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  1. #1
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    Frank Petersen, US Marines' first black aviator and general, has died

    Retired General Frank E. Petersen, the first black American to become an aviator in the US Marines and then a general, has died of complications from lung cancer, aged 83. When he retired, it was as the most senior aviator of both the US Navy and the marines and a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars. He flew over 350 combat missions.

    He was also an author:

    In his 1998 autobiography, "Into the Tiger's Jaw: America's First Black Marine Aviator," Petersen wrote at length about the racism and opposition he encountered along his way up the ranks.

    Immediately upon entering the military in 1950, he wrote, "I knew I had a problem as soon as I assessed the racial situation."

    "I had fled my hometown to escape racism, only to find myself caught in a deeper kind of prejudice than Topeka ever knew," he wrote: "Separate water fountains in the gym. Designated latrines. The back-of-the-bus routine.".....

    He finally felt "I was a winner" upon his promotion to brigadier general, "even though "not everybody in the Corps was overjoyed at my selection," he wrote.
    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/...ies-83-n417466
    Last edited by zwiebel; 08-30-2015 at 11:51 AM.
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  2. #2
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    thank you General Petersen, for your many years of service. Rest in the knowledge you are appreciated. You blazed a trail for others and protected all of us, all at once. That is some accomplishment, Sir.
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  3. #3
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    That's an impressive collection of ribbons on his chest, and I can see one is a purple heart.

    He completed a 1953 tour during the Korean War and a 1968 tour in Vietnam, flying more than 350 combat missions and 4,000 flying hours. Petersen received the Purple Heart in 1968 after his F-4 Phantom was shot down over the demilitarized zone in Vietnam.

    Petersen’s other military awards include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with valor device, Distinguished Flying Cross and the Meritorious Service Medal.
    http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/stor...dies/71295010/

    RIP Sir.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlcya View Post
    thank you General Petersen, for your many years of service. Rest in the knowledge you are appreciated. You blazed a trail for others and protected all of us, all at once. That is some accomplishment, Sir.
    No offense to you or General Petersen but I do believe Eugene Bullard was the trailblazer that gets little thanks from enough folks, IMO.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Bullard

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nothingnew View Post
    No offense to you or General Petersen but I do believe Eugene Bullard was the trailblazer that gets little thanks from enough folks, IMO.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Bullard
    I'm familiar with the histories of both of these men, and I don't understand your post at all. This thread is not about a competition; it's a eulogy.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montjoy View Post
    I'm familiar with the histories of both of these men, and I don't understand your post at all. This thread is not about a competition; it's a eulogy.
    Yay! I'm glad you're familiar with their histories. Eugene Bullard is long gone and so many people know nothing of him, it's sad. I'll take every opportunity to get someone to the door of knowledge of great Americans that I feel get overlooked. I'd never in a million years expect you to understand my thoughts. And I'm not saying that in a mean way. I'm sure there's a much better word than "expect" for that sentence but I can't think of one at the moment.

  7. #7
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    From what I'm understanding is the story is that he was the first Black American Marine aviator.

    We know, of course there were previous Black American aviators.
    What bothers me most is the stupid ass racism he had to face as so many other black people have no matter what they have accomplished do every day.



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