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Col. Will Gunn

U.S. Air Force Colonel Will A. Gunn was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in 1959. Gunn graduated with military honors with his B.S. degree in management from the United States Air Force Academy in 1980. He went on to attend Harvard Law School where he was elected president of the Harvard Law School Legal Aid Bureau and graduated cum laude with his J.D. degree in 1986. Gunn also earned his LL.M. degree in environmental law from the George Washington University School of Law. His military education included graduating from the Air Command and Staff College in 1993; the Air War College in 1999; and, Industrial College of the Armed Forces with his M.S. degree in national resource strategy in 2002.

In 1990, Gunn was appointed as a White House Fellow and Associate Director of Cabinet Affairs under President George H.W. Bush. In 2003, Gunn was named the first ever Chief Defense Counsel in the Department of Defense Office of Military Commissions. In that position, he supervised all defense activities for detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison camp selected for trial before military commissions. This was the first proceedings of this to be conducted by the United States in over sixty years. Gunn retired from the military in 2005 after more than twenty years of service and was named president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington where he led one of the largest affiliates of Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

In 2008, he founded the Gunn Law Firm to provide local representation to military members and veterans in a range of administrative matters. Returning to government in 2009, Gunn was appointed General Counsel in the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. He has published articles in the Ohio Northern Law Review and the Air Force Law Review.Gunn served as chairman of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Youth at Risk. In addition, he served on the boards of Christian Service Charities and the Air Force Academy Way of Life Alumni Group.

Gunn has also received numerous awards and honors including the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau’s Outstanding Alumni Award, the Human Rights Award from the Southern Center for Human Rights, and the American Bar Association’s Outstanding Career Military Lawyer Award. In 2002, he was elected to the National Bar Association’s Military Law Section Hall of Fame. Gunn’s military honors include the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters and the Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster.

Colonel Will A. Gunn was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 21, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.158

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/26/2013

Last Name

Gunn

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Schools

Industrial College of the Armed Forces

George Washington University

Harvard Law School

Air Force Institute of Technology

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Will

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

GUN02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

Just do it.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

12/14/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Military officer and defense lawyer Col. Will Gunn (1958 - ) is the first ever Chief Defense Counsel for the Department of Defense Office of Military Commissions.

Employment

United States Department of Veterans Affairs

Gunn Law Firm

Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington

Office of Military Communications, U.S. Department of Defense

United States Air Force

Pope Air Force Base, United States Air Force

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Will Gunn's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Will Gunn lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Will Gunn describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Will Gunn talks about the significance of Lowndes County as the Black Belt of Alabama and for the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Will Gunn talks about his maternal grandparents' jobs

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Will Gunn talks about his mother's growing up in Birmingham, Alabama and her career in social services

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Will Gunn talks about his family's move to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1962

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Will Gunn describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Will Gunn talks about his father's growing up in Opelika, Alabama, his education at Miles College, and his profession as a teacher

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Will Gunn describes how his parents met, married and moved the family to Fort Lauderdale

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Will Gunn describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Will Gunn describes his family's road trip the summer of 1967, and his inspiration to become a lawyer

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Will Gunn talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Will Gunn describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Will Gunn talks about his childhood home and neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Will Gunn describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Will Gunn talks about going to Dania Beach, Florida as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Will Gunn describes his experience in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Will Gunn talks about his family's involvement in Greater New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Will Gunn talks about why he aspired to become a lawyer

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Will Gunn talks about his interests as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Will Gunn recalls the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Will Gunn describes his experience in middle school in Davie, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Will Gunn talks about his height and his interest in basketball

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Will Gunn describes his experience playing basketball in high school, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Will Gunn describes his experience playing basketball in high school, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Will Gunn describes his academic performance and extracurricular activities in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Will Gunn recalls following the Watergate hearings on TV and his desire to become a lawyer

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Will Gunn talks about his mentors in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Will Gunn talks about his interest in applying to the ROTC programs in college

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Will Gunn talks about his decision to attend the Air Force Academy, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Will Gunn talks about his decision to attend the Air Force Academy, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Will Gunn talks about being accepted into the U.S. Air Force Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Will Gunn describes his experience at the U.S. Air Force Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Will Gunn talks about his mentors at the U.S. Air Force Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Will Gunn talks about playing Flicker Ball at the U.S. Air Force Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Will Gunn talks about his decision to become an Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG)

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Will Gunn talks about various career paths after training at the U.S. Air Force Academy training

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Will Gunn talks about his instructors, General Malham Wakin and Captain Curtis Martin at the U.S. Air Force Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Will Gunn talks about academics at the U.S. Air Force Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Will Gunn talks about playing basketball at the U.S. Air Force Academy and becoming class president

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Will Gunn talks about the U.S Air Force Academy's football and basketball teams

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Will Gunn talks about getting into Harvard Law School on the Funded Legal Education Program (FLEP) program

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Will Gunn talks about his graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Will Gunn talks about his first assignment in the Minority Affairs Office at the U.S. Air Force Academy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Will Gunn talks about his assignment at Hanscom Air Force Base and getting into Harvard Law School

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Will Gunn talks about meeting his wife at Hanscom Air Force Base and getting married in 1982

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Will Gunn talks about his first impression of Harvard Law School

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Will Gunn talks about the people who inspired him to apply to Harvard Law School

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Will Gunn describes his experience and academics at Harvard Law School

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Will Gunn talks about the teachers who influenced him at Harvard Law School

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Will Gunn talks about his mentors at Harvard Law School and his involvement in public service, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Will Gunn talks about his mentors at Harvard Law School and his involvement in public service, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Will Gunn talks about his philosophy on public service

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Will Gunn talks about his involvement with the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) and the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Will Gunn talks about his philosophy in practicing law

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Will Gunn reflects upon the history of race and law in the U.S. Armed Services

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Will Gunn describes his experience in the JAG Corps at Mather Air Force Base

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Will Gunn talks about his responsibilities as Area Defense Counselor and as a Circuit Defense Counsel

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Will Gunn talks about being selected as a White House Fellow in 1990

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Will Gunn talks about his experience as a White House Fellow

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Will Gunn talks about Clarence Thomas' controversial confirmation hearings as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

5$7

DATitle
Will Gunn talks about his decision to become an Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG)
Will Gunn talks about being selected as a White House Fellow in 1990
Transcript
Now I know in the, I've heard anyway there's a height limit in, in terms of being a pilot--$$Yes.$$--but uh, so even though you're in the [U.S.] Air Force would you, could you qualify to be a pilot at 6'7"?$$Yes. When I got to the Air Force Academy I was pilot-qualified. I had the, the thing that throws a lot of people off is the, is actually the eyesight and I had 20/20 vision and so I was pleased. I was happy to be pilot-qualified but flying was never a dream of mine. So I saw being at the Air Force Academy since they produce pilots, I saw being pilot-qualified as just a great a fringe benefit. The fact that, "Hey this is nice, nice to have." But it was interesting. For the first time in my life you know earlier I mentioned changing ambitions as I was coming up, which I don't think is all that uncommon. Well for the first time in my life I was around people at the Air Force Academy that I heard story after story of people saying things like, "Hey when I was like three or four years old and looked up and saw planes flying, I knew I wanted to fly planes." And there were so many people that I came into contact with that were at the Air Force Academy because of the desire that they had to fly and to be a pilot. That was never my passion. So as a senior at Academy because I was still pilot-qualified and just under the height, height requirements I had to take a course, pilot screening course, which led to being able to solo in a single engine Cessna. Well it was an interesting experience because I found myself getting air sick in, in the patterns as I was you know preparing to land and also during different maneuvers and such. And I really believe it was just my body telling me that, "Hey this is not your thing." And so I turned down the opportunity to go to pilot training because I was eventually able to get past the air sickness but it wasn't something that I was passionate about. On the other hand, I did have a couple of pre-law classes at the Air Force Academy. I did very, very well in those and thought that, "Hmm, maybe I want to be an Air Force JAG [Judge Advocate General]," and eventually that, that came to be.$$Okay.$Now in 1990 we have here that you became a White House Fellow?$$Yes.$$How did that come about?$$Well as a senior at the [U.S.] Air Force Academy I had, I had a friend, a young lady who came out for a visit, and she had with her this brochure about the White House Fellows program. And I took, I took a look at the brochure and it had biographies, short bios of the current class of White House Fellows and I saw it and said, "Wow! This is cut-out for me!" And, but ask I saw those bios and saw the things that the people had done at, at that stage in their career, I knew that I was far too junior for it. But I started to send off each year for the application and each application would have the bios of the current class and the, it became a goal of mine to become a White House Fellow. Finally in 1989 I suppose I appli-well actually 1988 I applied for the first time for the White House Fellows program and I made it after filling out the application I made it to the regionals. I had a regional interview in Los Angeles [California] and felt I'd just had a great day but I didn't make it to the national finals. I actually had a mentor, a guy by the name of Pat Sweeny, who is a black JAG [Judge Advocate General], who was a colonel military judge who presided over my, one of my first cases as, as a prosecutor, who talked to me about the program. Now I was already aware of it but he then a Fellow I believe in the, during the [President Ronald] Reagan Administration and early in the Reagan Administration. And so he became a person that I called upon for advice on the White Fellows program. Well that first year as I said when I went for the regional interviews I had a great day but part of the application asked for you to send in a draft or a memo, a policy memorandum proposing some type of policy to the President of the United States. And you know it wouldn't actually get to the president but they wanted to see how well you write, wrote and how, how well you reason. Well my policy proposal that year as, since I was serving as a defense counsel in particular. I said, well I want to write; I wrote about the, how the military should repeal this ban on gay service members because it didn't make sense to me that in all volunteer force we were getting rid of people because they were gay and when, if we came into a time of conflict, that person who's serving and all they'd have to say is "I'm sorry. I have to leave now. I'm gay." And (laughs) that just didn't, didn't strike me as, as making a whole lot of sense. And so I argued the case and so I sent that in as my policy proposal. After finding out that I was not selected, I got a letter from one of the interviewers and he told me that he was disappointed that I hadn't been selected and encouraged me that if I was interested I should reapply. But also told me that while he didn't agree with my policy proposal, he believed that that had distracted some of the other interviewers--$$[unclear]$$--while, during their deliberations, while no one would admit to it he firmly believed that there were some that were uncomfortable with that proposal and therefore they marked me down. Well the next year I, I suppose I was, I didn't keep the same policy proposal. I wrote on something different and that year I got, I got all the way through and I was named a White House Fellow there in the, in early June of, of 1990. And came to [Washington] D.C. [District of Columbia] a few weeks later for a series of interviews to figure out where I was going to be placed and the fellowship year begins right around, right after Labor Day and it was a phenomenal year.$$

Guion Bluford

NASA astronaut, aerospace engineer, military officer, and senior engineering executive, Guion S. Bluford Jr. was born on November 22, 1942 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the eldest of three sons of Guion Bluford, Sr., a mechanical engineer, and Lolita Bluford, a special education teacher. Bluford graduated from Overbrook Senior High School in 1960 and went on to graduate from Pennsylvania State University in 1964 with his B.S. degree in aerospace engineering. He was also a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force ROTC program and received his commission as an Air Force second lieutenant. Bluford graduated from the Air Force Institute of Technology with his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in aerospace engineering in 1974 and 1978, respectively. In 1987, Bluford received his M.B.A. degree in management from the University of Houston at Clear Lake.

After receiving his Air Force pilot wings, Bluford was assigned to the 557th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. As an F4C fighter pilot, he flew 144 combat missions in Southeast Asia. From 1967 to 1972, he was a T-38 instructor pilot at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas where he trained future U.S. Air Force and West German fighter pilots. Upon graduating from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1974, Bluford was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory as Deputy for Advanced Concepts in the Aeromechanics Division and then as Branch Chief of the Aerodynamics and Airframe Branch. In 1978, Bluford was selected for the astronaut program and was officially designated a NASA astronaut one year later. In 1983, he became the first African American to fly in space and the first to receive the U.S. Air Force Command Pilot Astronaut Wings. Bluford was also the first African American to return to space a second, third, and fourth time when he flew on STS-61A in 1985, STS-39 in 1991, and STS-53 in 1992. He has logged more than 688 hours in space.

In 1993, he retired from NASA and the United States Air Force to become the Vice President/General Manager of the Engineering Services Division of NYMA Inc. He led the research support effort in aeropropulsion, satellite systems, microgravity and advanced materials. In 1997, he became the Vice President of the Aerospace Sector of the Federal Data Corporation and led the company’s NASA business. Finally, in 2000, Bluford became the Vice President of Microgravity R&D and Operation for Northrop Grumman Corporation and led the industry team in the development of two experiment facilities currently on the International Space Station. Today, Bluford is the President of the Aerospace Technology Group in Cleveland, Ohio.

Bluford has been awarded the Department of Defense Superior Service and Meritorious Service Medals; the Air Force Legion of Merit and Meritorious Service Medal; the NASA Distinguished Service and Exceptional Service Medals; the Pennsylvania Distinguished Service Medal; the 1991 Black Engineer of the Year Award and fourteen honorary doctorate degrees. He was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1997 and the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2010

Guion Stewart Bluford, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 9, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.165

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/9/2013

Last Name

Bluford

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Stewart

Schools

Air Force Institute of Technology

University of Houston

Pennsylvania State University

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Guion

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

BLU01

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $4000-$7500

Favorite Season

Summer

Speaker Bureau Notes

For commencement speeches in which an honorary doctorate degree is confirmed, no honorarium is charged,

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Do what you love and love what you do.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

11/22/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak, Lobster

Short Description

Astronaut and military officer Guion Bluford (1942 - ) , flew 144 combat missions in Southeast Asia as an F4C fighter pilot and served as a Branch Chief in the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory. He became the first African American astronaut to fly in space on STS-8 (1983, shuttle Challenger), and the first African American to return to space a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th time on STS-61-A (1985, shuttle Challenger), STS-39 (1991, shuttle Discovery) and STS-53 (1992, shuttle Discovery). Bluford retired from NASA and the Air Force in 1993 to become a senior aerospace industry executive.

