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Dorothy McIntyre

Pioneering aviator and retired educator Dorothy Layne McIntyre, was born in Le Roy, New York in 1917. She completed her elementary and secondary school education in Leroy, enrolled in West Virginia State College, and was accepted into the Civilian Pilot Training Program. She received a pilot’s license form the Civil Aeronautics Authority in 1940, becoming one of the first black licensed pilots among American women.

During World War II, McIntyre taught aircraft mechanics at the War Production Training School No. 453 in Baltimore, Maryland while simultaneously working as a secretary for the Baltimore Urban League. She applied for admission to WASP, a program staffed by women pilots who ferried bombers during the war, but was denied because of her race. After moving to Cleveland, Ohio, she was employed as a bookkeeper for businessman Alonzo Wright and taught for a time in the Cleveland Public Schools.

McIntyre was the subject of the dance production, Take-Off From a Forced Landing, created by her daughter, award-winning choreographer, Dianne McIntyre. She was a member of the Tuskegee Airman’s Alumni Association and was profiled in Distinguished African Americans in Aviation and Space Science.

McIntyre was married to Francis Benjamin McIntyre for more than fifty years.

McIntyre was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 18, 2004.

McIntyre passed away on August 30, 2015.

Accession Number

A2004.086

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/18/2004

Last Name

McIntyre

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Le Roy Junior-Senior High School

West Virginia State University

Cleveland State University

Civilian Pilot Training Program at West Virginia State University

First Name

Dorothy

Birth City, State, Country

Leroy

HM ID

MCI02

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Morocco, North Africa, France, Spain

Favorite Quote

You're Kidding.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

1/27/1917

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Death Date

8/30/2015

Short Description

Airplane pilot Dorothy McIntyre (1917 - 2015 ) was one of the first African American female licensed pilots. During World War II she taught aircraft mechanics at the War Production Training School in Baltimore, Maryland.

Employment

War Production Training School No. 453

Greater Baltimore Urban League

Cleveland Public Schools

Small Business

The Ohio Department of Aging

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dorothy McIntyre's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dorothy McIntyre lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about her father, how her parents met and her paternal family ancestor

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dorothy McIntyre recalls her father's work and her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dorothy McIntyre describes the size of Le Roy, New York and the Tonawanda Reservation

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dorothy McIntyre describes her earliest childhood memories in Culpeper, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dorothy McIntyre describes Le Roy, New York and the history of the Great Migration

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about her family moving north and her paternal uncle

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dorothy McIntyre describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Le Roy, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about playing sports at Le Roy High School in Le Roy, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dorothy McIntyre describes being discriminated against by her principal at Le Roy Elementary School in Le Roy, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dorothy McIntyre recalls her decision to attend West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dorothy McIntyre describes becoming a pilot and the Tuskegee Airmen

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dorothy McIntyre shows her pilot's license and describes what she learned in training

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about Bessie Coleman and the International Women's Air & Space Museum in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dorothy McIntyre explains why she loves flying airplanes

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about teaching men about aircraft mechanics at War Production Training School No. 453 in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about teaching a lab at West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dorothy McIntyre describes marrying her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dorothy McIntyre describes meeting her husband and working for the Greater Baltimore Urban League in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dorothy McIntyre describes the different jobs she held in the 1950s and 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about starting a family in Glenville, Cleveland, Ohio and her husband's family background

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about her husband's parents and her husband's job with the U.S. post office

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dorothy McIntyre describes her teaching career in the Cleveland, Ohio public schools and her medical history

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about the accolades she has received for teaching and aviation

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dorothy McIntyre remembers potentially dangerous flying incidents as a pilot

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dorothy McIntyre recalls flying a Piper J-3 Cub airplane

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dorothy McIntyre reflects on the recent interest in the role of African Americans in U.S. military history

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dorothy McIntyre remembers her maternal grandmother's belief in education and her maternal great-uncle who was a professor at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about her husband's job at Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company's factory in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about her and her husband's involvement in church

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about the Tuskegee Airmen

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dorothy McIntyre compares the treatment of African Americans in the 1940s to 2004

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dorothy McIntyre describes her experiences of racial discrimination, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dorothy McIntyre describes her experiences of racial discrimination, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dorothy McIntyre gives advice to African American students

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about young African Americans dropping out of high school

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about Jean Murrell Capers

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dorothy McIntyre shares memories of her students

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dorothy McIntyre narrates her photographs, pt.1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dorothy McIntyre narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dorothy McIntyre narrates her award from the International Women's Air & Space Museum in Cleveland, Ohio

