OTA Roy Martis Chappell

mind helvetica, information pills sans-serif;”>Roy ChappellRoy Martis Chappell began his flight on September 16, pill 1921, in Williamsburg, Kentucky to the union of Linold and Flora Chappell. He was the second of three children. The family later moved to Monroe, Michigan where he attended Monroe High School. He was the only Black in his graduating class of 250 students and he graduated in the top 10% of his class. Roy was the high point man in track and lettered in both football and track.

During World War II, Chappell graduated from the Navigation School at Hondo, TX in Class 4411 98 as 2nd Lieutenant, and later, from Bombardier School in Midland, TX in Class 4543. He served at Godman Field and later at Freeman Field, where he participated in the Freeman Mutiny during which 101 African-American officers protested unequal treatment by the military by attempting to enter a white only officer’s club. By doing so, he risked his own freedom and life for the future advancement of others. Since it was wartime, the actions amounted to treason, and the airmen received disciplinary letters in their files. The highly publicized incident led President Harry Truman to end segregation in the military three years later. The disciplinary actions however, weren’t expunged until the 1990’s.

After Roy’s discharge from the service, he moved to Chicago and later married Lucy Lang. Roy completed his college education at Roosevelt University in Chicago and became an educator with the Chicago Public Schools and teaching at Carnegie School. He was a Math teacher, counselor and Vice Principal. The Honor Assembly at Carnegie School is named “The Roy Chappell Honor Assembly” due to his special interest in scholastic excellence. 

A final tribute to Roy Martis Chappell was paid on Saturday, September 28, 2000 at the Martin Temple A.M.E. Zion Church 6930 S. Cottage Grove Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60637. The Reverend Lester A. McCorn was the Officiant. Roy was a devout Christian who loved God, his family and his Church. He was a long-term member of Martin Temple A.M.E. Zion Church and guided the building of the current Martin Temple Church. He was a faithful, committed member of the Trustee Board, and he loved the Martin Temple Church Family.

Roy was always committed to Youth. He was a Sunday school teacher for 22 years and served as Sunday school superintendent for 10 years. He was a member of the Burnside Local School Council for six years. He was an ardent supported of the Tuskegee Airmen’s Young Eagles Program which provides youth ages 7-17 free introductory flight provided by the group’s cadre of volunteer private pilots. He encouraged students to consider a career in aviation by experiencing flight for themselves.

Roy was president of the Chicago DODO chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen for 9 years, one of the most active in the nation. Roy has won many civic awards; some of the last ones were:

1) The Humanitarian Award for the Young Eagles Program from the Experimental Aircraft Association, 2002:

2) The National Leadership Award from Phillips Petroleum Co. at EEA Air Venture Convention in Oshkosh, 2001:  

3) The Merrill C. Meigs Spirit of Flight Award, 2002 for Preserving and Improving the Endangered Lakefront Airport: and;

4) History Makers Award (including Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee), 2002.

Roy has influenced awards over the years including the most recent TAI organization’s highest honor, the prestigious Brigadier General Noel Parrish Award and the National President’s Award (never had anyone ever received these two awards at the same time).

Our Peaceful Eagle, Roy Martis Chappell, was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was a man who cared about children. Roy was a man of excellence, a determined, proud man. He was a man of STRONG FAITH. He was a man who gave a new meaning to the word, INSPIRATION. He was a man who led by example. He was a true survivor. Roy was an Officer and a, Gentleman.”

Source:  Family biography