ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Willie Rogers, the oldest surviving member of the original Tuskegee Airmen, has died at the age of 101.
Rogers died Friday evening, said Rev. Kenny Irby, the pastor at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. He lived in a senior apartment complex near the church, and walked the short distance to worship every Sunday.
Rogers was drafted into the army in 1942 and was part of the 100th Air Engineer Squad. Rogers also served with the Red Tail Angels. He was wounded in action, shot in the stomach and leg by German soldiers, during a mission in Italy in January 1943.
In 2007, President George W. Bush awarded him the Congressional Gold Medal.
Irby said Rogers was a “passionate oral historian.”