Employment

Aerospace Technology Group

Northrop Grumman Information Technology

Federal Data Corporation

NYMA Inc.

Johnson Space Center

Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory

3630th Flying Training Wing

12th Tactical Fighter Wing

Favorite Color

Beige

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Guion Bluford's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Guion Bluford lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Guion Bluford describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Guion Bluford talks about his mother's education and her career as a teacher

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Guion Bluford talks about growing up in a non-segregated environment in Philadelphia, and talks about his mother's career, personality and interests

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Guion Bluford describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Guion Bluford describes his father's education, and how his parents met at Alcorn A&M College in the 1930s

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Guion Bluford describes his father's employment as an engineer, and his family's early life in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Guion Bluford describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Guion Bluford talks about his brothers, and about growing up in Philadelphia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Guion Bluford describes the demographics of West Philadelphia during his childhood years and describes his interests as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Guion Bluford talks about his childhood interest in airplanes as well as joining the Boy Scouts

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Guion Bluford describes his experience at the YMCA and what influenced his childhood interest in becoming an aerospace engineer

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Guion Bluford describes his experience in elementary school and junior high school in Philadelphia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Guion Bluford describes his experience in high school in Philadelphia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Guion Bluford talks about his role models in engineering and his interest in pursuing a career in aeronautical engineering

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Guion Bluford talks about his teachers in school, his decision to attend Pennsylvania State University and his encounter with a college counselor

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Guion Bluford talks about his father's struggle with epilepsy, his mother career as a school teacher, and his grandfather's influence on his life

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Guion Bluford talks about his interest in solving puzzles and his decision to attend Pennsylvania State University for his undergraduate studies

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Guion Bluford talks about his graduating class at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Guion Bluford describes his experience as an undergraduate student at Pennsylvania State University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Guion Bluford describes his family's involvement in the Christian Science church

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Guion Bluford describes his fear of heights and hospitals

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Guion Bluford describes his social experience at Pennsylvania State University in the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Guion Bluford talks about his decision to enroll in the Air Force Advanced ROTC Course and join the U.S. Air Force as an engineer

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Guion Bluford talks about how he met his wife, Linda Tull

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Guion Bluford talks about his decision to become a pilot in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Guion Bluford describes his senior year at Penn State University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Guion Bluford talks about graduating from Penn State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Guion Bluford talks about Professor Leslie Greenhill and Professor Barnes McCormick, who were his mentors at Penn State University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Guion Bluford talks about his early married life and the few months following his graduation from Penn State University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Guion Bluford talks about his initial experience on Williams Air Force Base

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Guion Bluford describes his pilot training experience on Williams Air Force Base in 1965

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Guion Bluford talks about Air Force pilot Chappie James and his first assignment out of pilot training in 1966

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Guion Bluford talks about the low percentage of black pilots in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Guion Bluford describes his service as a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot in Vietnam, from 1966 to 1967 - part one

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Guion Bluford describes his service as a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot in Vietnam, from 1966 to 1967 - part two

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Guion Bluford talks about his fighter plane being shot at while he was in Vietnam

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Guion Bluford shares his perspective on the Vietnam War

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Guion Bluford talks about his decision to become an instructor pilot and his experience at Sheppard Air Force Base

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Guion Bluford talks about his decision to pursue graduate school

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Guion Bluford talks about Robert Lawrence

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Guion Bluford describes his experience in the master's degree program at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Guion Bluford describes his decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree in aerospace engineering

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Guion Bluford describes his experience as a doctoral student in aerospace engineering

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Guion Bluford discusses his doctoral dissertation on determining a numerical solution to describe the flow around a delta wing at hypersonic speeds

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Guion Bluford describes his decision to apply for the NASA astronaut program in 1977

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Guion Bluford describes his selection to the NASA astronaut program in 1978

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$2

DAStory

2$5

DATitle
Guion Bluford describes his service as a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot in Vietnam, from 1966 to 1967 - part one
Guion Bluford describes his experience at the YMCA and what influenced his childhood interest in becoming an aerospace engineer
Transcript
So, I got--$$So after--(simultaneous)--$$--I graduated from pilot training [at Williams Air Force Base, Mesa, Arizona], F-4Cs, frontline, Moc II, fighter bomber, Vietnam, Southeast Asia. That was my assignment.$$You were a bomber pilot?$$Fighter pilot. This is fighter pilot--(simultaneous)--$$Fighter pilot, okay.$$This is fighter pilot.$$All right, and you were flying the, what was the plane that you--$$F-4C Phantom.$$F-4C, okay.$$F-4C Phantom, brand new fighter airplane. It used to be a [U.S.] Navy airplane. Then the [U.S.] Air Force liked it and made it an Air Force airplane, "C" version. So after pilot training, I went to, left the wife [Linda Tull] and kids in Phoenix, went to Reno, Nevada to stay there for a space for three weeks of survival school. And then from there, I went down to Davis-Monthan [Air Force Base] in Tucson [Arizona], wife and kids, we all went down to Tucson for two or three months for radar school. And then we went to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, and I flew the machine, learned to fly it, take off, land, refuel, drop bombs, all that sort of stuff, about six months flying, six months. In October of '65 [1965] I sent the wife, and took the wife and kids to Philadelphia [Pennsylvania], got them situated and in October of sixty--not '65 [1965], October of '66' [1966], excuse me, October of '66 [1966], I went to Vietnam. My orders were to go to Ubon Air Base, 433rd Tactical Fighter Squadron. And if I had gotten there, I would have flown for [Daniel] Chappie James [Jr; fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, who in 1975 became the first black American to reach the rank of four-star general] and Robin Olds [fighter pilot and general officer in the U.S. Air Force], two fighter pilots who ran the wing up there. And this would have been primarily, I would have flown Air cap over North Vietnam, primarily, you know, shooting down MiGs, defending thuds [fighter bomber], F-105s, that sort of thing.$$You said, "if" you had gotten there?$$Yeah, I didn't get there. I'll tell you why.$$Okay.$$But that's where I was assigned. So, once I got the wife and kids up in Philadelphia, matter of fact, I left and they were still living with my parents [Harriett Lolita Brice Blueford and Guion Bluford, Sr.] 'cause they had--we didn't have enough time to get an apartment for 'em, and then I left. I was gone for nine months. I went from there to, I flew from there to Travis Air Force Base in California. I hopped a transport with, full of military guys going to Vietnam. The airplane flew from California to Hawaii. We got off the airplane in Hawaii just long enough to stretch our legs, and then we flew from there to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines, great big Air Force base in the Philippines. I got to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines, got off the airplane and they said, have you gone through jungle survival training? And I said, no. So they slowed me up about a week or so, and I took a jungle survival course at Clark, which was exciting, you know, learn how to eat, how to live in the jungle, took classes, did escape and evasion, how to escape and evade in the jungle, POW [prisoner of war] training, all that sort of stuff. While I was there, they changed my orders. They flipped me from there to 12th Tact Fighter Wing, Cam Ranh Bay [Vietnam]. 12th Tact Fighter Wing had deployed all, the whole wing deployed to Cam Ranh Bay. And the, the members of the wing were all finishing up their assignment, and they were coming back. They needed people to replace 'em. And so instead of going to Ubon, Thailand, I went to Cam Ranh Bay and South Vietnam, Twelfth Tact Fighter Wing, a wing of maybe four squadrons and F-4C Phantoms. So we must have had eighty fighters, great, great big fighter base. It was also a transport base, lots of military transports go in there. We had a hospital there, a major hospital facility there, and the [U.S.] Navy had a port there. So it was a great, big--it was a major base. So I flew nine months in Vietnam, and I flew out of Cam Ranh Bay, 144 missions total, dropped bombs all over Southeast Asia, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, Laos. I had sixty-five missions over North Vietnam. Primarily, they were air cover. When I did fly that way, we would take off out of Cam Ranh Bay and fly North. We would refuel just, just below the DMZ [The Korean Demilitarized Zone] between North and South Vietnam, and go up and fly six hour mission, air cap, come back, refuel coming back and then come home, good six-hour mission, did long missions. So lots of triple A. I still remember being shot at by a 85 millimeter. I still remember my last mission where I got deployed, scrambled off the alert path. We had two or three fighters that sat on the alert pad. And as, and they would assign you to the alert pad, which would mean you live in trailers out near the runway, and they would scramble fighters in, if they had an emergency some place. I still remember being scrambled and dropping bombs on active, triple A site in the DMZ between the North and South Vietnam. I still remember seeing all those tracers and all that sort of stuff, still remember flying, coming home one day and having a wing, a bullet hole in the wing. The best missions flying out of Cam Ranh Bay were ground support and supporting the ground guys. You'd fly in--see the [U.S.] Army guys all ready to take a piece of real estate, and you drop bombs on 'em, you drop 500-pound slicks as well high drag bombs, fired rockets. We had, the airplane didn't have a internal gun. So if we had to stray, we had to carry a gun pod which worked some of the time and which didn't work some of the time. It was nine months of doing that.$I was also very involved with the YMCA [Young Men's Christian Association]. In the summertime, my mother [Harriet Lolita Brice Bluford] would give me some money. I would hop the bus and L [subway] and go to the Central Y [YMCA], downtown Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]. And, and that was a major event, you know, in the summertime. I learned how to swim at the Y. I worked out, and they had calisthenics and gym activity, played basketball. I learned to play checkers and chess and ping pong, and I got good enough at checkers--at ping pong and chess that when I was in high school, I was on the Chess Team and on the Ping Pong Team. So it had that. The YMCA was also a major factor in my life because I learned how to make model airplanes, part of being at the Y. We'd get on, I'd get up and go to the Y every day. It would be a full-day activity. But part of it was, I made model airplanes and ships and so forth and so on. So my model building developed at the Y, and that led to my strong interest in airplanes and my desire to eventually, to be an aerospace engineer. Plus, the fact that I liked math, I really like--I'm a math guy. So a combination of all of that just drove me towards being what I wanted to be, an aerospace engineer. And then you copy--you put on top of that the fact that I had a father [Guion Bluford, Sr.] who was a mechanical engineer. Not only was he a mechanical engineer, but he loved what he did. He loved what he did.$$Yeah, I read that he would come, he would leave the house excited every morning.$$Oh, he was, he, he enjoyed--he never brought the, he never brought his work home, but I knew he loved what he did. And that was, that was a very motivating factor for me because that's why I sort of said, "Do what you love, and love what you do," you know, so. So I grew up in that world.

Gen. James Boddie, Jr.

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. James T. Boddie was born on October 18, 1931 in Baltimore, Maryland. Boddie graduated from Fredrick Douglass High School in Baltimore in February 1949. Boddie received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Howard University in 1954, and his M.A. degree in public administration from Auburn University in 1975. In addition, Boddie completed military studies at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1971, and the Air War College in 1975.

Boddie received his U.S. Air Force officer’s commission through the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Program at Howard University, and then earned his wings in 1956. His first operational assignment was with the 560th Strategic Fighter Squadron at Bergstrom Air Force Base that was equipped with the F-84 Thunderstreak fighter plane. Boddie reported to Nellis Air Force Base in 1957 for gunnery and weapons delivery training in the F-100 Super Sabre. Upon completion, Boddie was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Europe Weapons Center in Tripoli, Libya where he served from until 1961. After his return to the United States in February 1961, Boddie assumed responsibilities as commandant of cadets at the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Program at Tuskegee Institute. In 1966, Boddie volunteered for combat duty in Southeast Asia, and was assigned to the 559th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Cam Ranh Bay Air Base in the Republic of Vietnam. In addition to his duties as operations and scheduling officer, Boddie completed a total of two-hundred and one F-4 combat missions, fifty-seven of which were flown over North Vietnam. In 1980, Boddie was promoted to Brigadier General. He then served as aviation director in the Aircraft Management office, at NASA Headquarters, from 1991 to 1996; and, between 2006 and 2008, Boddie served as president of Texas Southern University.

Boddie’s experience as a command and combat pilot includes over five-thousand hours in jet fighter aircraft. His military decorations and awards include the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal, thirteen Air Medals, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon, the Combat Readiness Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. Boddie also wears the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff badge.

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. James T. Boddie, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 28, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.026

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/28/2013

Last Name

Boddie

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

Timothy

Occupation
Schools

Auburn University

Harvard University

Howard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

BOD02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

It is five o'clock somewhere.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

10/18/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak

Short Description

Brigadier general Gen. James Boddie, Jr. (1931 - ) has logged more than five-thousand hours and flown over two-hundred mission as a U.S. Air Force command pilot.

Employment

United States Air Force

Link flight Simulation Co.

