Documented Original Tuskegee Airmen (DOTA) John Robert Lindsey
Mechanic, Gunnery Radio Operator and Celestial Navigator

John R. Lindsay entered military service on 4 December 1942.  He was assigned to the 617th Bomber Squadron and later connected with the 477th Bomber Group.  After training, his rank was elevated to Master Sergeant (MSgt).

He trained as World War II (WWII) was raging in Europe and it was becoming increasingly difficult for the United States to remain neutral.  A few far-sighted men in the Army Air Corps saw the essential requirement for ‘trained’ celestial navigators in our military aircraft.  This made MSgt Lindsey’s ‘special’ training unique.

Celestial navigation, also known as astronavigation, is the ancient and modern practice of position fixing that enables a navigator to transition through a space without having to rely on estimated calculations, or dead reckoning, to know their position.  Celestial navigation uses “sights” or angular measurements taken between a celestial body (i. e., the Sun, the Moon, a planet or a star) and the visible horizon. Navigators most commonly used the Sun.  MSgt Lindsay was trained on the B-17 Flying Fortress Bomber, B-25 Bomber Mitchell, P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang.

Visit the Red Tail Virtual Museum to see his World War II Sextant Celestial Navigation Instrument

One of his most unique assignments was to train with Jimmy Doolittle for the raid on Tokyo. MSgt was the 1st black aviator assigned to Scott Air Force Base in Belleville, IL.

Major recognitions awarded were an American Theater Ribbon, a Good Conduct Metal and a WWII Victory Metal.

Submitted by Mary Diane Hamm, Historian-Greater Cincinnati Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. (GCCTAI) and Jacqueline Covington (CAF/Red Tail Squadron Member).

 

Share:

More Posts

Mary J. McCrea McCallum

Mary J. McCrea McCallum October 30, 1921- October 11, 1978 Class: 44-W-2 Training Location: Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Tex.) Assigned Bases: Long Beach Army Air Base (Calif.) Palm Springs Army Air Base (Calif.) March Army Air

Read More »

John J. Suggs

John J. Suggs October 8, 1915 – October 10, 2013 Class: 43-E-SE Graduation date: 5/28/1943 Rank at time of graduation: 2nd Lt. Unit: 302nd Fighter Squadron Service # 0804561 From: Terre Haute, IN John Jacob

Read More »

Alyce Stevens Rohrer

Alyce Stevens Rohrer September 07, 1922 – February 01, 2024 Class: 44-W-4 Planes flown: PT-17, PT-19, BT-13, AT-6, AT-11, UC-78 Training Location: Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Tex.) Assigned bases: Perrin Army Air Base (Sherman, Tex.) “Excuses

Read More »

Mary Jane Stephens Meikle

Mary Jane Stephens Meikle April 6, 1921- April 16, 2007 Class: 43-W-4 Training Location: Houston Municipal Airport (Tex.) and Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Tex.) Assigned Bases: New Castle Army Air Base (Wilmington, Del.) Planes flown: PT-19,

Read More »

Send Us A Message