Charles H. Flowers, II “Tiger”
August 8, 1918 – January 28, 2011
Flowers joined the Army Air Corps in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1941. He was one of the first Tuskegee cadets to graduate. After graduating in May of 1942 from the Army Air Corps Flight Training Center located at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, he became the first African American with military training to become a primary flight instructor of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. Flowers never saw combat.
After his days as an instructor, Flowers majored in business administration at North Carolina Central University, then known as North Carolina College for Negroes, and became the first black manager of a North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Commission liquor store in Winston Salem, N.C., and co-owner of a drugstore.
He later moved back to Maryland, and in 1965 he went to work for NASA at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt. He retired as the Manager of Employee Relations in 1990. While retired he kept himself busy and active in the community and at his church, Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Lanham, Maryland. Through his church, he mentored children at James McHenry Elementary School and Thomas Johnson Middle School. Additionally, he worked with the Youth in Aviation program in this area, and was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
In 2000, Dr. Flowers became the only living person to have a school named after him in Prince George’s County Public Schools. In 2006, the historic Tuskegee University, founded by Booker T. Washington in 1881, bestowed upon Charles Herbert Flowers an honorary Doctorate in Public Service. Married to Wilhelmina Flowers since 1943, he was blessed with four children – Carolyn, Yvonne, Charles Herbert Flowers III, and Roderick.
He was the grandfather of six and great grandfather of eleven. Dr. Flowers was a humble man, whose life serves as an example of the excellence we seek to be embodied in the students at Charles Herbert Flowers High School. To be part of a school named after this wonderful man, who was a part of the Tuskegee Airmen, makes the Flowers community proud. We salute all that this man stood for and are grateful for his accomplishments.