Retired Lt. Col. Herbert Carter, who flew 77 missions in Europe during World War II with the famed Tuskegee Airmen, died Thursday at the East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Stan Ingold of Alabama Public Radio reports. News outlets are reporting he was either 93 or 94 — we’ve made calls to see if we can determine which is correct.
In January, Carter told the Montgomery Advertiser that just four of the original 33 airmen remained alive.
As Stan reminds us, the Tuskegee Airmen were the first black fighter pilots in U.S. history. Once asked about his legacy, Carter said he hoped that his love of flying would be “perpetuated by every generation” that follows him.
In 2008, AL.com writes, Carter talked with The Associated Press about “the constant adjustment of being respected as a soldier on base, then having that dignity snatched away once off-base, where they were ‘just another Negro in Alabama in the eyes of the civilian population.’ “
After the war, Carter served in the Air Force for 25 years.
Back in March, University of Alabama News posted video of Carter talking about his experiences.