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In 1934, the Chief, along with Dr. Albert Forsythe, another black pilot, made more black history when they flew their plane, a Lambert Monocoupe called The Booker T. Washington, on a Pan American Good Will Tour. The duo soared across the skies on a historic transcontinental round-trip flight from Atlantic City, New Jersey to Los Angeles, California.

After a brief stint teaching at Howard University’s Civilian Flight program, Anderson was brought on to work at Tuskegee’s new Black pilot training program. When he took Eleanor Roosevelt on an experimental flight, she was convinced to persuade her husband, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, to allow black pilots to train for military flight missions. That ultimately led to the Tuskegee Airmen program of World War II.

The Chief was soon selected by the U.S. Army as the Tuskegee Ground Commander and Chief Instructor for aviation cadets of the 99th Pursuit Squadron, which was the country’s first all-black squadron. The 99th was combined with the 332nd Fighter group, also known as the Red Tails.

Anderson is enshrined at the National Aviation Hall of Fame. His granddaughter, Christina Anderson, has led the Chief Anderson Legacy Foundation for years. The new stamp will be part of the Distinguished American series. A special ceremony will be held on March 13th in the Chief’s hometown of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. For more information on C. Alfred Chief Anderson and his legacy in aviation, go to his official website. 

Little Known Black History Fact: Charles Alfred “Chief” Anderson  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

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