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Homer Hogues, Tuskegee Airmen, dies at 96

Homer Hogues, a native Texan who was one of the last living Tuskegee Airmen, died Tuesday in Dallas. He was 96. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American pilots in the U.S. armed forces. They flew in the 99th Pursuit Squadron and 332nd Fighter Group during World War II.

Hogues, born in Navasota, worked for a sharecropper in Ovilla before being drafted in 1946.

“I thought it was a great way to serve my country,” he told The Dallas Morning News in 2016. “I wanted to go in there and do the best I could.”

Homer Hogues in his flying days.

After leaving the Air Force in 1949 as a staff sergeant, Hogues tried to get a job as a mechanic with Braniff International Airways — but he was told he could only work as a janitor, according to the 2016 News story.

Barbara Hogues, Hogues’ daughter, told The News in 2013 that no Tuskegee Airmen flew as commercial pilots after the war.

“They said the only thing I could do was gut planes and sweep the floors and all that kind of stuff,” Homer Hogues said in 2016. “I thought that was a slap in the face.”

Hogues learned to work on cars instead and retired as a chrome plater in Waxahachie.

In 2010, Hogues received a Congressional Gold Medal for his service. He attended President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2012.

Hogues died two days after his wife of 76 years, Mattie Hogues.


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