OTA Roy Martis Chappell

March 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

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


OTA Andrew Perez

March 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

visit this site helvetica,sans-serif;”>On May 5, Andrew “Doc” Perez died at ManorCare Health Services in Oak Lawn, Illinois.  Dr. Perez, 82, was one of the original Tuskegee Airmen and an outspoken opponent to the closing of Meigs Field on March 31st.  As a member of the Chicago “DODO” Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, Dr. Perez was actively involved in the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles Program.  He enjoyed going to Meigs Field to introduce children to careers in aviation.  

He also loved telling others about the role of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II.  Dr. Perez was among more than 900 airmen who became part of the “Great Experiment” to see if African Americans could support the nation’s military operations.  After graduating from Tilden Technical High School in Chicago, Dr. Perez entered the U.S. Army Air Forces flight training program at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama  Dr. Perez became a radio equipment technician and earned his wings in gunnery.

After completing his military service, Dr. Perez received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Roosevelt University in Chicago, and then a doctorate of optometry degree from the Monroe School, which later became part of the Illinois College of Optometry.  As an optometrist, patients and friends began affectionately calling Dr. Perez “Doc.” 

Always passionate about education, Dr. Perez taught math and science at Hyde Park Academy High School during the 1960s and 70s.

Dr. Perez is survived by his wife, Bobbie Anthony-Perez.


OTA John Steward Sloan, Sr.

March 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

check helvetica, more about sans-serif;”>John Stewart Sloan, visit this Sr., an original Tuskegee Airman, shot down during WWII, was an author, community activist, active church member, dedicated husband, father and successful executive, who became the Inland Steel Company’s first black personnel officer and rose to the position of corporate finance manager.  Mr. Sloan died on December 28, 2001, at the University of Chicago Hospitals from coronary artery disease.

Mr. Sloan received a degree in history and sociology from Kentucky State University.

Then Mr. Sloan heard of an unprecedented opportunity: “The United States Army Air Corps announced a training course for Negro airmen to be conducted at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute.  Sloan, a Kentucky postal worker who dreamed of being a pilot, eagerly submitted his application and was accepted into the program. Thus began a life-changing odyssey for a young man determined to serve his country, prove his mettle and see the world.”1

In 1942, Mr. Sloan joined the Army Air Corps at Tuskegee, Alabama and received his pilots wings on June 30th, 1943.  On March 30th, 1944, while returning from a combat mission with the country’s first black fighter squadron, Mr. Sloan was shot down over Italy after he crossed into Allied territory.  Gunfire from the ground during the second battle of Monte Cassion set Mr. Sloan’s plane on fire and shrapnel ripped into his left leg.  Before he parachuted to safety, Mr. Sloan took steps to prevent further loss of blood.  “First thing I had to do was put a tourniquet on my thigh”, Mr. Sloan told the Chicago Tribune newspaper in 1999.  “As the Lord would have it, that day I was wearing my white silk scarf.  This was one my wife had given me and I made a point of not wearing it every time I went up, so it wouldn’t become a symbol I would feel I needed in order to fly.  But I had decided to wear it that day.”  Mr. Sloan and his high school sweetheart, Wilhelmina “Billie” Carson had married the day before he received his wings at Tuskegee the previous year.

After moving to Chicago, Mr. Sloan became an active member of the Chatham community.  He joined the Chicago Urban League and was a consummate member of the Church of the Good Shepherd Congregational United Church of Christ, where he served as a member of the men’s club, the church trustee board and the church cabinet.  Also, as an early member of the Chicago “DODO” Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Mr. Sloan chaired the chapter’s Corporate Fundraising Committee.

Earlier in 2001, Mr. Sloan and his wife had been celebrating the release of his autobiography entitled: “Survival! A Purple Heart Tuskegee Airman”.  In addition to his wife, Mr. Sloan left behind a daughter, Linda Jeanne Sloan Locke; a son, John Steward Sloan, Jr.; a sister Mary Sloan Edelen; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

1.  Excerpted from his autobiography: “Survival! A Purple Heart Tuskegee Airman”


OTA George A. Taylor

March 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

information pills helvetica, more about sans-serif;”>George Taylor was one of 966 Black military pilots trained during World War II at Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama, near Tuskegee University; and one of 450 single-engine fighter pilots who participated in combat overseas. When Mr. Taylor first left his hometown of Middlesex, Va. to enlist in the Army Air Forces at Tuskegee Alabama, he did not tell his neighbors and friends of his plans. According to his wife Joan, “he never told any of them because so many cadets were washed out during training.” “He didn’t want them to know, so when he did get his wings, he went home and shocked everyone.”

Born the youngest and only boy of five children, Mr. Taylor graduated from high school in 1938 and went to Virginia State University in Petersburg for three years before he decided to enlist. After the war he came to Chicago, entered the Curtiss-Wright School of Aeronautical Engineering and graduated in 1950. While going to school he worked at the post office.

As an original member of the 100th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group, Captain Taylor flew the P-39, P-47, Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang Fighter Planes in combat. His base locations overseas included Montecorvino Airfield, Italy, Capodichino Airdrome, It aly, Ramitelli Airfield, Italy. Captain Taylor
flew more than 50 missions with the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group over Italy and was awarded two Bronze Stars, an Air Medal, and four Battle Stars. He had twelve years of active and reserve military duty.

George A. Taylor, former WWII Fighter Pilot, along with other original Tuskegee Airmen, was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal Award at a prestigious ceremony in honor of his accomplishments as a Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. The event took place in the Rotunda of the Capitol of the United States on March 29, 2007. George was always proud of his WWII aviation legacy, but the proudest moment of his life came when the Tuskegee Airmen were presented with the Congressional Gold Medal. He had a small replica made and had it put on a chain which he wore around his neck from that moment in 2007 until the day he died.

In later years, George became the first African American Sr. Civil Engineer with the Engineering Department of the Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. He worked as the chief engineer on the first Deep Tunnel project at La Grange Road and Illinois Highway 171 near Hodgkins, IL. He retired in 1986, with 35 years of service. Mr. Taylor was a treasurer of the Chicago Tuskegee Airmen Inc. and the former national chairman of the committee on nominations of Tuskegee Airmen Inc.

His survivors include his wife Joan, his stepdaughter, Susan Chatman; and a sister, Otelia Payne. Mr. Taylor, 88, died of prostate cancer Saturday, June 21, 2008 in his home. His family plans to have his remains scattered over Moten Field by chapter aviators in October 2008, during the dedication of that WWII training base as a National History Site.


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