Jenkins Harold Bluitt
February 28, 1913 – March 31, 1944
Jenkins Harold Bluitt was the seventh child born to Herbert and Ida Bluitt. He was born on February 28, 1913, in Limestone County, Texas. Like most of his siblings, he was a member of the Methodist faith. Jenkins was a product of the Woodland Public School System. Wanting to further his education, he enrolled at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, around 1932. Jenkins returned home briefly. He wanted to complete his education. Therefore, he enrolled at Prairie A&M College. Jenkins did not complete his education, because World War II had begun and many of the young men were going to war. Jenkins did, too.
While at Prairie View, Jenkins met Emma Pauline Jones, a young woman enrolled at the college. Before going off to war, he married Pauline. Jenkins entered the military in March 1943. He completed basic training and was assigned to the African-American flying group at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama. Most members in this unit were college graduates or had college training. Jenkins had this qualification and then some. He made history by becoming a member of the Tuskegee Airmen.
Jenkins was an armorer fitting munitions on P-39, P-40 and P-51 aircraft during 1943 and 1944. He and several of his crew mates were struck by a locomotive, while traveling in a truck away from the camp area (possibly to the flight line) crossing a train track. Jenkins died as a result of injuries to his head on Friday, March 31, 1944.
Jenkins was laid to rest at the U.S. Military Cemetery at Mt. Soprano, Paestrum, Italy, on April 2, 1944. However, his body was disinterred and returned home to Mexia for final burial in the Woodland Cemetery in Limestone County on August 29, 1948.