Operational Technologies Services, Inc.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Texas Southern University

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Boddie's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Boddie lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Boddie describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Boddie talks about his maternal grandfather, Reverend James Arthur Moore

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Boddie talks about his mother's friendship with Alberta Williams King

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Boddie talks about his mother's growing up in Atlanta, and her family's move to Chicago, Kansas City and Baltimore

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Boddie describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Boddie talks about his father's education and family

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Boddie describes how his parents met and their service in the Baptist church

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James Boddie describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James Boddie describes how he met his wife, Mattie Dwiggins, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Boddie describes how he met his wife, Mattie Dwiggins, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Boddie talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Boddie describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Boddie describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Baltimore and Germantown, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Boddie describes his interest in airplanes, reading and photography

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Boddie describes his experience in school, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Boddie describes his experience in school, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Boddie talks about Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis and the Hindenburg disaster

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James Boddie discusses his and his family's political affiliations

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - James Boddie describes why he chose to attend Howard University in 1949

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Boddie talks about his siblings' education, high school, and his mentor, Lloyd N. Ferguson

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Boddie talks about the people he met at Howard University in the 1940s and 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Boddie explains why he stopped playing football at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Boddie talks about his classmates at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Boddie talks about being commissioned in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Boddie talks about his assignment to primary pilot training in Bartow, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Boddie talks about experiencing racism at primary pilot training in Bartow, Florida, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James Boddie talks about experiencing racism at primary pilot training in Bartow, Florida, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Boddie talks about his assignments to Bergstrom Air Force Base and Nellis Air Force Base for F100 training

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Boddie describes his experience at Nouasseur Air Base in Morocco and at Wheelus Air Base in Libya, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Boddie describes his experience at Nouasseur Air Base in Morocco and at Wheelus Air Base in Libya, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Boddie talks about getting married in 1962

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Boddie describes his combat missions in the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Boddie talks about his experience in Vietnam, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Boddie talks about his experience in Vietnam, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James Boddie discusses the absence of racial problems in Vietnam, and his limited exposure to Vietnamese civilian life

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - James Boddie talks about returning to the United States from his service in Vietnam in 1967

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - James Boddie talks about becoming a major in the U.S. Air Force, and his appointment to the 4457th Technical Training Wing

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - James Boddie describes his relationship to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Boddie talks about the March from Selma to Montgomery in 1965

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Boddie talks about visiting Martin Luther King in Montgomery a day after his house had been bombed

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Boddie talks about working at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and Randolph Air Force Base in the late 1960s and early 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Boddie describes his experience at the Air War College

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Boddie talks about his assignments at Langley Air Force Base and Moody Air Force Base

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Boddie talks about his experience at Osan Air Base in South Korea from 1978 to 1980, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Boddie talks about his experience at Osan Air Base in South Korea from 1978 to 1980, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James Boddie talks about his promotion to the rank of brigadier general, and his retirement from the U.S. Air Force in 1983

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James Boddie talks about the use of flight simulators in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Boddie talks about his role as Director of Air Force Requirements for the Link Flight Simulation Division of the Singer Company

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Boddie talks about his service as Vice President of Operations and Business Development for Operational Technologies Services, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Boddie talks about his service as Director of Aviation for NASA's Aircraft Management Office, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Boddie talks about his service as Director of Aviation for NASA's Aircraft Management Office, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Boddie talks about his company, Genesys Industries, and serving on the Board of Directors of the Military Officers Association

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Boddie describes his decision to move to Plano, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James Boddie talks about his tenure as the interim president of Texas Southern University from 2006 to 2008

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James Boddie talks about the Republican Party's control in Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - James Boddie talks about travelling with his wife, attending ighter pilot reunions, and being diagnosed with cancer

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - James Boddie talks about being a member of the Tuskegee Airmen Organization

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - James Boddie discusses his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James Boddie reflects upon the status of African Americans in the U.S. military

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James Boddie reflects upon this life and career

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James Boddie reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James Boddie talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - James Boddie talks about how he would like to be remembered

Maj. Gen. Alfred Flowers

Major General Alfred K. Flowers was born on December 29, 1947 in Kinston, North Carolina to Annie Miller, a chef and Monroe Flowers, an industrial worker. He was raised by his grandparents who instilled in him a foundation of morals, ethical values and integrity. Flowers graduated from Jones High School in 1965 and enlisted in the United States Air Force at the age of seventeen.

After completing basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base (AFB) in San Antonio, Texas, Flowers was assigned as a supply warehouseman at Grand Forks AFB in North Dakota. In 1967, he served as an air transportation specialist in Da Nang AB, Vietnam. Two years later, Flowers was reassigned to Norton AFB in California, where he met his wife, Ida, who was also serving in the Air Force. After they married, she was transferred to Clark AFB in the Philippines and Flowers secured a joint-spousal assignment to be with her. In 1971, he was appointed to accounting specialist and served seven years in this position. Flowers received his A.A. degree from Thomas Edison University and his B.S. degree from Southern Illinois University. He earned his M.A. degree in 1976 from Ball State University. In 1978, he attended officer training school at the Medina Annex, Lackland AFB and was then commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. He served as a budget officer at several Air Force bases before receiving his M.S. degree from Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1994. Flowers served as Chief of Budget at Headquarters ACC on Langley AFB and in1999, he served as director of Budget Programs for the Department of the Air Force. Flowers served as commander of the Air Force Officer Accession and Training Schools at Air University on Maxwell AFB and commander of the Second Air Force on Keesler AFB. In 2009, he was appointed as the deputy assistant secretary of budget in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller in Washington, D.C. In 2012, after forty-six years of service, Flowers retired from the United States Air Force, making him the longest-serving airman in Air Force history and the longest serving African American in the history of the United States Department of Defense.

Throughout Flowers’ long career with the United States Air Force, he received much recognition including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. Flowers served on the board of directors for the Army Air Force Exchange Service, the Air Force Aid Society and the Air Force Services Agency. Major General (R) Flowers was inducted into the Air Education And Training Command Order of The Sword on April 6, 2012, making him the 244th Air Force inductee since 1967. Flowers is married to Ida M. Flowers and they have one son, Lieutenant Colonel Alfred K. Flowers, Jr.

Alfred K. Flowers was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 28, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.148

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/28/2012

Last Name

Flowers

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

K.

Occupation
Schools

Phillips Crossroad Elementary School

Jones High School

Thomas Edison University

Southern Illinois University

Ball State University

National Defense College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Alfred

Birth City, State, Country

Kinston

HM ID

FLO02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Chateau Elan North of Atlanta, Georgia

Favorite Quote

It is all about attitude.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

12/29/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

San Antonio

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Major general Maj. Gen. Alfred Flowers (1947 - ) served forty-six years in the United States Air Force and was the longest-serving airman in Air Force history when he retired in 2012.

Employment

United States Air Force

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alfred Flowers' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alfred Flowers lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alfred Flowers describes his mother's family background, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alfred Flowers describes his mother's family background, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alfred Flowers talks about his mother and maternal grandparents, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alfred Flowers talks about his mother and maternal grandparents, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Alfred Flowers describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Alfred Flowers discusses his parents and half siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Alfred Flowers discusses his likeness to his grandparents and visiting his mother's home in North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Alfred Flowers describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alfred Flowers describes his earliest childhood memory and recalls the treatment of sharecroppers in North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alfred Flowers describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt.1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alfred Flowers describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt.2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alfred Flowers discusses the death of his maternal grandfather and his decision to join the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alfred Flowers describes his experience as a sharecropper on the Phillips' farm in North Carolina, pt.1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alfred Flowers describes his experience as a sharecropper on the Phillips' farm in North Carolina pt.2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alfred Flowers describes living on the Phillips' land in North Carolina with his grandparents, pt.1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Alfred Flowers describes living on the Phillips' land in North Carolina with his grandparents pt.2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Alfred Flowers remarks on his experience in elementary school and attending racially segregated schools

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Alfred Flowers discusses one of his favorite teachers and his early interest in arithmetic and mathematics

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alfred Flowers describes his high school experiences and teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alfred Flowers discusses his extracurricular high school activities and job as a school bus driver

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alfred Flowers discusses his graduation from high school and interest in joining the military

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alfred Flowers talks about attending church as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alfred Flowers discusses his childhood and growing up poor

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alfred Flowers talks about his decision to join the military

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Alfred Flowers describes his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Alfred Flowers describes working as a supply warehouseman in Grand Forks, North Dakota

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Alfred Flowers talks about his duties in air transportation during the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Alfred Flowers discusses the "Tet Offensive" and other aspects of the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alfred Flowers talks about his return to the U.S. and continuing his service with the Air Force

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alfred Flowers describes how he met his wife, Ida Hill Flowers

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Alfred Flowers discusses being married, while serving in the Air Force

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Alfred Flowers describes his college education and earning his bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Alfred Flowers talks about his son and teaching him the value of a good education

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Alfred Flowers describes his experience living and studying in Crete, Greece

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Alfred Flowers talks about his admission into the U.S. Air Force's Officer Training School after being rejected three times

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Alfred Flowers speaks about the differences between enlisted military and a military officer, and earning his second master's degree

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Alfred Flowers discusses his marriage and military life

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Alfred Flowers describes his experience as First Lieutenant at Tactical Air Command Headquarters in Langley, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Alfred Flowers discusses his work at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Alfred Flowers recounts his career as a Major in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Alfred Flowers describes his return to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama to work for the U.S. Air Force Accession Command

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Alfred Flowers talks about serving as the Air Force Budget Director

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Alfred Flowers comments on his career accomplishments and his retirement

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Alfred Flowers reflects upon his legacy and comments on incidents of misuse of the U.S. Air Force budget

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Alfred Flowers shares stories about financial misconduct and budgetary spending

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Alfred Flowers explains his command philosophy and describes how 9/11 impacted communication between the various branches of the government

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Alfred Flowers discusses his views on race relations in 21st century America

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Alfred Flowers talks about some famous African American military servicemen

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Alfred Flowers talks about his family and former classmates

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Alfred Flowers talks about his son

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Alfred Flowers describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Alfred Flowers comments on having respect for the elderly and talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Alfred Flowers describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

7$4

DATitle
Alfred Flowers describes living on the Phillips' land in North Carolina with his grandparents, pt.1
Alfred Flowers describes his return to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama to work for the U.S. Air Force Accession Command
Transcript
So, now, did you have--when you were a kid, did you have any carefree time to roam the woods or to do, you know--$$Not very much. You know, I started working like an adult at 10 years old on the farm and going to school. One of the things that my grandparents impressed upon me was that, "You were going to finish high school. We couldn't afford to send you to college, but you were going to finish high school." And I recall, you know, we, my grandparents, when they would get a few dollars, we--I told you, we raised chickens and hogs, and the hogs we used were primarily for the meat. We would kill hogs every year usually in December or January when it got cold. You kill the hogs, and then we had an old smokehouse and, you know, we fry out the fat and made our own grease. It was called lard, and that's what we cooked with and, you know, that's why we all have hypertension. We cook with the lard, and then we would take the meat, and my granddad will cut it up and hang it in the smokehouse, and they would smoke it. So we'd make our own bacon, our own ham, our own sausage, everything. Smoke that stuff, and that's what we would eat on during the year. The chickens that we raised, they would lay eggs, the chickens would. And my grandmother would sell the eggs for fish. That old fish man would come buy twice a week, and she'd sell a dozen of eggs for a dollar and 25 cents, and buy five pounds of fish. It was really bartering; it was trading one good for another. And that's how we got the fish most of the time, except during the summer when my grandfather was selling corn, tobacco, and he'd have a few dollars. Then sometimes he would stop by the fish market on the way back home after a sale and buy five pounds of fish for a dollar and a half or whatever the type of fish cost. But most of the things that we ate we grew ourselves in the garden or our hogs or chickens. Occasionally, we go hunting or somebody would kill rabbits or catch rabbits and we'd have rabbit. You'd go fishing with a net called "shadding" during the spring, and we'd catch shad, and that would be a delicacy because shad, the eggs in the female shad were called roes. They called them roses (sic). Actually, it was caviar and we didn't know it (laughs). So, we had caviar early in life and weren't smart enough to know that we were eating fish eggs. I thought it was great. But that was another means of survival with fish. When we couldn't afford to buy it, we'd try to catch it. But, it's--.$Then I got an opportunity unlike any financial guy could ever expect. I got the opportunity to go to Maxwell in Command, the Accession Command, Air Force Officer Accession and Training Schools, which I had the Officer Training School, which I had been a member of in 1978. It was now moved to Maxwell Air Force Base, though I had the Officer Training School, had all of Air Force R.O.T.C. across the country, 144 colleges and universities where we had R.O.T.C. and 980 or so crosstown schools that fed into those 144 primary schools for R.O.T.C., and 869 high schools where we had Junior R.O.T.C. in the U.S. and 14 overseas, with a total of student population of about 115,000 high school students in Junior R.O.T.C. The opportunity to command that and impact the officer force that we were bringing into the Air Force, about 530 a year out of O.T.S., and about 1100 from R.O.T.C. that we were bringing in officers each year; and then that 115,000 students that we were teaching how to be citizens in a great citizenship program in Junior R.O.T.C. It was just awesome. I don't--I think that's probably one of the jobs that I've had, one of the opportunities to impact the most lives across the country of young adults and young folks in high school, that our objective was to make them better citizens as they grew up to become adults. It was just an awesome responsibility, and one that I will cherish all my life.$$Did that for about a year and a half, and then I got the opportunity to go command the Second Air Force. And I am the first financial person in the history of our finance community to command a numbered Air Force. No one else in the controller community has ever commanded a numbered Air Force. To go command Second Air Force, Second Air Force was all of the training, technical, nontechnical, all that; the R.O.T.C. and all that stuff. If it was training other than Pilot Training, it fell under Second Air Force to include Basic Training where I started. So I had the opportunity to back to Lackland Air Force Base frequently and observe and to tweak as we needed to; Basic Training, all of the Technical Training other than Pilot Training, to include Space and Missile Training for the Air Force. We ran about 40,000 a day on Lackland Air Force Base, and some 2,500 courses a year that we taught Technical Training around the world as the Second Air Force Commander, another awesome responsibility.$$That's when you were in Mississippi, right?$$That's when I was in Mississippi, the Headquarters of the Second Air Force.$$This was in 2008--starts with 2008?$$Yes, sir. From 2008. May of 2008 to September of 2009.