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

3$7

DATitle
Dorothy McIntyre describes becoming a pilot and the Tuskegee Airmen
Dorothy McIntyre remembers potentially dangerous flying incidents as a pilot
Transcript
And then, what year was it? Third year, fourth year, first of the semester [at West Virginia State College, later, West Virginia State University, Institute, West Virginia], you could sign up, they would take you if you could pass certain things in aviation, you know. They had that training just before World War II [WWII] because they needed, they needed pilots, right?$$Okay.$$So, they would take one, they would take one woman and a group of ten men. I had no better sense than to sign up 'cause I wasn't afraid of flying. I had been on a, when I was twelve years old in Le Roy [New York], they used to have air shows. And you could go up, you know, take a flight, you know, ride with the pilot. My father [Clyde Layne] would go up with us, you know. So I wasn't afraid of that, but there was a very strenuous health examinations and so forth that you needed. I passed that, went on. When I finished that, some of the men went to Tuskegee [Alabama], Tuskegee. Do you know why they were trained at Tuskegee?$$No, why is that?$$I'll tell you. Yes, you do. You don't know. Well, they were trained at Tuskegee because they were trained on pursuit planes. They weren't bombers. They were on pursuit planes because these guys were over there bombing, you know, around Germany and all like that in this great big plane, you know, the bombers. And the Tuskegee Airmen on the smaller pursuit planes escorted them. In other words, they would shoot the Germans away before they could get to our bombers. Did you know that? Did you know that?$$I knew that they flew escort.$$They were the escort, and if any flack came, it came to them first because they were protecting. That's what they were. I belonged to them too. I have, I have a life membership in the Tuskegee Airmen because I flew with guys who were training in the basic training, see. And then they went to Tuskegee. I didn't wanna go to Tuskegee, too far south for me.$$We hear a lot about the Tuskegee Airmen and the 99th Pursuit Squadron [later 99th Fighter Squadron], the Black Eagles. We don't hear a lot about women pilots of your day (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Well, I applied. Oh, they have, they had those WASP [Women Airforce Service Pilots], those women down in Florida? Oh, yeah, they had women. They could transport bombers over there to Europe.$$Okay, so there are some women who were flying?$$Yeah, so I was capable of going, taking that training and flying those planes over there--$$Okay.$$--for the bombers, sure. Sure, I applied, and I had my license, you know, especially, if you had a license. I applied, and guess what? They were all filled up. I don't know why, when they were begging for women. I had the good examinations and all, you know, my health was good. I don't know why, but they never had a black one any way. I didn't get in there. And then when I was in Baltimore [Maryland] with my sister [Ruth Layne Marshall], they were begging for pilots to come in to do something. All you had to do was have your license and come in. They were having a meeting for you to do, you know, before World War II, you did protective work in the sky, something we did, some kind of surveillance that we would do. And they said, "Oh, you can come and if you have a license, and we'll train you, and you can, you know, be one of those surveillance pilots." So we called before we went down. My sister went with me. We came to the door, had my license in my hand. They looked at me. They looked at her. They said, "Oh, I'm so sorry"--we came early, came early, and they said, "Oh, we just, we just have, we're just all filled with people." I said, "Look at all those vacant seats over there." I'm crazy. And they said, "Oh, I'm sorry." We were thrown, we were turned away at the door. But I'm used to it. I mean you have to be old and ready. Today you're not turned away. I know that. See, they, young people don't know what it was like. But I've been turned down in a way, and when there was no reason for it other than, the black (whispering).$--Experience in Rochester?$$Yeah, and flying from various airports (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, this is the famous one, Rochester, New York, up there. That's right near home [Le Roy, New York], right. So we used to have a minister from Rochester. He as a Baptist minister. He was this big. And I had to put the passenger in front, and then I had the controls behind. You know, it was just a two-seater like, but the pilot was here. So we said, all right, he says, "I'm not afraid to go up with [HistoryMaker] Dorothy Layne [McIntyre] 'cause I can trust her. Everybody say they afraid to go up with Dorothy Layne, but not me." I said, "Well, come on Reverend Rose [ph.], let's go." So I got him down there in the plane, went down to the end of the, you know, runway, and was ready, had full blast on that engine. And come on, and we were getting ready to take off. But I had a long runway, you know, enough running for me to get up. You know, I needed really a lot of force to get a big man up. And honey, when I was taking off and what was in front of us, the hangar, cause I had plenty of room to get over the hangar. And that hangar just came closer to me and closer to me. And he didn't know what was going on. And guess what I said out loud? "Help me, Lord," and that just plane just went up (laughter). It went, I'm not telling a tale, and it went on over that, over that hangar, and we kept on going, and he never knew what was going on. You're right. I said, "Help me, Lord," cause I knew I was gonna scrape that hangar. And he wasn't afraid to go up with Dorothy Layne. So I did that, and near misses. And then there was another guy, when I was training, he said, "Dorothy, you haven't learned how to loop yet, have you?" You know, we did loops, dives, everything that would teach you if the atmosphere puts you into that condition, know how to get out, right? If it got you hanging on your head, know how to get out of that. You know, if you go in a spin, like this, know how to get out the spin. The atmosphere will put you in that condition. You know, you've heard of weather, you know, weather all the time. If you're flying, how's the weather? Okay, so this student pilot and I, he said, "Come on, I'll teach you how to loop." I said, "Okay." So, we went down. You had to dive first, then come up and loop over your head and then come back down that same way. Guess what he did? He looped, he was showing me with the controls. He--I followed and I came up like this, and guess what? He got frightened and it hung, we hung on our heads. I said, "What's the matter with you? Reverse the controls." And he froze at the controls, and gasoline was coming out of the nose. You know, that's where the tank is, and I could smell something, and it was, I saw the gasoline dripping out of the nose. Honey, I knew what to do. I kicked those reverse to control, I kicked those pedals, reversed the controls, brought it out of the loop and came on down and landed. I said, "There you go. I'll never go up with you again." And guess what? He never, he never talked about our experience, never.$$He was probably embarrassed, you think?$$He was embarrassed. And then I never talked about it until years later because I didn't want him to be embarrassed. He got his license too, but that gas really got on me. I could smell it.

