|Interview with Lt. Col. Thompson
of the Tuskegee 99th Pursuit Squadron
On July 19, 2000, one of our board members,
Dan Christine, had the incredible opportunity to interview Lt. Col Thompson,
one of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, while studying history at DePaul
Click here to
read the text of that interview.
Here is an excerpt of Lt. Col. Thompson's
biography from The Tuskegee Airmen of Greater Pittsburgh website:
"Officially, the 99th
Pursuit Squadron was established at Chanute Field, Illinois, and William R.
Thompson was among the first enlistees and early on trained to be the
Squadron's Weapons Officer. He was later assigned to Tuskegee as a member of
an advance team tasked to lay the ground work for the flight training
program designated for the Institute.
Lieutenant Thompson rose to the rank of Colonel in the United States Air
Force. He was raised in Pittsburgh where his father established a successful
catering business. A Schenley High School graduate, Thompson went on to
graduate from Hampton University in Virginia in 1940 and enlisted in the
Army Air Corps after a year's study at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania.
During the years he served with the 99th and the 332nd Fighter Group,
Thompson put his amateur hobbies of photography and history to good use from
Tuskegee to North Africa, Sicily and Italy. His entire collection of papers
and photographs are part of the Tuskegee Airman exhibit at the Aero Space
Museum in Washington, D.C.
more about the Tuskegee Airmen here.