Maj. Gen. Marcelite Harris

Major General Marcelite J. Harris was born in Houston, Texas on January 16, 1943 to Cecil O’Neal Jordan and Marcelite Terrell Jordan, Sr. Harris graduated from Kashmere Gardens High School before attending Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1960. After graduating from Spelman with her B.A. degree in speech and drama in 1964, Harris enrolled at Lackland Air Force Base for military training and then joined the Women in the Air Force (WAF) program. She also earned her B.S. degree in business management from the University of Maryland.

Harris enrolled in an Aircraft Maintenance Officer Course at Chanute Air Force Base, Illinois in 1970. One year later, Harris was named a maintenance supervisor for the 49th Tactical Fighter Squadron at the Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand. She successively held the positions of job control officer and field maintenance supervisor at the 916th Air Refueling Squadron at Travis Air Force Base in California. In 1975, Harris was named personnel staff officer and White House social aide under the Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter presidential administrations before becoming an air officer commanding for the Cadet Squadron 39 at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Harris then served as the maintenance control officer for the 384th Air Refueling Wing at McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas. She was the first woman to hold the post of commander of the 384th Avionics Maintenance Squadron at the McConnell Air Force Base in 1981 before assuming the role of commander for the 384th Field Maintenance Squadron. In 1982, Harris was named the director of maintenance at the Pacific Air Forces Logistic Support Center at Kadena Air Base in Japan. Four years later, she became deputy commander for maintenance at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi. Harris was the first women to hold the positions in those just listed.

In 1990, Harris took the position of vice commander for the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker Air Force Base and later became the director of technical training at the Air Education and Training Command Headquarters at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas. In 1994, Harris was named director of maintenance at the U.S. Air Force Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Before retiring from the Air Force, Harris helped to establish a permanent office for the Committee on Women in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), within its military committee.

Harris’s tenure with the Air Force saw her rise from the rank of Second Lieutenant in 1965 to Major General thirty years later, becoming the first ever African American Female General.
Harris joined the United States Alliance as Director of Operations Support and Logistics Processes in 1999. She also served a brief time as the chief of staff for New York Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein. In 2010, Harris was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as a member of the Board of Visitors for the United States Air Force Academy. She has been featured in Ebony and was the recipient of the Trailblazer Award by the Black Girls Rock Foundation. Harris is listed in many Who’s Who publications.

Maj. Gen. Marcelite J. Harris was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 21, 2012.

Harris passed away on September 7, 2018.

Accession Number

A2012.074

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/21/2012

Last Name

Harris

Maker Category
Middle Name

J

Occupation
Schools

Spelman College

University of Maryland

Harvard Kennedy School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Marcelite

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

HAR33

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Let your reach far exceed your grasp.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

1/16/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Barbecue

Death Date

9/7/2018

Short Description

Major general Maj. Gen. Marcelite Harris (1943 - ) is the first African American woman ever to be named General in the United States Air Force and the first African American woman ever to become a Major General in the Department of Defense.

Employment

New York City Board of Education

United Space Alliance

United States Air Force

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:16324,173:26860,281:30976,393:31320,398:31664,403:47104,691:77490,1053:80834,1087:97581,1332:99525,1399:108272,1497:108667,1503:109220,1512:111748,1564:124693,1734:130796,1778:131363,1786:134117,1830:134603,1842:135332,1854:139058,1906:139382,1911:139868,1918:140435,1927:141002,1935:149934,2032:162310,2232:162590,2237:164340,2290:165320,2307:171480,2462:173510,2495:176170,2546:176870,2560:177990,2597:193200,2781:211120,2953:211570,2961:218416,3089:219824,3119:223650,3137:227210,3191$0,0:38130,508:73415,913:77648,1024:77980,1029:104260,1254:118450,1403:139250,1738:139700,1748:141906,1771:150244,1871:160430,1955
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marcelite Harris' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marcelite Harris lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marcelite Harris describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marcelite Harris talks about her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marcelite Harris describes her maternal great-great grandfather's life as a slave and his success as a blacksmith as a free man

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marcelite Harris talks about her mother's growing up in Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marcelite Harris describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marcelite Harris talks about her parents' education and their life in Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Marcelite Harris talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Marcelite Harris talks about her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Marcelite Harris describes her likeness to her father and Pilgrim Congregational Church

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Marcelite Harris describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marcelite Harris describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marcelite Harris talks about her experience in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marcelite Harris talks about her personality and her interests as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marcelite Harris talks about her family's first television set

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marcelite Harris describes her experience in junior high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marcelite Harris talks about attending high school in Houston during the era of segregation, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marcelite Harris talks about attending high school in Houston during the era of segregation, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marcelite Harris talks about her favorite teacher in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Marcelite Harris talks about her experience in high school and going to the senior prom

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marcelite Harris describes her extracurricular activities in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marcelite Harris describes her decision to attend Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marcelite Harris talks about here experience at Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marcelite Harris talks about majoring in speech and drama at Spelman College and President Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marcelite Harris discusses the Civil Rights Movement and her involvement in the Student Movement while attending Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marcelite Harris discusses the Civil Rights Movement and the Student Movement in Atlanta in the early 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marcelite Harris talks about Lonnie C. King, Jr., and reflects upon the problems faced by the African American community

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Marcelite Harris talks about looking for a job in theatre, law school, and becoming a teacher in the Head Start Program

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Marcelite Harris describes her decision to join the U.S. Air Force in 1965

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marcelite Harris describes her experience in officer training school at the Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marcelite Harris talks about her assignment in the 60th Military Airlift Wing at Travis AFB

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marcelite Harris talks about her assignment at the 71st Tactical Mission Squadron at Bitburg Air Base in West Germany

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marcelite Harris talks about her experience as an African American and as a woman in the U.S. Air Force in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marcelite Harris talks about being titled as 'Miss Zero Defects' at Bitburg Air Base in West Germany

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marcelite Harris talks about being assigned as a maintenance analysis officer and the role of women in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marcelite Harris talks about her experience at maintenance officer school at Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Marcelite Harris talks about her experience as maintenance supervisor for the 49th Tactical Fighter Squadron in Thailand

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Marcelite Harris talks about having to fire a master sergeant

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Marcelite Harris recalls handling a difficult situation concerning the inspection of ten F-4 planes

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Marcelite Harris explains how on-the-job training helped develop her leadership skills

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Marcelite Harris comments on the war in Vietnam

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Marcelite Harris describes her experience as job control officer at Travis Air Force Base

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Marcelite Harris talks about taking charge of the field maintenance squadron

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Marcelite Harris explains her supervisor's philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Marcelite Harris talks about standards in the military that were aimed at blacks and their hair

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Marcelite Harris comments on the lack of recognition for black culture in the military

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Marcelite Harris talks about being a member of the Air Force Management Improvement Group

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Marcelite Harris talks about being a White House aide and being promoted to Major

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Marcelite Harris talks about her experience as Air Office Commanding at the Air Force Academy, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Marcelite Harris talks about her experience as Air Office Commanding at the Air Force Academy, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Marcelite Harris talks about her marriage to her husband

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Marcelite Harris describes her promotion to lieutenant colonel and the birth of her daughter

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Marcelite Harris talks about her performance reports and being commander of Pack Aff Aircraft Logistics

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Marcelite Harris talks about her assignment to Keesler Air Force Base in 1986

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Marcelite Harris talks about the publicity she and her family received after she was promoted to brigadier general

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Marcelite Harris discusses the roadblocks to her promotion as Major General

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Marcelite Harris discusses her participation in NATO's Committee on Women, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Marcelite Harris discusses her participation in NATO's Committee on Women, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Marcelite Harris talks about her retirement, her high blood pressure and the death of her husband

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Marcelite Harris discusses her post retirement activities, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Marcelite Harris discusses her post retirement activities, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Marcelite Harris talks about her political plans and activities

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Marcelite Harris describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Marcelite Harris talks about the burdens for minorities in the military and befriending Daniel "Chappie" James

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Marcelite Harris reflects upon her legacy and her regrets

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Marcelite Harris discusses her family and how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Marcelite Harris describes her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

7$7

DAStory

4$2

DATitle
Marcelite Harris discusses her participation in NATO's Committee on Women, pt. 2
Marcelite Harris discusses the roadblocks to her promotion as Major General
Transcript
I went to NATO. I met quite a few people; especially African American and women officers. And I took my women officers to NATO with me, took Tenecia with me, and there in Brussels; sat around the table, and I kind of outlined what I wanted. I didn't fill in the middle, because that is what I wanted the committee to do, was to fill in the middle of it. So when we had the meeting in NATO that next year, that's what I had them do. I broke everybody up, and I let them decide, "which committee do you want to work on?" Well, the British girl, who wasn't even a part of the committee anymore, the colonel from Britain, was all upset with me because I had--she wanted to--she had a way that she wanted it to be, but she was no longer on the committee; I'm in charge. You know, we gone(sp) do it my way. She wrote this letter about how Britain is abstaining from everything, and the British don't like this, and the British--and she passed it out to everyone of my members. I was livid. I told her--I had a closed meeting. The meetings in NATO were open, and you could bring as many military folks or civilians, or what have you, in there. So I just had a closed meeting, and I talked to those young ladies, and was older than all of them; they were so young. All the other services have women who are so much, you know, that are new to this function of air force, and the Portuguese are probably the latest to come in in the utilization of women. So I talked to them, and I told them about what was happening, what was going on and about loyalty, and what we do here. Everyone of them said, we don't feel this way, you know, general, we don't feel this way. I said okay. So we organized that way. And I was concerned about the treatment that the American women receive from countries where NATO was located--NATO forces were located and from some of the countries that NATO--the NATO--the U.S. people would be working with. Some of those countries, women are still subservient, and not in the progressive position that we are in the United States. And the expectations for my women, the U.S. women, probably would be a lot higher. So what I did is I got the United States to establish a pay-for position in NATO that would look after--it's kind of like the Committee on Women in the air force, the services, WAF [Women in the Air Force] and the WAC [Women's Army Corps] and all of those kind of ser--of things. They would look at the issues that impacted the women in those various countries and see what can be done, and to work with the NATO senior officers there to see if they could do some influence. I got all kind of kudos from the commander there from NATO on what we had done as a committee and what I had done as a committee. Got to go to Turkey. That was--the Turkish finally had it--had the committee, and got to go there. My trip to Turkey, I was still in charge, for some reason, I was retired then, though, on my trip to Turkey. But the Service paid my way--brought me in and paid my way and everything, because I was still a (unclear) and took me back. And we finally led the U.S. Got another U.S. delegate in for the remainder of the conferences.$But I'm also a woman who has some unique demographics. My career was nontraditional career field for women, I'm African American, I'm a woman and I'm a general. So I was called to sit on so many promotion boards. So many promotions boards that when it came my time to go up for two stars, my boss knocked me down. Here I get started again with my boss knocking me down on my performance report. And he said, "I did that because I think you need to stay under me a year longer because they pull you away from so many things." And I told him, I said, "You just don't work the assignment system with the promotion system. If you wanted me a year longer, don't block my promotion--block my promotion to keep me there." Well, the next year had to be '93 (1993), yeah, had to be '93 (1993), I guess. Anyway, that year, he came again when I'm supposed to be rated for general, two-star general, and he calls the four star and said, "Okay, you can promote Marci this time." And the four-star general said, "You killed Marci last year." So he tried--this is Joseph Spiers(sp). I'll never forget him. And so he gets me assigned under a four-star general at air education and training command in '93 (1993). And I worked for General Visoyal(sp). I had worked for him for three months, and he called and he said, "You're really good', he said, 'but you haven't been here long.'" So he rated me number three out of his six generals--six brigadier generals. He had more generals. But six brigadier generals, one stars. I didn't get promoted again. And I just couldn't take it. I said, "Okay. I'm going, I'll get out." He called me and he said, "I can't make you any promises, but why don't you stay in, and let's see what happens." Well, the next year, he rated me number one, and I got picked up for major general, even after all those strange reports I got in my records.$$So this was 1995?$$Yeah. I think I pinned on major general in '96 (1996).

Col. Norman McDaniel

Retired United States Air Force Colonel Norman A. McDaniel was born on July 27, 1937 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The son of sharecroppers Fannie Marie and Clyde Oliver McDaniel, he graduated as the valedictorian of the Armstrong High School Class of 1955. He attended North Carolina A&T State University, participated in the AFROTC program, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U. S. Air Force (AF) upon receiving his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering in June, 1959.

After entering AF Active Duty, McDaniel completed a series of military trainings. From 1961 to 1964, he served in the 23rd Bomb Squadron at Travis AFB, California, and then, was assigned as a Sub-Systems Program Manager on the F-111 Aircraft Development Program at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. In 1966, McDaniel was assigned to Takhli Air Base (AB) in Thailand, where he flew combat missions over North Vietnam. On July, 20, 1966, McDaniel and four of his five crew members became prisoners of war (POWs) when their plane was shot down. While a POW, he was promoted to the rank of Major and was awarded the AF Silver Star for valor and leadership in the POW camps. As one of over 700 American POWs held by North Vietnam, McDaniel was released on February 12, 1973, as part of Operation Homecoming. After returning from Vietnam, he completed the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia and graduate school at the Florida Institute of Technology (earning his M.S. degree in systems management). Between 1975 and 1987, McDaniel completed tours of duty as a System Program Staff officer at AF Systems Command, Andrews AFB, Maryland. He also served as Division Chief for Congressional Activities and Acquisition Policy at Headquarters USAF, the Pentagon; commander of AFROTC at Howard University in Washington, DC; commander of the Air Force Survival Training Wing in Spokane, Washington; and as Assistant Deputy to the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (AD,DUSD) for International Programs and Foreign Disclosure Policy, the Pentagon. During that period, McDaniel also completed the Naval War College, Senior Program at Newport, Rhode Island. After retiring from active duty in 1988, he worked in the defense industry. From 1991 to 2006, McDaniel was a Faculty Member, Department Head, and Associate Dean at the Defense Acquisition University in Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. He currently works for himself as a motivational speaker, and part-time, as a Facilitator of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) helping men and women separating or retiring from U.S. military services to succeed in their transition from military to civilian life.

