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Sat, Nov 23, 2013

Gone West: Tuskegee Airman John Suggs

Combat Pilot Flew 70 Missions During WWII

Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. (Ret) John J. Suggs passed away in October at the age of 98. Suggs had flown 70 combat missions as a pilot for the iconic unit during WWII, and had continued his Air Force career through the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Suggs had been a civilian pilot and junior aviation instructor before the war, according to an obituary published in the Washington Post. As a pilot for the Tuskegee Airmen, he flew bomber escort missions and participated in operations over the Anzio beachhead and Monte Cassino in Italy. He also flew bomber escort missions during the Normandy Invasion.

During the Korean conflict, he flew logistical support missions, and later commanded a service squadron at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in Vietnam.

Suggs retired from the Air Force in 1968 after serving as chief of alert management for a Strategic Air Command bomb wing at Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts. His decorations included seven Air Medals and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

Suggs passed away October 10 at the Knollwood military retirement residence in Washington, D.C. His son said the cause of death was dementia.

(Image from file)

FMI: www.tuskegeeairmen.org

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