Howard Lee Baugh

  • Died: August 23, 2008
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia

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Tuskegee Airmen, Charles McGee, from left of Bethesda, Md., Howard Baugh of Petersburgh, Va., and Dr. Roscoe Brown Jr., right of New York City, stand during the playing of the National Anthem at the start of a ceremony where Tuskegee Airmen who have passed away in the previous year.

One of the original Tuskegee Airmen dies at 88

RICHMOND, Va. - Lt. Col. Howard Lee Baugh, who flew scores of WWII combat missions as one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, died Saturday. He was 88.

Baugh died at a suburban Richmond hospital after a brief illness.

"He fought for this country and helped open some doors," said a son, Howard Layne Baugh. "He helped show people the idea of black people as second-class citizens ... was wrong."

Baugh enlisted in the Army in 1942 and joined the all-black fighter group that trained at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.

He flew 135 combat missions as part of the 332nd Fighter Group's 99th Fighter Squadron in Sicily, Italy, during World War II. He won the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. In 2004, he was awarded the French Legion of Honor.

The funeral is scheduled for Sept. 4 in Petersburg, and Baugh will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

According to Tuskegee Airmen Inc., fewer than 140 of the unit's pilots are estimated to be still living.


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Lt. Col. (retired) Howard Baugh, 84 flew with the Tuskegee Airmen, looks at a P-40 Warhawk at Chesterfield County Airport Sept. 14, 2004.
Howard Baugh, 23 at the time, standing next to his P-40 plane, in Sicily, 1943.
Tuskegee Airmen, Charles McGee, from left of Bethesda, Md., Howard Baugh of Petersburgh, Va., and Dr. Roscoe Brown Jr., right of New York City, stand during the playing of the National Anthem at the start of a ceremony where Tuskegee Airmen who have passed away in the previous year.