On September 18, 1998, McDaniel served as the keynote speaker at the Pentagon's celebration of National POW/MIA Recognition Day in honor of all of the former POWs, unaccounted for service members and civilians, and their families. McDaniel's military honors, include the Silver Star for Valor, three Legions of Merit, Bronze Star with "V" Valor Device, three Distinguished Flying Crosses (the POW medal), the Purple Heart and the Vietnam Service Medal with fourteen bronze stars. McDaniel is married to Jean Carol (Breeze) McDaniel. They have two children, Christopher and Crystal, and four grandchildren

Norman A. McDaniel was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 8, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.052

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/8/2012 |and| 6/18/2012

Last Name

McDaniel

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Occupation
Schools

Armstrong High School

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

Florida Institute of Technology

Virginia Technical University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Norman

Birth City, State, Country

Fayetteville

HM ID

MCD06

Favorite Season

Spring

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida, the Beaches, Mountains in the Summer

Favorite Quote

Make the best of today because today is all you have.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

7/27/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Dessert

Short Description

Colonel (retired) Col. Norman McDaniel (1937 - ) served in the United States Air Force for twenty eight and one half years, achieving the rank of Colonel. He was one of the few African American POWs during the Vietnam War and earned (among many decorations) a Silver Star of Valor for his leadership.

Employment

Inverness Technologies Facilitation

Motivation Assistance Corps

Defense Acquisition University

United States Air Force

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Norman McDaniel's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel talks about his grandfather seeing Union soldiers pass through Fayetteville, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Norman McDaniel describes his father's work as a sharecropper

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Norman McDaniel talks about his older siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Norman McDaniel talks about his younger siblings, pt.1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel talks about his younger siblings, pt.2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel describes how his parents met and talks about the rural, black school system

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel talks about the break-up of his family

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel describes his earliest childhood memory and the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel talks about his schools

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Norman McDaniel talks about the military as a viable career track for African American men

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Norman McDaniel comments on his high school experience and attending church in North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel talks about the revival meetings he attended at his church when he was a boy

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel talks about his interest in engineering and joining the U.S. Air Force ROTC

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel talks about his family members who served in the military and the high school he attended

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel talks about the various jobs he had in high school and his parents' separation

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel talks about where he lived during his parents' separation and graduating from the U.S. Air Force ROTC

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel talks about his teachers and mentors from college, the Civil Rights Movement and going into active duty

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Norman McDaniel talks about his training in the U.S Air Force

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel discusses the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and his wedding anniversary

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel tells the story of how he and his wife met

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel describes the U.S. Air Force's B-52 bomber planes

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel speaks about his assignments at Travis Air Force Base and Wright Patterson Air Force Base

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel talks about being assigned to Takhli Air Force Base to fly combat missions over North Vietnam

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel describes flying in combat missions on the EB-66C, a medium-sized bomber

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Norman McDaniel gives his impressions of Thailand

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel talks about his experience in flight combat on an EB-66B aircraft with a six-person crew, pt.1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel talks about his experience in flight combat on an EB-66B aircraft with a six-person crew, pt.2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel explains the purpose of electronic reconnaissance

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel describes being captured by Vietnamese soldiers

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel talks about his survival in a North Vietnamese POW camp, pt.1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel talks about his survival in a North Vietnamese POW camp, pt.2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Norman McDaniel's interview

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel describes the Vietnamese soldier's interrogation tactics, pt.1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel describes the Vietnamese soldier's interrogation tactics, pt.2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel talks about how the U.S. Army prisoners at the North Vietnamese POW camp organized themselves

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel explains his position on the Vietnam War

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel discusses the ex-Vietnam POW's review of the U.S. Army Code of Conduct

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel explains how his love for his family helped him withstand torture at the North Vietnamese POW camp

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Norman McDaniel describes his incarceration at the POW camp in North Vietnam

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Norman McDaniel describes how he was tortured at the POW camp in North Vietnam

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel comments on how his survival training prepared him for his experience as a POW in Vietnam

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel talks about what happened to his combat flight crew after their plane went down in Vietnam

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel explains the types of information his Vietnamese interrogators wanted

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel discusses the number of African American POWs in the Vietnam War

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel tells a story about black and white prisoners at the POW camp in Vietnam

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel talks about prison life at the Vietnamese POW camp after the Paris Peace Talks

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Norman McDaniel describes the prison facility in Vietnam where he was incarcerated

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Norman McDaniel describes the food the prisoners ate at the Vietnamese POW camp. pt.1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel describes the food the prisoners ate at the Vietnamese POW camp, pt.2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel discusses the differences in the way prisoners were treated in North and South Vietnam

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel talks about U.S. soldiers' response to capture in Vietnam and a package mistakenly given to him at the POW camp

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel talks about the photos his wife received of him while he was incarcerated in the Vietnamese POW camp

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel remarks on the length of his captivity in Vietnam

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel discusses the long range effects of his capture and torture in Vietnam

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Norman McDaniel describes how his faith in God helped him survive incarceration in the Vietnamese POW camp

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Norman McDaniel talks about the crisis of faith he experienced during his captivity in Vietnam

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel describes his release from the Vietnamese POW camp in 1973, pt.1

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel describes his release from the Vietnamese POW camp in 1973, pt.2

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel talks about his return to the United States from Vietnam

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel discusses his adjustment to civilian life

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel speaks about disciplining his children after being held captive in Vietnam

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel discusses returning to college and his career training U.S. Air Force air crew members, pt.1

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Norman McDaniel discusses returning to college and his career training U.S. Air Force air crew members, pt.2

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Norman McDaniel discusses his work as Commander of the U.S. Air Force ROTC at Howard University

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel shares highlights from his career in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel discusses his professional work and activities, following his retirement from active duty in 1988

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel recites a poem he wrote during his incarceration in the Vietnamese POW camp

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel talks about his experience with post-traumatic stress disorder, pt.1

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel talks about his experience with post-traumatic stress disorder, pt.2

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Norman McDaniel talks about learning how to manage his post-traumatic stress disorder

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community and shares how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$2

DATape

4$9

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Norman McDaniel talks about his training in the U.S Air Force
Norman McDaniel describes his release from the Vietnamese POW camp in 1973, pt.2
Transcript
Alright, so when you were commissioned, uh, you went right to training and you went to California first?$$No, what happened was I, when I went on active duty, I went to, I was going to navigator training. So, I went to Lackman Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas for two weeks for what they call navigator pre-flight training. And once I finished those two weeks at Lackman Air Force Base in San Antonio, I actually took my basic navigator training at James Connelly Air Force Base in Waco, Texas. So, I went up to Waco, Texas and was up there for about ten months. I completed navigator training there and this was then in the spring of 1960. Now, once you complete basic navigator training, at that time you had a choice to either go into navigator work in the transport airplanes as a navigator, or you could go to radar intercept officer training at that time with the Air Defense Command, where you'd be the back-seater of the fighter interceptors that protected the United States at that time. You know, Captain Chaney was the head of that for awhile there in the 70's. Um, or you could go into what they called bombardier upgrade training. That is, you would go to Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento, California and upgrade to the B-52's and those kinds, where you would be the bombardier. Or, the fourth choice was you could go to electronic warfare officer training at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. Because I had a mechanical engineering background, technical background, I chose to go into electronic warfare. So, in the spring of 1960 I left James Connelly Air Force Base in Waco, Texas and moved to Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi where I stayed for almost a year, well, about nine months going through electronic warfare training. Now, once you completed electronic officer warfare training, you would be assigned to fly in the B-52's and the B-58's, I guess--the B-58's, or the B-47's. They had some B-47's at that time. And depending on where you graduated in the class, they had a certain number of assignments available, but you could get your pick depending on how high you ranked in the class. And I wanted B-52's, so I chose the B-52's. And so, in the spring of 1961, uh, I was assigned to Travis Air Force Base [Fairfield, California] in the B-52-G aircraft. But, by way of going to Travis, we went through about three months of what they call combat crew training at Castle Air Force Base in Merced, California. And after completing that combat crew training in the B-52's, then I moved on to Travis Air Force Base, where I performed as an electronics warfare officer in the B-52-G's, from the summer of 1961 until the summer of 1964. Now, in the B-52's, you had a pilot and a co-pilot up front. You had a navigator, a regular navigator, and a radar bombardier in the back downstairs. And then you had an electronic warfare officer and a gunner position we set up top behind the pilots. And so, that's how I performed. We went on training missions. We, at that time had to pull nuclear alert, because at that time we were afraid that the Soviet Union might try something. And we would spend about ten to twelve days a month--we would be sitting on nuclear alert. And that is where you're in a position, if you've got an emergency war order to launch, you had to launch and be off the ground in two or three minutes. And we had designated targets to hit. Um, we, the plan was to re-fuel while you were in flight, but we had designated targets in the Soviet Union to hit, and you would hit those targets. Now, they told us that we would have enough fuel after we hit our targets to go to a safe landing, but I'm not sure that was the case. I think they just wanted us to hit the targets, because I think we probably would have run out of fuel somewhere along the way. But, um, that was part of our responsibility. And we also flew something we call nuclear alert missions about twice a month, called chrome domes. Those were 24-hour nuclear alert missions, where you'd go up and you would stay airborne, because see, we didn't want the Soviet Union to catch us with all of our planes and weapons and bombs and ammunition on the ground. So, we would fly. And our route, we'd take off from Travis Air Force Base about 5:00 in the afternoon. We'd fly from the west coast to the east coast, fly up the east coast up over Iceland, up across Alaska, back over to the west coast, and fly back down the west coast from Washington State on down, and it was 24-hour missions. That was interesting. One other quick thing about that is that I was sitting on nuclear alert when the late President [John F.] Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.$Okay. We were released in groups of 125 in 1973, between February and April. And, uh, we were released in the order of capture. Those captured first were released first, those captured last were released last. Well, the first release was from Everett Alvarez, August, 1964, the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, to Ken North, an F-105 pilot that was shot down in September of 1966. That put my crew, these five members of my crew, about 12 or so, from the end of that group, from the last part of that group. It turned out when we found out that we were included in that first group, we also discovered that some of the fellow prisoners who had some illnesses or some long-standing things wrong with them who needed to come out with the very first group that came out, were not included in that list. They just took them strictly by the date of shoot down and capture. So, we were a little bold then. We felt we could argue with the captains a little bit. (laughter). So, we started agitating for them to add those people to the list who needed to come out first, um, since a lot of them were not included on that list. So, what the North Vietnamese did, instead of just benevolently adding those to the list, for each person they added to the list, they took one off. So, a couple of days before we were actually released, uh, they had cut my crew in half. Uh, three of us came back with the first group on February 12, 1973. The other group came back, the other two came back about ten days later with the next group. Now, one of the things that upset the pilot, our aircraft commander Bill Means, was that he said "Well, we all went down together, and we all should come back together." But that's the way we came back. Now, when we were released, we were taken from the prison camp, uh, early on the morning of release, to Gia Lam Airport which is the airport there in Hanoi [Vietnam]. And then the United States--uh, North Vietnam allowed the United States military to fly C-141 medical evacuation planes into Gia Lam Airport to pick us up, to take us back. So, we all were bussed from the prison camp to Gia Lam Airport. And then, uh, there was a little exchange table set up. You had the Vietnamese on one side, and the U.S. on the other side. And so, as the Vietnamese would identify us and call our names, and make the marks on the record, then they would hand us over to the Americans. I will never will forget the full colonel, I forget his name, but I never will forget the face. Boy, one of the faces I liked more than anything I ever saw in the world. It was just such a nice thing, to see a friendly face. So, uh, then they handed us over to the U.S., shook our hands, put us on the plane and then we flew out. There were three planeloads that came out in that first group of 125, and, uh, it wasn't until we broke ground heading out of Gia Lam back to the Philippines, that we really felt like we were out of there. Now, when we took off, everybody was quiet. And then when the plane got airborne, everybody just yelled. The nurses and the medics were all happy to see us. Now, again, uh, I participated in the euphoria and all that, and the celebration, but I didn't feel anything. I knew we were coming out, but I didn't feel a thing. So, when we got to the Philippines, what happened was we landed at the Philippines. They kept us at the Philippines, in the Philippines, at the hospital at Clark Air Base, for two, three, four days depending on what your medical situation was. They wanted to check, evaluate you, see if you didn't have any contagious diseases, see that you weren't so crazy that they couldn't bring you back to the States, and all that. And then after two or three days there, depending on the individual, they then flew us on back to the States by way of Hawaii.

Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis

Colonel and federal government appointee Roosevelt Joseph Lewis, Jr. was born on August 25, 1943, in Greenville, Alabama to Clara Nell Mitchell Lewis and Roosevelt Joseph Lewis, Sr. Lewis and his family moved to Toulminville, Alabama when he was four years old; and he graduated as valedictorian from Heart of Mary High School in 1960. In 1964, Lewis received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Tuskegee University (formerly the Tuskegee Institute) in Tuskegee, Alabama. He earned his M.A. degree in transportation and business management from the University of Alabama in Tuscalossa, Alabama.

