Tuskegee Airman dies - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Tuskegee Airman dies

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Luther McIlwain, a navigator with the famed Tuskegee Airmen who broke military racial barriers during World War II, a retired New York City police officer, and a civil rights advocate in Massachusetts, has died. He was 91.

He was born in Blaine, S.C., and moved with his family to Massachusetts at age 2. He graduated from a Methuen Mississippi high school in 1939 and attended Allen University in Columbia, S.C., before enlisting in the Army Air Corps in 1943. He was a 2nd lieutenant with the black 477th Bombardment Group and was honorably discharged in 1947.

McIlwain was a police officer from 1946 until retirement in 1968, when he returned to Methuen. He is survived by his wife.

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