One of the last Tuskegee Airmen, Lt. Col. Eldridge Williams, dies at 97

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OBIT ELDRIDGE WILLIAMS(8)   On Feb. 13, the Miami-Dade Aviation Department honored “not only members of the Greatest Generation” but “the Greatest Generation Plus.” Three South Florida Tuskegee Airmen of the 26 surviving members of the first all-black military flying unit that was formed in 1941 were honored that day at Miami International Airport.
And now there are 25. Two days before Independence Day, on July 2, Lt. Col. Eldridge Williams died at his Kendall area home near The Falls at age 97. His companion of 17 years, Rosa White, was by his side. “He made great choices in life,” White said. “This was a man who entered this world under adverse circumstances and encountered numerous others, nevertheless made decisions and choices that resulted in a level of success for himself and a record of providing assistance to others.” Indeed, after serving during World War II — after Congress passed an act in 1941 to compel the U.S. Army Air Corps to train blacks at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama — Williams once again served his country during the 1948 Berlin Airlift and again in the Korean War. “He was the embodiment of patriotism, and like his fellow Tuskegee Airmen, he faced great odds during World War II but completed his mission with a dignity and distinction that is befitting the veterans of the Greatest Generation,” Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González said in a statement.