While attending Tuskegee University, Lewis enrolled in the United States Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps and met aviation pioneer Alfred “Chief” Anderson, who was the chief flight instructor and mentor to the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. By 1968, Lewis gained recognition for his superior performance in the ROTC and was elected "Best Major in Command" by his unit in 1968, 1969, 1982 and 1988.

Lewis served the United States government's Department of Defense in five Pentagon positions, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense. As the chief of Vehicle Programs, he purchased the $3.4 billion vehicle fleet for the U.S. Air Force and managed a $34.8 billion budget as Executive Officer of the Logistics Engineering branch, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.

Lewis was a presidential scholar at the University of Alabama and served as a congressional intern with the Public Works & Transportation Committee for the U.S. House of Representatives. Lewis has also taught transportation courses for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the University of Maryland. In addition, he was previously former secretary of the Alabama Aeronautics Commission.

Since his retirement in 1991, Lewis has focused his efforts on aviation training for new pilots and has guided over 300 of them in obtaining their licenses. Lewis also serves as chairman and CEO of Air Tuskegee Ltd. and Global One Jets. He also owns historic Moton Field, where most of the Tuskegee Airmen, including his mentor, “Chief” Anderson, learned how to fly.
Roosevelt Joseph Lewis Jr., was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 6, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.246

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/6/2007

Last Name

Lewis

Schools

Heart of Mary High School

Toulminville Elementary School

St. James Major Catholic School

Tuskegee University

University of Alabama

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Roosevelt

Birth City, State, Country

Greenville

HM ID

LEW11

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

There Are These Three: Faith, Hope And Love, And The Greatest Of These Is Love.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Birth Date

8/25/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Coden

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Blue Bell Ice Cream

Short Description

Colonel and federal government appointee Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis (1943 - ) served the United States in five Pentagon positions, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He is chairman and CEO of Air Tuskegee Ltd. and Global One Jets. He is also the owner of Moton Field, where most of the Tuskegee Airmen were trained as pilots.

Employment

United States Air Force

Tuskegee University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his maternal family history, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his maternal family history, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his great-grandmother Lula Lewis

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his two maternal grandfathers

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis shares memories of his maternal grandparents and annual family reunions in Greenville, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis recalls her mother's generosity in his childhood neighborhood in Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his mother's childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his maternal ancestry

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his father's childhood in Greenville, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his father, Roosevelt Lewis, Sr., pt.1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his father, Roosevelt Lewis, Sr., pt.2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his father's career at the International Paper Company

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his father's death and his respect for his parents

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his father's training as a medic in the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes how his paternal great-grandmother, Lula Lewis, lost her land

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis recalls his experience of growing up on a farm

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about how his parents met and their courtship

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his parents' move to Mobile, Alabama where his father worked at the International Paper Company

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his family's move back to Mobile, Alabama after his father returned from military service

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his siblings, pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his siblings, pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his family's first home in Toulminville, at that time a suburb of Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis remembers watching his neighbor, Hank Aaron, play broom ball

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood neighborhood in Toulminville, a suburb of Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his childhood experience of segregation in Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes the stores and schools in Toulminville, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis remembers learning to play tennis

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his elementary school years at Toulminville Elementary School, originally a Rosenwald one-room schoolhouse

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his father's work and education

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his family's conversion to Catholicism and his Catholic schooling

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his experience at Heart of Mary High School in Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis recalls winning scholarships that enabled him to go to college

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis remembers a tragic fire in his childhood home

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes the aftermath of a tragic fire in his childhood home

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his first days at Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his first flight with C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his experience at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his early years in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis remembers being attacked by the Ku Klux Klan in Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes another incident with the Ku Klux Klan, and why he did not participate in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis remembers getting shot at while working for TISEP, The Tuskegee Institute Summer Education Program

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about why he chose a behind-the-scenes role during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about being stationed at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his decision to go to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his wife and his daughter

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson, who introduced him to many Tuskegee Airmen

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his involvement with the East Coast Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. while interning in the U.S. House of Representatives

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about the influence of the Tuskegee Airmen on him and his "P's of Success"

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about the importance of the Tuskegee Airmen's story and his role in telling it

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his early career and his two-year tour at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina while working for the Pentagon

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about working at the Pentagon and his time with the U.S. Air Force in the Philippines

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis recalls his promotion to the rank of colonel

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes how the Tuskegee Airmen influenced him in his U.S. Air Force career

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his responsibilities in the Philippines as a U.S. Air Force Colonel, and in Operation Earnest Will

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his decision to return to Tuskegee University to save Moton Field and to teach air science

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his aviation students at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his goals at Tuskegee University and the establishment of the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about the importance of a flight training program at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis recalls outstanding students that he has trained

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis reflects upon the influence of his parents and C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson on his life

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis shares his advice for youth

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$8

DAStory

1$5

DATitle
Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis describes his first flight with C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson
Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis talks about his responsibilities in the Philippines as a U.S. Air Force Colonel, and in Operation Earnest Will
Transcript
So you're on the field [Moton Field, Tuskegee, Alabama] and you see Chief Anderson?$$Yes, C. Alfred Anderson, "Chief" Anderson to those who were in the Tuskegee Aviation experiment, America's first black military pilots got their first seventy hours of flight training at Moton Field, a field owned by Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama]. This man had just landed in his airplane and totally ignored the three young men who had shown up, and he gassed the airplane up and we were standing there and we got closer and closer and closer and finally we're standing next to the airplane and we're looking never saying anything, but just looking. Chief Anderson turned around says, "Hi, I'm Chief Anderson," put his hand out, said "Would you like to go for a flight?" The other two guys just kinda almost fell down getting back out of the way, Chief nudged my elbow, helped me in the left seat, told me to put the seat belt on, put your heels on the floor, toes on the rudder pedals, left hand on the wheel, right hand on throttle, crank the airplane up, when he got in the other side and off I went in this airplane all over the place, it was like an anaconda snake or something but Chief Anderson was an individual who was just an absolutely incredible instructor. I know now as a pilot that he put his shoes on the outside of the rudder pedals and I could only do so much with the airplane, but he would have you think that you were actually flying the airplane and more and more he would turn over the airplane to you as you gain hand and eye coordination and skills and what have you, but I went for this first magical flight for thirty, forty minutes over Tuskegee, came back in and landed and it had truly broadened my horizons. I was truly struck by the fact that I no longer saw Tuskegee as this big place that I had to walk from one end down here all the way up to the Tompkins Hall and over to the Chapel and what have you. I found out that Tuskegee was a finite place, I saw the borders. I asked questions, I was totally fascinated with the idea of flying an airplane. He taught me how to turn the airplane, how to make the airplane climb gradually, how to make the airplane descend gradually, how to maneuver the airplane and told me about controls and speeds and what have you. You can only get so much in a short period, but in that flight I think the realization came over me that "I think I can do this," then "I know I can do this," and then "I have to do this," so from that point on flying became an absolute integral part of who I was.$So is that what happened with your next position?$$Yes, in the Pacific, I was sent out there--twofold reasons. Number one, I had all of this Pentagon experience; they needed a senior colonel on the ground in the Philippines to make sure that the [Corazon] Aquino Government was supported. I worked with the Embassy; they knew I knew logistics so the Pentagon needed somebody there very quickly to fix things in case that is what was needed. My "day-time job," not working with the Embassy, my day-time job was overseeing the DOD [Department of Defense] Air Lift Operation and the mobility program in the Pacific [theater]. So for half the world I was responsible for mobility, and I had the Eighth Mobile Aerial Port Squadron there and the 74th Strategic Airlift Squadron there, so I was a group commander, and I had all of the detachments out there in the Pacific responsible for air lift operations. I kept fresh fruits and vegetable parts all of that in front of the [U.S.] Navy task forces, I fed the [U.S.] Army any air lift things they needed to come in, the Navy, the [U.S.] Marines--I air lifted them for mobility, all of those kinds of things. And also in the Pacific, Operation Earnest Will, a one-baker-one [ph.] presidential directive, the first one I saw in my entire career, but I was responsible directly to the Pentagon for getting to Diego Garcia [Air Force Base] and running this operation. I don't know if you remember this but there was the mining of the Persian Gulf by Khomeyni in Iran. This was an international incident, the world was on pins and needles because nobody knew what anybody else was gonna do. Khomeini mined the Persian Gulf; the oil tankers could not come through there. President [Ronald] Reagan said, "this will not stand." President Reagan wanted France to let us have overflight rights. They wouldn't let us do it, so we had to airlift minesweeping helicopters that dragged boards we call them, in the water to get rid of the mines. We had to airlift them three quarters of the way around the world from the States, East Coast all the way around the world on a C-5, multiple C-5s we did that. I received them, they came through in the (unclear) received them, was there, we got the job done, but most of the world doesn't know that President Reagan had five cocked B-52s orbiting over the area during that operation, but the USS Guadalcanal, a carrier, a small carrier was on the way to the Persian Gulf, turned around and came back. This was supposed to be super-secret, nobody knew anything. And on CNN, right after I pulled the helicopters off of the C-5s and the Navy guys got the, got them airworthy and they flew them and put them on the Guadalcanal, it was on CNN that the USS Guadalcanal has just come into the lagoon at, oh my--Diego Garcia, so I was involved in this absolutely incredible thing, it worked out thank goodness, but I came back from the Philippines to a job after a bit of an epiphany.

Col. Frederick Drew Gregory

Federal government administrator and aircraft commander Col. Frederick Drew Gregory, Sr. was born on January 7, 1941 in Washington, D.C. to Francis and Nora Gregory. The nephew of medical pioneer Dr. Charles Drew, Gregory grew up in a tight-knit family in Washington, D.C. He developed an interest in flying as a teenager and frequently attended air shows. After graduating from Anacostia High School in 1958, Gregory briefly attended Amherst College and American University before enrolling in the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He received his B.S. degree in 1964 and later obtained his M.S. degree in information systems from George Washington University in 1977.

Upon graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Gregory underwent pilot training for a year before serving in Vietnam as a rescue pilot. He earned numerous military decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1967. Gregory returned to the United States, where he was assigned as a missile support helicopter pilot flying the UH-1F at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. In 1970, Gregory was selected for test pilot school before being loaned to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as an engineering test pilot in 1972. At the suggestion of General Benjamin Davis, the first African American general in the Air Force and a former Tuskegee Airman, Gregory applied to the astronaut training program in 1976 and was selected as one of thirty-five astronauts by NASA in 1978.

In April 1985, Gregory's first mission to space on the space shuttle Challenger launched from Kennedy Space Center. He served as the lead capsule communicator during the 1986 Challenger accident in which all seven astronauts onboard were killed. In 1989, Gregory became the first African American space commander when he commanded the mission STS-33 on board the space shuttle Discovery. With the completion of his third space mission on the space shuttle Atlantis in 1991, Gregory was appointed Associate Administrator, Office of Safety and Mission Quality at the NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. In 1993, Gregory retired as a colonel from the Air Force after logging more than 6,976 hours of flying time in over fifty types of aircraft and 550 combat missions in Vietnam. Gregory continued to work with NASA and in 2001 was promoted to NASA Deputy Administrator. After head Administrator Sean O’Keefe left NASA, Gregory served as Acting Administrator of NASA, the first African American to hold this position.

Gregory and his wife Barbara Archer have two adult children, Frederick and Heather.

Col. Frederick Gregory was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 27, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.215

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/27/2007

Last Name

Gregory

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Drew

Schools

Mott Elementary School

Benjamin Banneker Academic High School

Sousa Middle School

Anacostia High School

United States Air Force Academy

George Washington University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Frederick

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

GRE11

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cruises

Favorite Quote

You Are Significant And You Will Contribute.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/7/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Federal government administrator and aircraft commander Col. Frederick Drew Gregory (1941 - ) was an astronaut, the first African American space commander and the first African American Deputy Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Employment

United States Air Force

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:880,33:1980,44:7760,110:22964,333:23276,338:23978,390:28268,504:28736,511:29360,521:29672,526:33728,606:43600,727:47125,812:47875,830:48550,845:54898,907:57604,958:58260,970:58588,975:58998,981:60638,1007:61048,1013:61458,1019:65609,1045:66232,1054:67033,1063:67834,1073:75844,1159:76645,1170:78870,1207:82608,1256:85170,1277:85530,1282:86070,1291:86700,1299:87060,1304:88050,1319:89400,1339:90120,1348:94530,1380:100065,1393:103227,1410:117012,1673:117678,1683:117974,1688:120268,1715:123746,1766:124190,1773:125078,1795:129060,1827:129300,1832:129840,1844:130080,1849:130620,1862:131400,1879:134798,1911:140572,1989:141874,2000:143083,2014:145640,2037:145948,2042:146641,2067:148643,2101:149413,2112:160241,2213:160686,2220:164068,2255:165047,2275:165492,2281:178214,2357:179430,2373:179810,2379:184066,2449:190246,2502:200158,2685:205124,2714:206160,2732:207660,2746$0,0:3080,18:3720,28:4600,40:5000,46:8280,105:10040,132:24118,302:35206,467:37631,493:46085,599:46685,610:47960,628:48710,639:49010,644:80268,1039:85880,1073:86868,1091:87172,1096:87476,1106:87932,1113:90288,1140:90592,1145:92112,1180:94164,1205:99484,1301:102904,1354:104272,1381:111643,1429:113749,1458:114073,1463:117151,1522:117799,1535:119500,1568:125335,1597:125944,1605:126379,1611:133304,1699:133796,1707:134288,1719:152604,1847:156660,1896:157748,1923:162780,2031:164820,2073:169286,2099:169671,2105:171288,2131:173444,2177:175061,2213:176139,2234:177140,2257:177679,2265:182045,2311:183002,2322:184655,2347:185786,2368:200968,2530:208020,2615:208370,2621:209560,2638:210190,2648:210540,2654:210820,2663:214010,2680:222422,2783:227910,2864
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Col. Frederick Drew Gregory's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers his maternal uncle, Dr. Charles R. Drew

