2nd Lt. Lincoln T. Hudson
March 12, 1916 – September 26, 1988
Unit 301st Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group
Hudson was born on March 12, 1916 in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. He was the son of a Methodist minister who traveled to various congregations in the Southern United States. Hudson graduated from high school in Louisiana.
After moving to Chicago in 1933, Hudson sold hair care products door-to-door for the C.W. Smith Company, an African-American-owned Chicago wholesaler. Hudson also sold insurance and worked in a butcher shop.
Married to Chestine Hudson, Hudson had three children: son Lincoln Jr. son Chester, and daughter, Crystal. Until his death in 1988, Hudson was a longtime resident of Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood.
On June 27, 1944, Hudson graduated from Tuskegee pilot cadet training program’s Class 44-F-SE, receiving his wings and commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. During official leave, Hudson and fellow Tuskegee Airman Harold Brown would borrow military planes on the weekend, flying them to Chicago to visit Hudson’s wife and to enjoy the city of Chicago.
Assigned to the 332nd Fighter Group’s 301st Fighter Squadron, Hudson flew 20 missions during World War II.
On the afternoon of March 23, 1945, Hudson’s P-51 Mustang experienced engine failure after losing oil. Bailing from his damaged aircraft, Hudson parachuted over eastern Czechoslovaki. After capturing Hudson northeast of Vienna, Austria at coordinates, 4842N, 1655E, the German military transported Hudson to a prisoner of war (POW) camp at Nuremberg-Langwasser (south of Nuremberg, Germany). The Germans interrogated, severely tortured and beat Hudson, almost beyond recognition. Fellow Tuskegee Airman Harold Brown, captured and sent to Nuremberg-Langwasser a week earlier, recalled barely recognizing Hudson. The Germans later transferred Hudson to the multinational Stalag VII-A (in full: Kriegsgefangenen-Mannschafts-Stammlager VII-A), the largest prisoner-of-war camp in Nazi Germany.
On April 29, 1945, General George Patton and his Third Army liberated Hudson, Harold Brown and approximately 76,000 other POWs as Patton’s tanks and troops rolled through Stalag VII-A.
n 1946, Hudson received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army Air Corps. In 1951, he enrolled at Loyola University Chicago, graduating with a degree in business. After some graduate work at the University of Chicago in November 1952, Hudson became an advertising salesman with Johnson Publishing, the publishers of the historic Ebony Magazine and Jet Magazine. Hudson rose up the ranks at Johnson Publishing as Midwest advertising manager, Vice President of Advertising, and finally Senior Vice President. In the late 1950s, Hudson closed a lucrative advertising contract between Johnson Publishing and Chevrolet, one of the first U.S. automobile companies to advertise in an African American publication.