James Ewing
Flt. Officer
Class: 44-F-TE
Graduation date: 6/27/1944
Unit: 477th Bombardier Group
Service # T64271

Arkansas produced two flight officers (F/Os), or navigators, during the height of the Tuskegee era—James Ewing and Denny C. Jefferson. Ewing was from Helena (Phillips County) and graduated from the 44-F-TE class on June 27, 1944. He was assigned to Godman Field in Kentucky as a crew chief gunner with Special Order Ninety-one.

Jefferson was from Little Rock and graduated from class B-445 on October 10, 1944. He was assigned to Randolph Field near San Antonio, Texas. Jefferson was the only Arkansan arrested at Freeman Field in Seymour, Indiana, on April 13, 1945, when 101 air force officers were taken into custody after an organized peaceful demonstration against Jim Crow practices at an all-white officers’ club. Jefferson was a member of the “E” Squadron, 118th AAF Base Unit during the time of the protest. In a non-combat routine flight from Godman Field in Kentucky to Gunter Field in Alabama, Jefferson and six other crew members, were killed when their B-25 bomber went down in a swamp four miles east of Gunter Field in mid-June 1945.

Source: Encyclopedia of Arkansas


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