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory talks about his maternal relatives

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers his community in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes his earliest childhood memories, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes his earliest childhood memories, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes the Southeast neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers U Street in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes his early influences

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls school desegregation in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes his high school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes his aspiration to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls his nomination to the U.S. Air Force Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls his experiences of discrimination in the South

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory talks about his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls his start at the U.S. Air Force Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory talks about race relations at the U.S. Air Force Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes his education at the U.S. Air Force Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls his aspiration to become a U.S. military pilot

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers his pilot training

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers serving in the Vietnam War, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers serving in the Vietnam War, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls returning from the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory reflects upon his U.S. military service in the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls his transition to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers becoming an astronaut

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory reflects upon his career as an astronaut

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls meeting the Apollo 11 astronauts

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory talks about his media recognition as an astronaut

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers the Challenger disaster

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls the aftermath of the Challenger disaster

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory talks about his experiences of spaceflight

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers visiting Madagascar

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory talks about researching his ancestry in Madagascar

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers commanding space shuttle missions

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes the physical sensation of spaceflight

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory remembers his retirement from NASA

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory recalls his acquaintances with U.S. presidents

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Col. Frederick Drew Gregory shares a message to future generations

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

7$6

DATitle
Col. Frederick Drew Gregory describes his aspiration to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy
Col. Frederick Drew Gregory talks about his experiences of spaceflight
Transcript
(Simultaneous) What year did you graduate?$$Nineteen fifty-eight [1958].$$And what were your thoughts at that time? What did you wanna do next? And who influenced you (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) I wanted to, oh, my dad [Francis Gregory] was my major influence, or my mentor. We'll talk about that, but he was my guide. I, in high school [Anacostia High School, Washington, D.C.], I definitely wanted to go to the Air Force Academy [United States Air Force Academy, Colorado]. The school had not really opened at that point, but during one of the air shows, while I observed the demonstration, Air Force demonstration team, the Thunderbirds, I was fascinated by them. And I talked to one of the pilots when he landed, after they landed. And I said, "How can I become a Thunderbird?" And he said, "You should go to this school they're building in Colorado called the Air Force Academy." And so I think at that point, I decided that I wanted to go there. And that would have been, let's see, the first class graduated in '59 [1959]. This was probably somewhere between '55 [1955] and '56 [1956] or '57 [1957], sometime in that time frame when the school was being built. But the class, but the school had not been occupied yet or had not been used. So I think at that point, I decided that that's where I wanted to go. And, however, there was parental influence to follow in my ancestors' foot- schools, school systems. My grandfather [James Francis Gregory] on my father's side had gone to Amherst [Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts], graduated in 1908, I'm sorry, 1898, and my uncle, Charlie Drew [Charles R. Drew]--so this is on the Drew side, had graduated from Amherst in 1926. And so I think I was the stucky [ph.], I was the (laughter) chosen person. And so I was admitted to Amherst, but it was very clear to me that that is not, that was not the place I wanted to go. And so I told my dad that, and I think he knew that. And so he, the Air Force Academy required a congressional nomination. And so he went into the halls of [U.S.] Congress, as I understand it, and approached every black congressman and asked if he would, I don't think there were any shes, but all hes, would take a chance and nominate me for the Air Force Academy. The first year, I was identified in one of the congressmen's list. We took tests--at that time, they would designate a principal nominee and alt- and then alternates. So there would be one principal and ten alternates. And this particular congressman identified a guy named Chuck Bush [Charles V. Bush], Charlie Bush, to be the principal. There were ten alternates, and I was number ten. Chuck passed and was accepted. None of the other alternates passed except for me.$You had done some research, experiments while piloting or co-piloting the Challenger?$$We had, the pilot commander had some limited role in the experimentation that was going on. I mean our principal job was to maintain the orbiter and provide the environment that the, you know, the smart guys could work in. I was one of the youngest on that flight. I was in my forties at the time, and so myself and Norm Thagard [Norman E. Thagard], who was one of the mission specialists, were the two trained to do an EVA [extravehicular activity] if there was a contingency that required it. That did not exist so I suspect I was the only pilot ever trained as a walk in space, EVA. We had shifts and so Bob Overmyer [Robert F. Overmyer] was a commander, and he kind of oversaw one shift, twelve hour shift, and I was the overseer of the other shift, as that first shift would sleep. You know, we just essentially switched back and forth.$$What was it like? I mean describe the experience, weightlessness?$$Yeah.$$What was that like? What's space like?$$Space is fantastic. When you fly, you will know that you're either a earth person or a deep space, and I think I was more of a deep space. Deep space, space to me, it's, it looks two dimensional, but it's very deep. To me, it's like black velvet with diamonds on it and somebody shining a light on, fascinating. And then you realize that the stars you see are separated by significant differences. It just takes that amount of time for the light to get to you. So some things, some light that you see may have been emitted by this star 10 million years before and it just got to you. You watch the earth and you're traveling at about seven miles a second. It takes an hour and a half to circle the earth. So your sense of distances is, is greatly changed and challenged. Your sense of neighbors changes because, you know, what do you define as a neighborhood? Probably something that's easily accessible. Well, when you fly across the Atlantic Ocean in about fifteen minutes, folks in Europe are just kind of neighbors. And well, you can't discern boundaries on the ground. So you, you know, you fly across the country, the United States, and you can't tell Iowa from Texas. I mean there's nothing there that would allow you to say, ah, that's definitely Oklahoma. But you can't tell that. The same with Africa and Europe. As you moved into Eastern Europe, you can't tell the difference. And you wonder why these folks hate each other, but you can't tell any difference. So it's my belief that all of the politicos ought to go fly before they start making arbitrary decisions about this and that, ethnicity, religion and culture and things like that. It's just not apparent from space. It was, it had such an impact on me that when I came home, what I wanted to do was go meet my neighbors.

Lt. Col. Donald Campbell

Academic administrator and lieutenant colonel Donald Russell Campbell was born on September 14, 1935 in Elizabeth, Louisiana to Luvenia and John Estes Campbell. Campbell obtained his A.A. degree from Phoenix College in 1956. Upon completion of Phoenix College, Campbell received his B.A. degree in history and political science with a minor in speech and Spanish from Arizona State University. After graduating from college, Campbell married Elizabeth Hosley on August 20, 1960, and he had two sons, Derek and Darren. In 1961, Campbell attended the University of Arizona School of Law before withdrawing from the program one year later. Campbell was also awarded his Ph.D. in education administration, business and economics from Arizona State University in 1980.

Campbell continued pursuit of his education and served in a variety of roles throughout his career. Starting as a broker and partner for Webb, Williams, and Berry Realty in Phoenix, Arizona, he worked from 1956 to 1964 and began his military service in Europe during the “Berlin Build Up”. In total, Campbell devoted twenty-eight years of service to the Arizona Air National Guard. After his military service in Europe, Campbell returned to the United States and worked for the City of Phoenix in the Human Resources Development Department from 1966 to 1969. There, Campbell became the Director of the Concentrated Employment Program, a jointly sponsored pre-employment training program between the U.S. Department of Labor, the Phoenix Urban League and the Arizona State Employment Office. In 1972, Campbell worked for Arizona State University as the Director of the Center for Services to the Disadvantaged, and later, in 1975, as the Director of Community Services, where he specialized in coordinating special interest courses for the entire Arizona State University service area.

In 1982, Campbell was also elected to the Maricopa County Community College District Board. During his twenty -five years of service on the Board, Campbell served as the Governing Board President in 1987, 1996, 2001 and 2005. He also was elected Governing Board Secretary in 1986, 1995, 2000, 2004 and 2007. Campbell pursued other endeavors including service on the Phoenix Aviation Advisory Board, the Consortium of Black Organizations for the Arts, and the NAACP.

Campbell passed away on December 30, 2017 at age 82.

Accession Number

A2007.206

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/13/2007

Last Name

Campbell

Marital Status

Married

Schools

Arizona State University

Booker T. Washington Elementary School

Paul Dunbar Lawrence School

Mary McLeod Bethune School

Herbert Hoover Junior High School

Phoenix Technical High School

Phoenix College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Donald

Birth City, State, Country

Elizabeth

HM ID

CAM09

Favorite Season

None

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

Keep hope alive.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Arizona

Birth Date

9/14/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Phoenix

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

12/30/2017

Short Description

Academic administrator and lieutenant colonel Lt. Col. Donald Campbell (1935 - 2017 ) was a long standing member of the Maricopa County Community College District Board and a retired military veteran. Campbell was the first African American to be accepted into the Arizona Air National Guard and the first African American in the Alabama National Guard.

Employment

Webb, Williams and Berry Realty

CIty of Phoenix

Arizona State Employment Service

Arizona State University

Campbell & Associates

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:5320,95:13965,227:14440,233:28632,404:30594,425:32447,451:34518,484:35935,521:62568,988:82942,1361:101360,1597:102460,1609:103160,1619:103560,1624:126878,2052:131766,2198:133834,2233:134304,2239:137782,2318:146190,2353:149798,2422:151558,2447:173016,2947:173835,2955:174303,2967:188480,3160$0,0:2916,78:18910,410:21310,444:22310,456:28410,557:28910,563:29310,568:33810,638:37610,733:38010,738:38610,745:43110,824:46850,831:48085,849:48940,859:49605,888:57560,975:59935,1011:65065,1243:66205,1262:71050,1425:91090,1607:92406,1633:95696,1682:96166,1688:103047,1712:110175,1799:110868,1807:112056,1817:114927,1912:115323,1917:119778,2021:124728,2130:133870,2233
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lt. Col. Donald Campbell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell remembers his paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell describes the community of Elizabeth, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell remembers segregation in Elizabeth, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell describes the sounds of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell remembers his early education

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell recalls his family's move to Westlake, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell remembers his father's death

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell recalls his family's move to Phoenix, Arizona

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell describes the Booker T. Washington School in Phoenix, Arizona

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell remembers the Matthew Henson Public Housing Project in Phoenix, Arizona

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell describes his grade school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell talks about his religious upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell remembers picking cotton

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell describes the Mary McLeod Bethune School in Phoenix, Arizona

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell recalls his move to Oakland, California

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell describes his experiences in Oakland, California

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell remembers his mother's death

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell describes his older sister's family

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell remembers his return to Phoenix, Arizona

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell remembers graduating from Phoenix Technical High School in Phoenix, Arizona

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell describes his college education

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell remembers meeting his wife, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell remembers meeting his wife, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell recalls the University of Arizona College of Law in Tuscon, Arizona

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell remembers joining the Air National Guard

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell talks about integrating the Air National Guard, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell talks about integrating the Air National Guard, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell describes his U.S. military service in Europe

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell recalls implementing the War on Poverty in the City of Phoenix

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell describes the War on Poverty

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell recalls working at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell talks about his children

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell talks about the drug epidemic

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell recalls serving on the Phoenix Aviation Advisory Board

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell recalls his work for the Roosevelt Elementary School District

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell recalls his election to the Roosevelt Elementary School District board

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell recalls serving as an affirmative action officer in the Arizona Air National Guard

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell recalls teaching at Arizona State University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell describes his affirmative action training

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell recalls serving on the Maricopa County Community College District board, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell recalls serving on the Maricopa County Community College District board, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell talks about the importance of education

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell describes his career in higher education

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell talks about his career in real estate

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell recalls his promotion to lieutenant colonel

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell describes his experience as an interim vice provost

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Campbell describes the Arizona Project ChalleNGe

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell talks about his board memberships

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell shares a message to future generations

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Donald Campbell narrates his photographs

