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Thursday, June 17, 2010

First black helicopter pilot has died

From the Associated Press:

RENTON, Wash. — William H. Holloman, a Tuskegee airman in World War II who also served in Vietnam, has died at age 85.

Tuskegee Airmen Inc., an association of Tuskegee Airmen, said Thursday that Holloman died Friday at Valley Medical Center in Renton after suffering a heart attack. He was a St. Louis native who lived in Kent.

As an 18-year-old Holloman entered the Army Air Corps and trained with the all-black program at the Tuskegee, Ala., Army Flying School.

Tuskegee Airmen says after the war Holloman worked as a commercial pilot but was recalled in 1966 to serve in Vietnam, becoming the Army’s first black helicopter pilot.

His funeral is scheduled Monday at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in St. Louis, followed by burial at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

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I grew up in the military. Mom was an Air Force nurse for a few years, dad was a navigator on B-52s, among other things. One grandfather served in World War II, uncle is retired Navy, other grandfather and great-uncle served in Korea and a cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Currently, I'm the military reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. Previously, 


As a military kids, we moved all over. As an adult, I've traveled all over and moved for work. But now, I'm putting down roots in Montana with my boyfriend. We just bought a house and are slowly but surely making it our home. We have more land that we know what to do with at the moment. Now we're getting a garden started, tearing down walls and having loads of fun at what we call the Homestead.

In a part life, I did PR for the guy who built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, social media for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, before that, edited two military technology magazines for a publishing group in the DC area and before that, I was the military reporter (among other things) at the Montgomery Advertiser, covering Maxwell Air Force Base, the Alabama National Guard, veterans and anything else military related in the area. And in between all of that, I leave town, preferably the country, whenever possible. It all started when I spent a semester in New Zealand.

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