Tuskegee Airman, Lt. Calvin J. Spann in uniform.
Jersey City Free Public Library
September 7, 2015 9:59 AM EDT

Lt. Calvin Spann, an original Tuskegee airman who flew 26 combat missions over Nazi Germany, died Sunday at his home in Texas at the ago of 90, NBC reports.

The New Jersey native volunteered for the Army Air Corps in 1943 and was soon after sent to Tuskegee, Alabama to join the first group of African-American military aviators in the history of the U.S. Armed Forces. In a 2012 interview with The Record, Spann said:

Spann was sent to Italy after he finished training. NBC reports that during his time in Italy, Spann “participated in the longest bomber escort mission in 15th Air Force history: a 1,600-mile, round-trip mission, from Ramitelli, Italy, to Berlin.”

Though he never flew again after the war, in 2006, Span was inducted in to the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame and was later awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.

Tuskegee Airman Lt. Calvin J. Spann speaks at the Miller Branch Library 10th Annual Black History Month program in Jersey City, NJ on Feb. 29, 2012.
Jersey City Free Public Library


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