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Lt. Col. Donald Campbell talks about integrating the Air National Guard, pt. 2
Lt. Col. Donald Campbell recalls serving on the Maricopa County Community College District board, pt. 1
Transcript
Was there any active mention maybe in the papers or anything about you being the first African American in the Air National Guard? Was there any ceremonious events around that?$$Not at that time. It didn't occur until it was later years after I had gotten out of guard in '74 [1974]. It was '73 [1973], I guess the guy I mentioned, Lincoln Ragsdale [Lincoln Ragsdale, Sr.], who had been with the, you know, the [U.S.] Air Force with the blacks, he jumped on the Air Guard out here because they didn't have any African Americans then. That's when they pointed out that I had been in the Air Guard. And then one of the guys who was a Spanish fellow, he was in charge of personnel. He and I were doing consultant work together. He had a consultant firm. He said, "Look man," he said, "we got a problem out at the guard." He said, "You know, they don't have any blacks in the guard anymore. Why don't you come on back into the guard with this?" I said, "What the heck I'm gonna do back in the Air National Guard?" He said, "Well, you may be able to make--get into an officer's rank." So, he took me out there one day. We went out on a Saturday, talked to one of the colonels there. There was a guy named Colonel Angulo [ph.], Spanish guy, and he took me in to see another colonel. And I talked with him and the guy was pretty impressive 'cause he's also a full-time principal at one of the high schools. So, he sold me on the idea of coming back in and they signed me up right then. He said, "Now what we're gonna do, we're gonna bring you in as a top sergeant." He said, "When the commissions come back from Washington [D.C.], because you have a degree, you will be coming in as a lieutenant colonel--I mean, as a lieutenant." I said, okay, that sounds fine. And I didn't have to go back to basic training. I was going back on the weekends. I said, heck, I was gonna take this money I got through the guard and buy me some more real estate (laughter), which I did. But, I got in there and then after about two or three months, the commission came through and I was appointed a captain. So, I became back in as a captain and I was the first black in there initially, I was the first black officer, and I was the first black captain in there.$$A series of first. So, back--backing up a little bit, were there any other blacks in the other branches of the National Guard, i.e., the [U.S.] Army.$$In the Army, yes. For whatever reason--$$Naval reserves [U.S. Navy Reserve].$$--in the--I don't know about the [U.S.] Navy, but in the Army Guard [Army National Guard], there were a number of guys. In fact, there's a guy named Charles Lucky [ph.]. He's still here. He has a whole bunch of real estate. But he was in the Army Guard--I mean in the Air Guard, but he didn't stay in there.$$Why do you think the Air Guard, guard was so (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I think--$$--slow?$$--the Air Guard considered itself elitist because most of the people in there had degrees and all that type of stuff. And the Army Guard, they had had blacks in the regular army long before they got into the Air Force, so it was easier probably for them.$You do that and through the '80s [1980s], you take various courses along with your regular position [at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona]. In about '82 [1982], you get--you get elected to the Maricopa County Community College District ward [Maricopa Community Colleges, Tempe, Arizona].$$Um-hm, um-hm.$$Explain what that is and how you--that came about, please.$$Okay, well first of all, the Maricopa Community College governing board consists of community colleges. At that time, they were called junior colleges.$$How many were there?$$In 1982, there were five. Prior to that, the district, if you go back far enough, at one time, there was only Phoenix College [Phoenix, Arizona] and it was a part of the Phoenix Union High School system [Phoenix Union High School District]. Then, in 1962, the voters of the county voted to set up a community college district. Then, the district bought Phoenix College, which I don't they ever paid them for, but it was the first college in the district. And then they set up Scottsdale College [Scottsdale Community College, Scottsdale, Arizona], Glendale College [Glendale Community College, Glendale, Arizona], and Mesa College [Mesa Community College, Mesa, Arizona], and then one other because there were five when I came on the board, and we then began to set colleges based upon what the population was in a given six mile radius, and we would say once at a certain population, in that radius, we'd set a camp- a college up in that campus. At that time, finally, Paul Elsner [Paul A. Elsner] was the chancellor of the district for like twenty-two years. And then we had a couple other guys there for a while. And, what, three years ago, we hired the first black chancellor for that district by the name of Rufus Glasper who had been for fifteen years the financial officer for the district, and he had a CPA [certified public accountant], and at the same time, he was working on a Ph.D. through the University of Arizona [Tucson, Arizona]. So, we eventually hired him as the chancellor of the district and he got right in the middle of all the controversial problem, which we are having now.$$Well (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) And he's still trying to resolve those.

Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg

Aircraft commander Lucius Perry Gregg, Jr. was born on January 16, 1933 in Henderson, North Carolina to Rachel and Lucius Gregg, Sr. Gregg graduated from Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago, Illinois in 1950, before receiving his B.S. degree from the U.S. Naval Academy as the fourth African American to ever graduate. Gregg received his M.S. degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In 1955, Gregg began his service in the United States Air Force, working as a pilot from 1956 to 1959. In 1961, Gregg became the mission commander for the VIP Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Also during this year, Gregg started working for the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research as a project director in space technology and worked there until 1965.

In 1965, Gregg became the Northwestern University Associate Dean of Science, and was also promoted to the rank of major in the U.S. Air Force. In 1969, Gregg became the Alfred P. Sloan Fund program officer, before moving to the First Chicago University Finance Corporation assuming the role of president in 1972.

In 1975, Gregg graduated from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University Business School, and in 1979, became Vice President and Director of National Public Affairs, and Vice President of Governmental Relations at Citibank/Citicorp. In 1985, Gregg worked as Vice President of Public Affairs for the New York Daily News, before moving to Los Angeles to become the Vice President of Corporate Communications at the Hughes Aircraft Company/Hughes Electronics.

In 1999, Gregg founded the Foundation for the Study of America’s Technology Leadership in Marina Del Rey, California. The foundation seeks to understand and raise awareness of the factors that led to America’s technology leadership—from the role of innovation to the assimilation of women and minorities into the technology leadership arena.

Gregg has served on numerous technological and scientific boards including the Fermi (AEC) National Accelerator Laboratory, the Academic Board of the U.S. Naval Academy and the National Academy of Science Foundation Commission on Human Resources.

Gregg was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 17, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.143

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/17/2007 |and| 4/20/2007

Last Name

Gregg

Maker Category
Middle Name

P.

Occupation
Schools

Wendell Phillips Academy High School

Douglas Elementary School

United States Naval Academy

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Harvard Business School

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Lucius

Birth City, State, Country

Henderson

HM ID

GRE10

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Fall, Summer

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Boating

Favorite Quote

Most Major Achievements Come From Those Who Can Stand On The Shoulders Of Giants And Look Forward.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

1/16/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Crab Cakes, Baby Back Ribs

Short Description

Aircraft commander Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg (1933 - ) founded the Foundation for the Study of America’s Technology Leadership in Marina Del Rey, California.

Employment

Northwestern University

Hughes Aircraft Company; Hughes Electronics Corporation

New York Daily News

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Bristol-Myers

Citibank, N.A.

U.S. Air Force

Foundation for the Study of America's Technology Leadership

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Slating of Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his parents' education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg lists his sisters

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers his early religious experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his mother's employment in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his maternal grandparents' home in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers Douglas Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers his neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers his mother's expectations

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his experiences in the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about the impact of migration in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his early work experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his high school activities

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls the start of the Korean War

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his training in the U.S. Marine Corps, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his training in the U.S. Marine Corps, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his mother's role in his admission to the United States Naval Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the entrance examination for the United States Naval Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his admission to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the black community in Annapolis, Maryland, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the black community in Annapolis, Maryland, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about Wesley A. Brown's experiences at the United States Naval Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers his experiences at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls the rowing team at the United States Naval Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers his roommate at the United States Naval Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes Jimmy Carter's support for Wesley A. Brown

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about his friendship with Wesley A. Brown

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his invitation to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls joining the advisory board of the United States Naval Academy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes the changes to the United States Naval Academy's admissions policies

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers joining the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his experiences in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his promotion to first lieutenant

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his experiences as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers his aeronautics training

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the escalation of the Cold War

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his research in aerospace engineering

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls joining the faculty of Northwestern University, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the birth of his son, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the birth of his son, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls joining the faculty of Northwestern University, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his role at the National Accelerator Lab in Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the student protests at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls Northwestern University's advancement in the college rankings

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg reflects upon his experiences at Northwestern University

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his work at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his recruitment to the First National Bank of Chicago

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his career at the First National Bank of Chicago

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his integration efforts in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about his university board memberships

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers his role as chairman of Tulane University's Board of Visitors

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers his work for Bristol-Myers

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his advisory work for the National Academy of Sciences

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about interstate banking regulations

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his public relations work for Citibank, N.A. in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers meeting with journalist James F. Hoge, Jr.

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the publisher's forum at the New York Daily News

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls the New York Daily News' presidential debate

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes the history of the New York Daily News

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about James F. Hoge, Jr.

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his recruitment by E. Pendleton James

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers joining the Hughes Electronics Corporation

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about the Hughes Electronics Corporation

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his public television board service

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his career at Hughes Electronics Corporation

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers the riots of 1992 in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers writing speeches for C. Michael Alexander

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls the Hughes Electronics Corporation's partnership with historically black colleges

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg remembers his wife, Doris Jefferson Gregg

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes how he met his wife, Beverly Carmichael Gregg

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes his passion for boating

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about science and technology in the United States, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg reflects upon his life

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about science and technology in the United States, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg talks about the opportunities for careers in science and technology

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes the Student Technology Roundtable

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

3$7

DATitle
Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg recalls his training in the U.S. Marine Corps, pt. 1
Lt. Col. Lucius P. Gregg describes Jimmy Carter's support for Wesley A. Brown
Transcript
And then, of course, to my surprise--well, I really wasn't that knowledgeable, but anyhow, I can just tell what happened. After I came out of boot camp, and they sent us off to cold weather training, and we're trying to show how, at the age of seventeen, we're trying to show how tough we are, that we can really cope with the challenges they were putting before us. I went through cold weather training, and then, because of my size, I got special training as--with the heavy machine gun. It was a water cooled rapid fire machine gun that would--you'd put on a tripod. And, one person had to feed the bullets in--through on a belt, and another person was behind, and you had to have a certain size in order to carry that, that kind of stuff and be able to fall on the ground and put it up and set it up within a matter of a few seconds and start opening fire. And the other thing they qualified me for was the flamethrower. And for those who can think back as to what those two things meant, I wanted to perform well, but then when I think about it ten or twenty years later, the life expectancy of a person operating the heavy machine gun--you're making so much noise that you're immediately--and you've got tracer bullets that were red hot that you used to guide and make sure that you've got it aimed to the right person or the right foxhole or house or something, or the flamethrower, which if you open it up in the middle of the night, it just basically lights up exactly where you are. The life expectancy of that person is less than a few minutes, because you're almost--you have to sacrifice yourself in order to perform, and the enemy immediately recognizes where you are and you basically tell them that, and they counter.$$Right.$$And here I was seventeen. I wasn't thinking of that, but yet that was one of the parts of the [U.S.] military.$$Where did you take this training?$$San Diego [California], and also Camp Pendleton [Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, San Diego County, California].$$Okay.$$Camp Pendleton. But then what happened was that (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) It sounds as if now you're having second thoughts about this whole thing.$$At seventeen, I was more interested in--I was with my buddies from Chicago [Illinois] and we were having too much fun being, being men. You know, we had just left home under the supervision of our parents. We were now out on our own, we could go and drink beer at age seventeen, eighteen years old, we could go into San Diego where the bars were, and sometimes the guys would fight with the sailors. I mean, the sailors and the Marines [U.S. Marine Corps], even though the Marines come under the [U.S.] Navy, there's always that little tension (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) But you were being men there at seventeen, or almost eighteen.$$Yeah. So I can understand how seventeen, eighteen year olds get into--are tempted to do something that they would not do if they're ten years older, what have you, because you just don't--you don't think, and I think society is willing--and the courts sort of say, well how old are you at seventeen? Okay. You just don't have that depth of judgment in terms of it. But, anyhow, that, that was what I was being prepared for.$(Simultaneous) Interesting, going back to the first--Wesley Brown [Wesley A. Brown], who came out of there in 1949, what the naval historian found from talking around, talking you know twenty, thirty years later to his classmates, really almost fifty years--was that there were--some of the southerners got together--southerners who were like a year or two ahead, they could give him demerits. If you got so many demerits because your shoes weren't shined enough, or your pants weren't pressed enough, and so forth, your uniform, you reach a certain number of demerits and you're out of there, just on terms of being mili- unsatisfactory for--you know, what they would expect of a naval officer. And so those demerits could be given to you by those that are above you. And they didn't have to account (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) By you mean fellow cadets?$$Fellow cadets that were above you--seniors. So in, if you're in your first or second year, anyone who was a year ahead of you or in their senior year could actually come, they could come around to your room when you weren't there and see if your bed was--your bedding, your bed cover had to be tight enough that they could drop a quarter on it, and it would have to bounce. And if didn't they could write you up for not--. I mean, it was really being a little bit mean, because you'd have to have it in for the person that you're--. And anyone could do that to--particularly to any plebe, any freshman's room. And, evidently there was some sentiment developing within his class, now kee- I'm sorry, let me come back to this. Keep in mind that before Wesley Brown graduated, five other blacks had been admitted to the academy [United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland] over a seventy-five year period, and had never graduated, okay. And so, what appeared to be in the making was that--and these are Wesley Brown's classmates (unclear)--that the southern guys were beginning to get together to say, he doesn't belong here, and it's our duty to make sure that we get him out of here, okay, except for one guy. He was two years ahead of Wesley Brown, and his name was Jimmy Carter [James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.].$$(Laughter) And he had the courage--$$And he went to them. He went to this southern group where he knew he had heard that they allowed this kind of discussion when they put, when they got their heads together. And, the Georgia peanut farmer went there and said, "I understand what you're trying to do, and I'm going to ask you not to do it, because I know what you're up to." Which meant that Jimmy Carter was saying to them, I know what you're up to and if I go forward and report on this, then you guys will be in some kind of trouble on it. So (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) And as a southerner, he was really going against--that took a lot of courage.$$Yeah. And he wasn't from one of the major cities of the South, you know, they expect--out of Atlanta [Georgia] or out of Nashville [Tennessee], or what--something like that but might not have be--. No. And, and this did not come out until this historian made the rounds and got four or five of Wesley Brown's classmates, or those who were a year or two ahead of him to verify--$$Do you remember the name of this historian on that?$$Yes (laughter), Schueller [sic. Robert J. Schneller, Jr.], Schueller, because he first started out to do a complete book on the blacks who had come through the academy, and so he wanted a biographical summary from me, and I managed to get it together. But then after he got all this together, he said, "No, the first book has to be on Wesley Brown." He said, "If there's another book--there will have to be a second book, but I don't think we ought to take that life and mix it in with all those that came through ten years later or fifteen years later," or what have you.