Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.

ALBION'S TUSKEGEE AIRMEN

Morning Star, March 25, 2012 pg. 2

The recent release of the move "Red Tails" in area theaters, and the HBO movie "The Tuskegee Airmen" from the 1990s reminds us of the fact that Albion had four servicemen that served as Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. They were: Robert Chandler, Grover Crumsby, Finis Holt and Richard Weatherford. They were part of a group of around 1,000 black soldiers who were trained at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama to become pilots in the U.S. Army Air Corps. There has been research and write-ups about our local men by others in the past.

On February 22, 1998, our local Tuskegee Airmen were recognized at a reception in their honor at Starr Commonwealth. The event was covered by regional television stations, as well as a presentation by Albion Mayor Kim Tunnicliff. A 45-minute video presentation was aired at the event featuring each Albion man sharing their experiences. Briefly, Crumsby flew in Europe, was shot down behind enemy lines, and spent a month getting back to his unit. Chandler was also a pilot. Weatherford was trained as a pilot but saw no action as the War ended upon his graduation. Holt served as a radio technician.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present the Tuskegee Airman memorial bricks on the Veteran's Memorial Stage at Riverside Cemetery. The first brick states "Tuskegee Airmen of Albion WWII." Adjacent to that are bricks for Weatherford, Crumsby, and Holt. The local American Legion still takes orders for new bricks to be added, and the cost is still $50. This stage is a show-piece of our community when you enter town. Does the veteran in your family have a brick there yet? How many of our readers knew our Albion Tuskegee Airmen?


Tuskegee Airman memorial bricks on the Veteran's Memorial Stage at Riverside Cemetery.

Next: ALBION 100 YEARS AGO, APRIL 1912


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