The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Hiram Little

Share on Social Media

Information about Hiram Little

Profile image of Hiram Little

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Post Office Manager
Tuskegee Airman

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Hotcakes (McDonald's), Sausage
Favorite Time of Year:
Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Stay

Birthplace

Born:
3/31/1919
Birth Location:
Eatonton, Georgia

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Post Office Manager
Tuskegee Airman

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Hotcakes (McDonald's), Sausage
Favorite Time of Year:
Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Stay

Birthplace

Born:
3/31/1919
Birth Location:
Eatonton
See how Hiram Little is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Post office manager and Tuskegee Airman Hiram Emory Little, Sr. was born on March 31, 1919 in Eatonton, Georgia. When Little was young, his family moved from the rural town of Eatonton to Atlanta, Georgia where he attended David T. Howard Elementary and Junior High Schools. While in junior high school, Little was a charter member of Troop 94, the very first Boy Scout Troop in an African American school in Atlanta.

In 1941, Little enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was trained at the Chanute Air Force Base located in Rantoul, Illinois, as an aircraft armorer in the Tuskegee Aviation Program. Little also served as a part-time instructor at the Cadet Ground School of the Tuskegee Army Air Base in Tuskegee, Alabama. Little served at the Tuskegee Army Air Base until December of 1943, when he applied for flight training. In 1944, Little graduated from bombardier school and in January of the following year, he was assigned to the 477th Bombardment Group as a crew member on a B-25 bomber. By late 1944, the 477th Bombardment Group was assigned to conduct combat training missions, but winter conditions reduced their flying time. They faced constant instances of racism from white officers.

In March of 1945, the 477th Bombardment Group was moved to Freeman Field, Indiana. Although the 477th trained with both the B-25 and the P-47 aircraft, the war ended before the 477th could be deployed overseas into combat. At Freeman Field, tension between white and black personnel increased due to strict segregationist policies. When Little, along with other black aviators, entered the whites’ only officers’ club, they were arrested. They had defied an illegal order issued by the commander of the 447th Bombardment Group. The commander had classified all black officers as trainees and decreed they were not allowed to use the staff officers’ club. Instead, the trainees, who had already graduated from flight school, were required to use a second former NCO club, housed in a run-down building. This event became known as the Freeman Field Mutiny.

On December 1, 1945, Little was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army Air Corps and enrolled at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia to complete his academic studies. While attending Morehouse College, Little was hired to work for the Atlanta U. S. Postal Service. In 1955, he became one of the first African American supervisors in the Atlanta area. Little worked for the U.S. post office until he retired in 1978 as a mid-level manager. In 2005, at the age of eighty, he received a certificate in carpentry from the Atlanta Technical College. Little, along with the remaining Tuskegee Airmen, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President George W. Bush in 2007.

Hiram Little was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 10, 2007.

Little passed away on February 18, 2017.

See how Hiram Little is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Hiram Little's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Hiram Little lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Hiram Little describes his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Hiram Little describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Hiram Little describes his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Hiram Little describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Hiram Little describes his birth
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Hiram Little describes the Spivey Plantation in Putnam County, Georgia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Hiram Little talks about his parents' relationship
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Hiram Little describes his family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Hiram Little remembers the blacksmith on the Spivey Plantation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Hiram Little describes his father's work on the Spivey Plantation
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Hiram Little describes his home in Putnam County, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Hiram Little describes the workers on Spivey Plantation
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Hiram Little recalls picking cotton on the Spivey Plantation
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Hiram Little describes his older brother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Hiram Little remembers his schooling at Texas A.M.E. Church in Eatonton, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Hiram Little remembers moving to Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Hiram Little remembers joining the Boy Scouts of America
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Hiram Little describes his neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Hiram Little recalls David T. Howard Colored Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Hiram Little remembers listening to the radio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Hiram Little describes his parents' professions
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Hiram Little describes his pastimes as a teenager
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Hiram Little recalls his early aspirations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Hiram Little recalls his decision to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Hiram Little remembers Morehouse College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Hiram Little recalls joining the 99th Pursuit Squadron
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Hiram Little describes his duties at Tuskegee Army Airfield
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Hiram Little recalls becoming a bombardier
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Hiram Little describes Sharpe Field in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Hiram Little remembers the Freeman Field Mutiny, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Hiram Little remembers the Freeman Field Mutiny, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Hiram Little describes his duties as a flight officer
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Hiram Little remembers the pilots he admired
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Hiram Little talks about the founding of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Hiram Little remembers receiving the Congressional Gold Medal
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Hiram Little describes the Tuskegee Airmen Inc. organization
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Hiram Little remembers returning to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Hiram Little talks about his wife and children
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Hiram Little describes his career at the post office
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Hiram Little remembers the changes in the post office
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Hiram Little describes his organizational involvement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Hiram Little describes his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Hiram Little describes his work with the Cub Scouts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Hiram Little talks about the speaker's bureau of Tuskegee Airmen Inc.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Hiram Little recalls earning a degree in carpentry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Hiram Little reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Hiram Little reflects upon his legacy and how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Hiram Little shares his advice for future generations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Hiram Little narrates his photographs