Black HIStory: Lt. James L. McCullin

 Lt. James L. McCullin

In honor of the passing Memorial Day this edition of “Black HIStory” highlights lieutenant James L. McCullin (Second from Right in the First Row). McCullin, along with  Lt. Sherman H. White Jr., was one of the first black pilots killed in combat in World War II.

A member of the Tuskegee Airmen’s 99th Fighter Squadron, McCullin was summoned to partake in the escorting of a dozen B-52 bombers on July 2nd of 1943. During the escort the bombers were attacked by German fighter pilots off the coast of Sicily. Unfortunately when the airmen returned to base McCullin and White were missing. Despite numerous effort to find the men the was called off several weeks later.

” Military reports for McCullin and White, dated July 3, 1943, say the pilots were last seen a little after 8 a.m. over the southwest coast of Sicily the previous day. The reports say the sky was hazy, with scattered clouds at 9,000 feet, and that the planes were likely lost due to ‘enemy aircraft’, although no one reported seeing either pilot in trouble. Other pilots flying with McCullin and White that day, including [Lt. Col. Benjamin O.] Davis‘s account in his autobiography, back up those reports.”

I’d like to take this moment to acknowledge all of the soldiers and revolutionaries who have given their live for a cause and their country. It is a brand of bravery that is apparent in few. On behalf of my generation and others…

Thank You.

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