*One of the original Tuskegee Airmen turned 95 in style Sunday with a car parade befitting his trailblazing service to this country.
Seated on the front porch of his Northeast Washington home with a Washington Football Team blanket keeping him cozy, William T. Fauntroy was saluted by socially distant passing cars as he was joined by the East Coast Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., the North Woodridge Citizens Association, family, friends and neighbors.
Fauntroy was born on March 26, 1926, at the Columbia Hospital for Women in D.C. He volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Corps Reserves on Feb. 1, 1944. A few months later on May 16, 1944, Fauntroy was inducted in the Army Air Corps at Camp Lee in Petersburg, Virginia. After completing basic training at Keesler Field, MS, Fauntroy was assigned to Tuskegee Army Air Field in July 1944 as a pre-aviation cadet.
In May 1945, Fauntroy was placed in a class for training as a single-engine pilot including 10 weeks of pre-flight training, 10 weeks of primary flying, 10 weeks of basic flying, and 10 weeks of advanced flying. After Fauntroy completed three-fourths of his total flying training, World War II ended. All aviation cadets were declared a “surplus,” and given the choice of staying in service or being discharged. Fauntroy opted to be discharged from Andrews Army Air Base as an aviation cadet on Nov. 8, 1945.
Fauntroy – who also attended Howard University – later became the first African-American civil engineer hired by what would later become the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. He was the urban planner for the portion of the subway system built in D.C.
Watch his 95th birthday celebration below: