Oldest surviving Tuskegee Airman, Willie Rogers, dies at 101

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Willie Rogers, the oldest surviving member of the original Tuskegee Airmen, has died at the age of 101.

(FOX)- Rogers died Friday evening, said Rev. Kenny Irby, the pastor at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. He lived in a senior apartment complex near the church, and walked the short distance to worship every Sunday, up until three weeks before his death.

“He was a super loving man who cared deeply about his community and his family,” said Irby. “Humble at the highest level.”

Rogers was drafted into the army in 1942 and was part of the 100th Air Engineer Squad. Rogers also served with the Red Tail Angels. He was wounded in action, shot in the stomach and leg by German soldiers, during a mission in Italy in January 1943.

Irby said Rogers was a “passionate oral historian,” but he didn’t like to fuss about his own bravery.

In 2007, the Tuskegee Airmen were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian honor. President George W. Bush saluted the 300 surviving airmen at a ceremony in the Capitol, where he apologized for “all the unreturned salutes and unforgivable indignities” they had endured.

(Photo Credit: CBS)

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