Lt. Col. Charles C. I. Williams, a Tuskegee Airman, has died, the president of the Ohio chapter of the airmen's group confirmed Monday, Sept. 23, 2013.
Breaking News Staff
Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Charles C. I. Williams, one of the oldest remaining members of the historic squadron, has died. He was 96.
His death was confirmed Monday evening by Edward Morast, Ohio Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen president. Morast said Williams was a true American hero who deserved every honor he received.
Williams retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1966 after 20-plus years of service.
He became a civil rights pioneer while serving in the military. The Tuskegee Airmen were a part of a military experiment known as The Tuskegee Experiment that took place in the 1940s.
The black pilots were trained on the campus of a small black college called Tuskegee Institute.
The Tuskegee Airmen from the 332nd Fighter Group in World War II became the ancestors of the U.S. Air Force's current 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group.
The black pilots were assigned to Europe in 1944 where their duties included flying P-39s, P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51C Mustangs to escort convoys, protect harbors and conduct armed reconnaissance missions. The pilots of the 332nd employed tactics that allowed them to outmaneuver German aircraft.
Many documentaries and movies have been made about the Airmen, including "Red Tails," produced by George Lucas, which starred Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrance Howard.
Learn more about the life of the Dayton resident tonight at 11 and in Wednesday's edition of the Dayton Daily News and mydaytondailynews.com online.