Jim Tilmon

Jim Tilmon, aviation expert, local Emmy-winning newscaster, and accomplished musician, was born on July 31, 1934, in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Tilmon earned his B.A. degree in music from Lincoln University in Missouri, and served in the United States Army Corps of Engineers for eight years, earning the rank of captain.

Tilmon’s interest in flying carried him from the U.S. Army to American Airlines in 1965, where he became the airline’s third African American commercial pilot and the country’s fifth. Tilmon spent twenty-nine years with American Airlines before retiring; his talent earned him the Captain’s Chair Award from American Airlines; inspired United Airlines to grant him the title of honorary captain; and compelled the FAA to name an aviator’s navigation point after him.

While still piloting aircrafts, Tilmon set another precedent by hosting the first live weekly magazine show developed for and by African Americans. 'Our People,' premiered one week after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tilmon’s guests included notable politicians, artists, and activists, such as Harold Washington, author James Baldwin, and jazz vocalist Johnny Hartman. After four years at WTTW, Tilmon became a weather forecaster and aviation and science reporter at Chicago’s NBC affiliate. Tilmon appeared on numerous national programs, including: 'Hardball,' 'NBC Nightly News,' and 'Nightline.'

In addition to his aviation activities, Tilmon stayed involved with music by performing and creating original music for television motion pictures, and other audio and video productions. Tilmon also recorded a symphony- and orchestra-infused relaxation CD, 'Angel Whispers,' in 2003.

Tilmon was awarded a Chicago Emmy in 1974 and was nominated for a National Emmy and the Illinois Associated Press and Illinois United Press International awards for excellence in reporting and broadcasting. In 2002, the Chicago Chapter of National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences presented Tilmon with the Silver Circle Award for twenty-five years in television.

In 1994, Tilmon retired from the airlines and NBC and moved to Arizona, where he continued to do on-air aviation reporting. In 2002, Tilmon returned to Chicago as a weather forecaster and aviation reporter and analyst for the CBS affiliate. In 2004, Tilmon was inducted into the Chicago Senior Citizens Hall of Fame, and was awarded the Luminary Senior Award for his impact on social and cultural life in the City of Chicago.

Tilmon and his wife, Joan Tilmon, raised three children.

Jim Tilmon was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 28, 2003.

Accession Number

A2003.023

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/28/2003 |and| 8/15/2005 |and| 9/30/2005

Last Name

Tilmon

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Howard University

Tennessee State University

Lincoln University

Sand Springs High School

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Jim

Birth City, State, Country

Guthrie

HM ID

TIL02

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Summer

Speaker Bureau Notes

312-951-3601

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Oklahoma

Favorite Vacation Destination

Arizona

Favorite Quote

You Got To Believe.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Arizona

Birth Date

7/31/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Phoenix

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sea Bass

Short Description

Airplane pilot and television reporter Jim Tilmon (1934 - ) hosted, 'Our People,' on WTTW Chicago, the first television show produced by and for African Americans. In addition to his television activities, Tilmon was an accomplished commercial pilot, earning him the Captain's Chair Award from American Airlines, the title of honorary captain from United Airlines, and the naming of an aviator's navigation point after him by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Employment

