So far we can document 15 Tuskegee Airmen from this state, three of whom died during their service:
- 2/LT William E. Hill of Narragansett
- Flight Officer William P. Armstrong of Providence
- 2/LT Walter S. Gladding of Providence
The first black pilot from Rhode Island to graduate from the Tuskegee program was 2/LT William E. Hill of Narragansett, with Class 43-H on August 30, 1943. Hill was killed in a gunnery training accident three months later over Lake Huron.
The only other Rhode Island pilot confirmed to have successfully completed the pilot training program was F/O William Armstrong of Providence, who graduated with Class 44-H.
Armstrong was shot down and killed over Austria on April 1, 1945. (Providence native 2/LT Walter Gladding was in the same pilot class as Hill but did not graduate. He received his commission through another source, and was stationed at Tuskegee as an instructor when he was murdered while on leave in Lynchburg, VA in June, 1945.)
More in 2009:
More in Special Recognition Award:
More in Units & Groups:
- 126th Aviation Regiment, RIANG
- Paul Broadnax
Paul Broadnax, the child of two well-known and influential Boston-area classical musicians, played with the Tuskegee Airmen military band and dance band.
- CAPT William Calhoun
Captain William McBrayer Calhoun, USN, Ret. (1948-2015) was a long-time RI resident who graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1967. Capt. Calhoun was a LTJG with the highly decorated Helicopter Attack Squadron (Light) 3), nicknamed the “Seawolves”, an all-volunteer squadron formed in support of Naval Special Warfare operations and Mobile Riverine Forces.