked the 60th Anniversary of the 99th Fighter Squadron's departure from Tuskegee Army Air Field.

The late-Gen. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., former professor of military science and tactics at Tuskegee University, commanded the Squadron. The team of aviators, including 42 officers and 287 enlisted personnel, departed April 2 for Camp Shanks, N.Y., en route to Casablanca, Morocco, North Africa. They arrived on April 24, 1943.

The Squadron moved from North Africa to Sicily, then to Foggia, Italy on Oct. 17, 1943. There the Airmen joined Col. Earl E. Bates, Jr., Commanding Officer of the 79th (White) Fighter Group who integrated the 99th Fighter Squadron. The Airmen remained with the 79th over Anzio in 1944.

The Airmen's success during World War II – not losing a single bomber to enemy fire in more than 200 combat missions – is a record unmatched by any other fighter group.

Their exemplary combat performance, including the destruction of 260 enemy aircraft, earned them more than 850 medals and persuaded then-U.S. President Harry S. Truman in 1948 to issue Executive Order 9981, desegregating the U.S. Military.

Officers of the 99th Fighter Squadron included:

Name Rank Class Duties Hometown
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Lt. Col. 42C Commanding Officer Washington, D.C.
Ashley, Willie Jr. 2nd Lt. 42C Pilot* Sumter, SC
Bolling, George R. 2nd Lt. 42F Pilot Hampton, VA
Brooks, Sidney P. 1st Lt. 42D Pilot Cleveland, OH
Bruce, Samuel M. 2nd Lt. 42H Pilot Seattle, WA
Campbell, William A. 1st Lt. 42F Pilot* Tuskegee, AL
Carter, Herbert E. 1st Lt. 42F Pilot/Engineering Officer Armory, MS
Clark, Herbert V. 1st Lt. 42F Pilot Pine Bluff, AR
Currie, George R. 2nd Lt.   Ordinance Officer Los Angeles, CA
Custis, Lemuel R. Capt. 42C Pilot* Hartfort, CT
Dryden, Charles W. 1st Lt. 42D Pilot Bronx, NY
Freeman, James O. 2nd Lt.   Ord. Det. #99 Jamaica, IL
Fuller, Willie H. 2nd Lt. 42G Pilot Tarboro, NC
Hall, Charles B. 1st Lt. 42F Pilot*** Brazil, IN
Jamison, Clarence C. 1st Lt. 42D Pilot Cleveland, OH
Johnson, Hayden C. Capt.   Adjutant Washington, D.C.
Johnson, James L. Jr. 1st Lt.   Technical Supply Officer Washington, D.C.
Johnson, Maurice E. Capt.   Medical Officer Washington, D.C.
Jones, Elmer D. Jr. Capt.   CO AF Ser Det #99 Washington, D.C.
Knighten, James B. 1st Lt. 42E Pilot Tulsa, OK
Lane, Allen G. 1st Lt. 42F Pilot Demopolis, AL
Lawrence, Erwin B. 1st Lt. 42F Pilot/Assistant Operations Officer Cleveland, OH
Lawson, Walter I. 2nd Lt. 42G Pilot Newton, VA
Letcher, Henry M. 1st Lt.   Transportation Officer Washington, D.C.
Malone, Thomas 1st Lt.   Adjutant/AFSD #99 Detroit, MI
McCullin, James L. 2nd Lt. 42H Pilot St. Louis, MO
Mitchell, Paul O. 2nd Lt. 42F Pilot Washington, D.C.
Pettross, George E. 1st Lt.   Personnel Adjutant Washington, D.C.
Proctor, Bernard S.

1st Lt.

  Mess Officer/Adjutant Glenolden, PA
Purnell, Louis R. 2nd Lt. 42F Pilot Germantown, PA
Rayford, Lee 1st Lt. 42E Pilot Washington, D.C.
Roberts, George S. Capt. 42C Pilot/Operations Officer Fairmont, WV
Roberts, Leon C. 2nd Lt. 42G Pilot* Prichard, AL
Rogers, John W. 2nd Lt. 42G Pilot Chicago, IL
Smith, Graham 2nd Lt. 42F Pilot Ahoskie, NC
Stevenson, Dudley W. 1st Lt.   Communications Officer Washington, D.C.
Thompson, William R. 1st Lt.   Armament Officer Pittsburg, PA
Vincent, Cornelius Jr. 1st Lt.   Intelligence Officer Boston, MA
Watson, Spann 2nd Lt. 42F Pilot Hackensack, NJ
White, Sherman W. 1st Lt. 42E Pilot Montgomery, AL
Wiley, James T. 1st Lt. 42F Pilot Pittsburg, PA
Wimp, Benote H. 1st Lt.   Administrative Supply Officer Chicago, IL

 

*Enemy Aircraft shot down during World War II.

Information provided by 1st Lt. Bernard S. Proctor