Hannibal M. Cox, Jr.
March 21, 1923 – December 23, 1988
Graduation date: 4/15/1944
Unit: 332nd Fighter Group, 99th Fighter Squadron
Service # 0828048
Hannibal M. “Killer” Cox, Jr. was born 21 March 1923 to the late Hannibal and Naomi Cox in Chicago, Illinois.
In February 1943, at the age of 20, Hannibal enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was among a small group of Blacks trained to be Pilots during World War II in the then-segregated Army Air Corps. They became known as the Tuskegee Airmen. He entered Pilot training through the Air Cadet Program at Tuskegee Army Air Field, Tuskegee, Alabama. Upon completion of flight training in April 1944, he was awarded his Silver Wings and Commissioned a Second Lieutenant. He joined the 99th Fighter Squadron and chose the handle “Killer” as a result of his relentless and deadly attack on enemy airdromes during his 64 missions.
Over time, 2d LT Cox advanced to the rank of Colonel and he is one of a few Tuskegee Airmen who flew in three wars. After World War II, Colonel Cox continued to serve in various Command and Staff positions. Once the Korean War erupted, Colonel Cox flew more than 100 combat missions. When hostilities continued in Vietnam, he volunteered for duty, flying combat missions in an F-100 aircraft. Once his tour was completed in Vietnam, Colonel Cox served in numerous command duties. One of those assignments was as Professor of Aerospace Science, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee.
Upon his retirement from the military, Colonel/Dr. Cox became a pioneer as a Senior Executive at Eastern Airlines. His first position was Director of Ground Equipment. He later was appointed Director of Equal Employment Opportunity and Community Relations Programs. Dr. Cox helped break down racial bias in the airline industry. ”He was one man who wanted to change the world,” said his daughter, Micelle Cox-Stinson. ”He wanted to make it better for the individual. He was an educator and an intellectual, and he was gentle. He believed there is always something good in everyone. You find that good, he used to say, and you`ll be able to work with it.” Dr. Cox was featured in the traveling Smithsonian exhibit, ”Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation.” In addition, he was interviewed in a number of documentaries about the Tuskegee Airmen.
Colonel/Dr. Cox’s civilian education includes: a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautics from the Historically Black College & University (HBCU) Tennessee State University; a Master’s degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the University of Chicago and a Doctorate in Psychology from Western Colorado University.
Colonel Cox’s military awards include: Air Medal, five oak leaf clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Colonel/Dr. Cox’s civic awards, memberships, and honors include: Kappa Alpha Psi, Alpha Rho Chapter, 4 May 1940.