A 96-year-old aviation pioneer on most daysstill goes to the flight line. Herbert H. Jones Jr., an original Tuskegee Airman, class of 44J hasan area flight school is named in his honor H.J. Aviation.
Tuskegee Airmen” refers to the African-Americans men and women, who were involved in the so-called “Tuskegee Experience”, the Army Air Corps program to train African Americans to fly and maintain combat aircraft. The Tuskegee Airmen included pilots, navigators, bombardiers, maintenance and support staff, instructors, and all the personnel who kept the planes in the air.
A native Washingtonian, Jones attended Howard University before becoming a member of the Tuskegee Experience. After WWII, Jones wanted to become a commercial pilot, but airlines weren’t hiring African Americans. Jones went on to become a flight instructor, training more than 200 students in his career. Today,an area flight school is named in his honor H.J. Aviation.
A documentary, One Man’s Flight Plan, depicts this veteran’s fascinating and inspiring life.
Jones’ aviationcareer has spanned more than 70 years and included the Columbia Air Center, one of the first black owned airports in the United States, the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), International Air Association (one of the first black owned charter air carriers) and Cloud Club II flight school in Clinton, Md
Jones has been honored during a Black History Month celebration at the College Park Aviation Park Museum located in Maryland.
Author: PACS US Coast Guard Ret. Russell Davis