The Walker Center, building 1030, is dedicated to First Lieutenant Quitman C. Walker. He was a Tuskegee Airmen from Indianola, Mississippi. He was the first known Tuskegee Airman from Mississippi to give his life for his country. A shadow box representing Lt Walker’s military career hangs in the entrance to the Walker Center.
Walker Center is a hangar near the flightline that serves many important purposes. One side of the hangar holds all the gear Airmen are issued when they prepare to deploy and all the training materials provided for said deployments. This includes backpacks, chemical suits, masks, gloves, boots, sleeping bags and more.
The lower level has a civilian aircraft maintenance area and also issues and repairs pilot’s helmets. The Base Honor Guard uses this lower level for storage and practice sessions. This area also includes the base armory.
This hangar was memorialized for 1st Lt. Quitman Walker, a Tuskegee pilot who paid the ultimate price for his country.
Photo: A shadowbox inside Walker Center holds 1st Lt. Quitman Walker’s medals, his dedication plaque and a short biography.
Read his story in Profiles of Tuskegee Airmen
- Thank you to Zellie Orr for submitting her research that verified another Airman, Lt. Wellington G. Irving of Belzoni, was Mississippi’s “first” black WWII military aviator killed in combat.
In March 2004, Columbus AFB held an event that honored the Mississippi Tuskegee Airmen. On the base a street was dedicated in their honor, along with a building designated the Quitman C. Walker Center, in honor of Mississippi’s first Tuskegee Airman killed in combat.
It was due to my research that I located Lt. Walker’s burial site overseas and procured for his family all military medals, ribbons, etc. (posthumously), he merited. I was invited to the 2004 ceremony and was one of the guest speakers.
At the time, Lt. Walker of Indianola, was the “first known” Mississippi Tuskegee Airman KIA. However, since that time, my research has unearthed info denoting Lt. Wellington G. Irving of Belzoni, was Mississippi’s “first” black WWII military aviator killed in combat.
Lt. Walker’s aircraft was downed by enemy flak in November 1944; Lt. Irving’s aircraft was shot down by enemy aircraft in July 1944. Thus, Lt. Irving paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom 4-months earlier. Both pilots were flying P-51mustangs.