During Vietnam, Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James flew 75 combat missions including the infamous Operation BOLO mission where seven communist MiG-21 aircraft were destroyed.
Operation BOLO was a deception-based mission intended to trick enemy fighter aircraft into battle where American fighters held the advantage.
James later assumed duty as vice commander of Mobility Air Command on Sept. 1, 1974. The James Gym is named after him.
In January 1943, 330 black servicemen, assigned to the 46th Aviation Squadron, entered the Radio School. In May 1943, they graduated ready to help Tuskegee Airmen fly.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
These radio school graduates were a part of a bigger initiative of the Army Air Forces Technical Training Command to supply black flying squadrons with sufficient support personnel, including supply, adjutant, intelligence, and statistical officers.