Tuskegee Airmen and their San Antonio history

Celebrating the life of Dr. Eugene Derricottee and the Tuskegee Airmen in San Antonio.

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The Tuskegee Airmen courtesy of UC Riverside Archives

Air Force Col. Eugene Derricotte — the last remaining Tuskegee Airman — died Friday, March 31 in San Antonio at the age of 96. .

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first Black aviators in the Armed Forces. During the time of their deployment (1940–1946), approximately 445 were deployed overseas, and 150 lost their lives.

Dr. Derricotte’s career was extensive both in military and civilian life.

  • 1944 — Drafted into the Army.
  • 1946 — Volunteered for the pilot training program at Tuskegee Air Force base in Alabama.
  • 1950 — Earned a Pharmacy degree at the University of Michigan
  • 1958 — Earned a degree in dentistry at the University of Michigan
  • 1985 — Relocated to San Antonio, where he became Chief of Oral Surgery at Lackland Air Force Base, and an assistant professor at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio.

Dr. Derricotte is one of 17 Tuskegee Airmen who called San Antonio home. He was a member of the San Antonio Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, founded in 1996,the chapter hosts youth programs and community outreach events throughout the year — like their Air Force JROTC Award Program, which honors high school cadets for their outstanding community service, academic achievement, and involvement of cadet activities.

In addition to the Award Program, the Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation grants scholarships to high school seniors graduating during the spring semester. The San Antonio Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen seeks to preserve the legacy and honor of all Tuskegee Airmen. To learn more and get involved with their local efforts, find more info online.

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