Obit of the Day: Paul Adams, Tuskegee Airman

Paul Adams, a member of the 332nd Fighter Group, also known as “The Red Tails,“ died on July 8, 2013 at the age of 92.  Mr. Adams was trained with other black pilots at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Mr. Adams, who would retire from the military as a Lieutenant Colonel, joined the training program upon his graduation from South Carolina State University.

The Tuskegee Airman, called “guardian angels” by the bomber crews they escorted during World War II, would fly over 1500 missions in the European theater.

Mr. Adams remained in the Army until 1962 when he retired. Having been transferred to Lincoln, Nebraska, Mr. Adams was hired as a high school history teacher in the city’s public school system – one of the first African Americans to teach in Lincoln. (He would also teach the school system’s first Black history class.)

A former leader of the Lincoln NAACP Mr. Adams retired from teaching in 1982. In 2008 the city of Lincoln named a newly built honored his contributions by naming a newly built elementary school for him. (The Adams Elementary School’s mascot is the “Aviators,“ of course.)

In 2007, Mr. Adams was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal along with all other Tuskegee Airmen for their service during World War II.

Sources: Lincoln Journal-Star,, and Wikipedia

(Image of Lt. Col. Adams, while still only a lieutenant, is a family photo courtest of the Lincoln Journal-Star)

Other Tuskegee Airmen featured on Obit of the Day:

Herbert Carter

William Holloman – my very first post

Luther McIlwain

Arthur Saunders and Raymond L. Johnson

and other African American military pioneers:

Wesley Brown – First African American graduate of the Naval Academy

Earl Hood – A “Montford Point Marine”

Ruth Lucas – 1st African American woman to earn the rank of colonel in the USAF