Lemuel Lewie Jr.
First lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps 477th Bomber Group, and trained as a bombardier, pilot, navigator, machine gun operator and radio communicator
November 8, 1919 – April 14, 2019
Lemuel Arthur Lewie, Jr., was born in Columbia, South Carolina in 1919 to Dr. Lemuel A. Lewie, Sr. and Mrs. Ophelia McDaniel Lewie. His father graduated from Howard University Dental School in 1907. His father was the first black dentist to have an office on Main Street.
He was a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Allen University. He later received a master’s degree in biology from Atlanta University and also studied at the University of Maryland. Arthur always aspired to be a pilot, and he met the military’s rigorous academic and physical requirements for aviators shortly after graduating from college in 1941.
Lemuel A. Lewie, Jr. served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Force with the 477th Bomber Group. He was drafted into the military service at Fort Jackson, S.C. in 1942. While waiting to go to Tuskegee for pilot training, Lewie was sent to Atlanta University for training at the Adjutant General’s Administrative School in 1943. During his term of active duty, he trained in administration, chemical warfare, radio communications, aerial gunnery, bombardment, and aviation. In 1944, Lieutenant Lewie was sent to Tuskegee Army Air Force Base where he received pilot training with Piper Cubs. In 1945, he was sent to Midland Army Air Field, Texas where he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant.
He was then assigned to the 477th Bomber Group at Godman Army Air Field, Kentucky. Lieutenant Lewie was reassigned on special orders to Tuskegee for pilot training where he received basic training classes in AT 6 planes and advanced training in flying B25J planes. During this period, he was trained at Tuskegee’s Moton Field to fly the PT-13 aircraft. Reflecting back to his training at Tuskegee, Lewie remembers his most memorable experiences include being the first student officer in his class to fly solo, his spectacular night flying, being trained by excellent officers, and serving as payroll master for the Corp of Engineers with a biweekly payroll of $25,000.
After his active military duty, he married Reva Goodwin in 1948 and moved to Baltimore, Maryland. In 1949, Lewie became an auto mechanic instructor at the Baltimore Veterans’ Trade School. Then he began a career in the Baltimore Public School System, assigned to Carver Vocational Technical High School, teaching science, mathematics, and textile design. He became involved in many school extracurricular activities. He is a Lifetime member of the Carver Alumni Association, due to his many contributions to the organization. During his 28 years as an educator, he was affiliated with: the PSTA, Maryland State Teachers Association, National Education Association, National Science Teachers Association, Biology Teachers Association, Baltimore Teachers Union, and the Maryland Academy of Science during his teaching career.