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William H. Cornish, Tuskegee Airmen

William H. Cornish of Lexington was a member of the ground crew for the Tuskegee Airmen. Late in life he received the Congressional Gold Medal for his service.

During World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen were formed as an experiment to find out whether African Americans could succeed as military pilots. Named for the airfield in Alabama where they were trained, the Tuskegee Airmen flew more than 15,000 sorties and 1,500 missions, paving the way for the integration of the U.S. armed forces.

Note: William H. Cornish died in January 2008 at age 88.

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  • Tuskegee Airmen (#302)

    Renee explores the contributions of the Tuskegee Airmen to America’s World War II effort, speaking with two veterans of the unit as well as a Kentucky man who has made it a personal mission to preserve their legacy.