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Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.


The Tuskegee Airmen are the Black pilots, bombardiers, navigators and support personnel trained during World War II. The fighter pilots of the 99th Fighter Squadron and the 332nd Fighter Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps, led by Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., distinguished themselves flying combat missions in North Africa, the Mediterranean and the European Theaters during WWII. The 477th Bombardment Group (Medium) was also activated during the war and was scheduled to fight in the Pacific Theater, but the war ended before it could be deployed.


The Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. (TAI) is a non-profit organization founded in 1972 to preserve the history of Black Fighter Pilots accomplishments during WWII, and to inspire youth to pursue careers in aviation, engineering technology and aerospace. The organization awards scholarships every year to deserving high school seniors for their college education.


There are 50 individually chartered chapters of TAI. The Spann Watson Chapter of TAI is located in Columbia, SC. The Chapter is named for Lieutenant Colonel Spann Watson. a native of Johnston, SC. The charter for the Spann Watson Chapter was approved on February 12, 2000.

Spann Watson Chapter

Founding Members:


  1. Larry LaGrant

  2. Willie J. Lenard

  3. Major (Ret.) William McClary, Jr.

  4. 1st Lieutenant (Ret.) Lester E. Phillips

  5. Captain Michael B. Phillips,

  6. David Pogue

  7. Larry Sampson

  8. Master Sergeant (Ret.) William T. Simmons

  9. O'Neal Smalls

  10. Command Sergeant Major (Ret.) Marvin L. Williams.

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