This year we honor
Documented Original Tuskegee Airman
Captain Lawrence Everett Dickson
1920 - 1944
Two days before Christmas 1944, Capt. Dickson and two other pilots of the 100th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group, departed Ramitelli, Italy for Praha, Czechoslovakia, escorting a P-38 on a reconnaissance mission. Capt. Dickson’s P-51D experienced engine troubles and he radioed his colleagues that he was turning back. All three pilots turned for home, but Dickson never made it. One of his wingmen saw him attempt to bail out, but could not find the wreckage when he circled the area. One of twenty-seven Tuskegee Airmen declared missing in action (MIA), Dickson’s remains were recovered some fifty years later.
Capt. Dickson was a native of South Carolina, according to the Washington Post, but joined the military from the Bronx, New York. He had had studied chemistry at City College of New York and enjoyed playing the guitar. Capt. Dickson married his wife Phyllis in November 1941 and the following year they became parents of a baby girl. He graduated from Tuskegee Army Flying School on 25 March 1943 and deployed overseas with the 100th Fighter Squadron. Capt. Dickson was on his 68th mission and already earned a Distinguished Flying Cross, when his plane went down. He would have been eligible for rest & recuperation leave at 70 missions, according to one of the pilots flying with him that day.
At the close of World War II, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the military worked to repatriate the remains of service personnel buried in Europe during the war. In April 1946, they searched the areas of Tarvisio and Malborghetto, Italy, where Capt. Dickson’s plane was believed to have gone down, but could find no evidence of his crash. Another search was made of records in Arnoldstein and Maglern, Austria with similar results. In September 1949, his remains were declared “non-recoverable.”
In early 2011, the Department of Defense renewed its effort to locate MIAs in Italy and the Mediterranean Sea. German records showed crashes of five P-51s on 23 December 1944, but four of them were in northern Germany. The fifth crash was north of Hohenthurn, Austria. An Austrian researcher visited the identified crash site and found men who were familiar with the crash from their youth. The site was later excavated by a team of U.S. and Austrian university students. A ring, part of a harmonica, and a small cross found at the site were subsequently identified as Capt. Dickson’s and presented to his daughter. Identification of the remains was confirmed through DNA testing involving Capt. Dickson’s daughter and other relatives.
Captain Lawrence Everett Dickson was finally laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on 22 March 2019 with full military honors, including a three-gun salute and a missing man formation fly over. Although Capt. Dickson had served in a segregated army, a multi-racial honor guard escorted him to his final resting place, proof that one of his goals had been achieved. In a mesmerizing eulogy, Pastor Jerry Sanders of Summit, New Jersey emphasized the importance of keeping the bones of our ancestors with us, since they embody our history as a people. The bones of Capt. Dickson are now with us again, giving us strength to move confidently into the future.
Capt. Lawrence Everett Dickson
The East Coast Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc. (ECCTAI) will host the 29th Annual General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Golf Classic on July 19, 2019 at the Courses at Joint Base Andrews. Please join us at this event in support of the chapter's youth programs that include Educational Assistance Grants and Youth In Aviation Program (YIAP). We invite you to be a sponsor investor to help us grow our programs to support more deserving youth.
You can also help us "Perpetuate the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen through historical research, documentation and presentations; motivating youth toward aviation and aerospace careers; and inspiring them towards outstanding achievement and leadership in our democratic society."
The Tuskegee Airmen, recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal and featured in the blockbuster movie “Red Tails,” are true American heroes (who personify excellence) in all that they did. They are a rare group of individuals who fought for the right to serve their country in a time of need. As America’s first African American military Airmen, they proved that Blacks have the intellect and courage to operate complex machines in stressful situations. Their successes proved that America is much stronger when all its citizens are allowed to contribute to the best of their abilities.
ECCTAI is the largest and the most active of over 50 Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. chapters that make up the national organization. Each year, our chapter provides $15,000 in educational assistance grants to college students in need of tuition assistance as well as over $20,000 toward aviation classes in an effort to motivate our next generation of aviation pioneers through aviation experiences.
If you have any questions please contact any of the following: Col (Ret) C. D. Smith at (703) 967-4463 or firstname.lastname@example.org, David Fax (301) 466-3589, and Nancy Guthrie (719) 440-6661. We welcome your support!
If you prefer to complete your registration and payment via mail, fill out attached document and mail to address listed on the Golf Brochure. >>>> Golf Brochure 2019.pdf <<<<