American Airlines

WTTV TV

WMAQ TV

U.S. Army

The Tilmon Group

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Tilmon interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Tilmon's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Tilmon recalls his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Tilmon describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Tilmon remembers his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Tilmon details his parents' struggle against discrimination in education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Tilmon lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Tilmon shares his childhood dream of becoming a pilot

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Tilmon relates childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Tilmon recalls the all-black town of Boley, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Tilmon describes the Native American presence in Hominy, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Tilmon remembers his grandfather's store

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Tilmon tells a story about the outlaw Pretty Boy Floyd

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Tilmon reflects on the all-black Boley, Oklahoma of his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Tilmon remembers his best friend

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Tilmon describes his childhood obsession with airplanes

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Tilmon discusses mentoring aspiring African American pilots, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Tilmon discusses mentoring aspiring African American pilots, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Tilmon recalls his high school extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Tilmon remembers his high school involvement in oratory

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Tilmon recounts his chemistry training at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Tilmon explains his change of majors at Tennessee State University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Tilmon details the many obstacles he overcame to become a pilot

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Slating of Jim Tilmon's interview, session 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jim Tilmon recalls a near flight collision during training

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jim Tilmon remembers his tactical flight training

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jim Tilmon recalls being denied food on flight exercises, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jim Tilmon recalls being denied food on flight exercises, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jim Tilmon talks about his decision not to criticize the program in his evaluation

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jim Tilmon recalls being sent to a small airfield in Culpepper, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jim Tilmon describes getting lost in a storm while flying

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jim Tilmon recalls flying cross-country with top secret equipment

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jim Tilmon remembers training to fly helicopters, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jim Tilmon remembers training to fly helicopters, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jim Tilmon talks about being stationed in Germany

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jim Tilmon describes war preparations during the Cuban Missile Crisis

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jim Tilmon recalls the Civil Rights Movement while in the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jim Tilmon talks about his encounters with black Germans

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jim Tilmon talks about working for Colonel John C.H. Lee, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jim Tilmon describes the success of his makeshift airfield, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jim Tilmon describes the success of his makeshift airfield, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jim Tilmon talks about the U.S. military's preparation to defend marchers in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jim Tilmon recalls soldiers' reactions to acting under martial law

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jim Tilmon remembers choosing a flight route from Fort Benning, Georgia to Watertown, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jim Tilmon remembers choosing a flight route from Fort Benning, Georgia to Watertown, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Jim Tilmon recalls being encouraged to join an American Airlines, Inc. as a pilot

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Jim Tilmon recalls a helicopter crash at Fort Benning, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jim Tilmon remembers applying to become a pilot for American Airlines, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jim Tilmon describes the process for passing the physical to be an American Airlines, Inc. pilot

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jim Tilmon talks about his decision to leave the U.S. Army

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jim Tilmon recalls how he left the U.S. Army

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jim Tilmon describes his partnership with Ray LeCont at the American Airlines Cadet Academy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Jim Tilmon talks about choosing Chicago, Illinois as his base

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Jim Tilmon recalls Ray LaCont's defense when being refused barber services

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Jim Tilmon's interview, session 3

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Jim Tilmon recalls his challenges in finding housing in Highland Park, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Jim Tilmon remembers flying with a racist pilot, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Jim Tilmon remembers flying with a racist pilot, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Jim Tilmon describes discriminatory hiring methods used by United Airlines

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Jim Tilmon talks about his favorite airplane

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Jim Tilmon recalls an embarrassing incident in flight

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Jim Tilmon talks about diversity and changes in the airline industry

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Jim Tilmon recalls volunteering to create a black television show

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Jim Tilmon talks about working with producer Rift Fournier

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Jim Tilmon remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Jim Tilmon recalls his 'Our People' not being sold to a network

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Jim Tilmon talks about the celebrity appearances on 'Our People'

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Jim Tilmon remembers running 'Our People' after it lost its sponsorships

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Jim Tilmon remembers joining WMAQ-TV in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Jim Tilmon talks about how he became a weather broadcaster

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Jim Tilmon talks about the technology used in weather broadcasts

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Jim Tilmon talks about the murder of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Jim Tilmon recalls his first American Airlines, Inc. flight as a captain, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Jim Tilmon recalls his first American Airlines, Inc. flight as a captain, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Jim Tilmon describes a negative article written about him

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Jim Tilmon talks about his work in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Jim Tilmon recalls the death of his brother

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Jim Tilmon remembers his bank fraud acquittal and the car accident that ended his flying career

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Jim Tilmon talks about his transitory vertigo, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Jim Tilmon talks about his transitory vertigo, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Jim Tilmon remembers losing his job after his contract was not renewed

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Jim Tilmon talks about preventing a boycott of WMAQ-TV

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Jim Tilmon recalls getting his job back at WMAQ-TV

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Jim Tilmon talks about leaving WMAQ-TV

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Jim Tilmon remembers producing the album 'Angel Whispers'

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Jim Tilmon talks about the decline of his production company

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Jim Tilmon recalls being hired at WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Jim Tilmon talks about leaving WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Jim Tilmon reflects upon his life

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Jim Tilmon describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Jim Tilmon reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Jim Tilmon talks about his family

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Jim Tilmon describes how he would like to be remembered

Alfred Brothers, Jr.

Engineer and airplane pilot Alfred Brothers was born on December 14, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts to Alfred S. Brothers, Senior and Edith Irene Yates. His father served as a combat engineer in the black 366th Infantry Regiment during World War II while his mother stayed home to care for the family. Brothers graduated from Boston Latin School in 1960 and enrolled in Boston University's College of Engineering. While at Boston University, Brothers became a cadet in the Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps. After graduating in 1964 with a B.S. degree in engineering and the rank of second lieutenant, Brothers joined the United States Air Force, where he served for the next twenty-two years. Brothers began his Air Force career flying B-52 planes in the Vietnam War and became one of the youngest aircraft commanders in the strategic air command.

In 1972, Brothers used his engineering education and served in the foreign technology division of the Air Force at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Brothers was then assigned as a detachment commander to a new ROTC program at Wright State University in Dayton. Brothers focused on encouraging the development of African American engineering students and pilot candidates. During his tenure, the graduation and commission rates for students in the Air Force ROTC increased by 90%. After retiring from the Air Force in 1986, Brothers moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana to work as an engineer for Magnavox, now the Raytheon Company. Brothers was promoted from engineer to program manager where he was responsible for the technical direction and management of a program. He was in charge of attaining financial and schedule goals for particular government programs. Always interested in continuing his education, Brothers obtained his Ph.D. degree in business administration at age sixty from Century University.

In addition to his professional activities, Brothers was an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America and became president of the Boy Scouts Council, the first African American to be council president. The council involved eleven counties and about 14,000 kids and 4,000 adults. Brothers sat on numerous boards including the board of the African/African American Museum and Historical Society in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Alfred S. Brothers, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 30, 2002.

Accession Number

A2002.130

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/30/2002

Last Name

Brothers

Maker Category
Schools

Martin Luther King, Jr. K-8 Inclusion School

Boston Latin School

Boston University

Century University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Alfred

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

BRO06

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Nothing Is impossible.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Indiana

Birth Date

12/14/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Fort Wayne

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak

Short Description

Engineer and airplane pilot Alfred Brothers, Jr. (1942 - ) was an officer in the United States Air Force for twenty-two years, serving as a pilot and wing commander in the Air Force ROTC, before working as an engineer program manager for Magnavox.

Employment

United States Air Force

United States Air Force Communications Satellite Group

United States Air Force Ballistic Missile Facility Branch

Wright State University

Magnavox / Raytheon Company

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Air Force Blue

DAStories

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

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alfred Brothers names his parents and shares his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alfred Brothers talks about his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alfred Brothers talks about his parents' first meeting and their occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alfred Brothers talks about his childhood neighborhood in Boston

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alfred Brothers talks about his childhood interests and high school teachers

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Alfred Brothers talks about his mentors and his father's involvement in politics

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Alfred Brothers talks about the artificial language, Esperanto

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Alfred Brothers talks about his involvement with the Boy Scouts

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alfred Brothers remembers staging a peaceful protest in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alfred Brothers talks about sports, church and socializing during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alfred Brothers talks about meeting his wife at a school party in Boston

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alfred Brothers talks about his experience with the Air Force ROTC

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alfred Brothers talks about his experience flying planes

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alfred Brothers remembers his life in Ohio as an Air Force pilot

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alfred Brothers recaps the dates of his Air Force career and talks about his retirement

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alfred Brothers talks about his leadership position in the Boy Scouts of Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alfred Brothers talks about his interest in genealogy and other post retirement activities

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alfred Brothers talks about the possibility of flying cars

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alfred Brothers discusses technology and the importance of continued schooling

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alfred Brothers discusses the need to promote science in the black community

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alfred Brothers reflects on his career and talks about his legacy