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According to Huffington Post, John Edward Allen, who served as a Tuskegee Airman during World War II and earned honors for his Vietnam service in the US Air Force, succumbed to cancer to Tuesday.

The NAACP Albuquerque Chapter President Harold Bailey said,

“Allen died from multiple myeloma. He was 84.

He wasn’t in combat in World War II however he received the Air Force Commendation Medal for assisting in de-arming two dozen 500-pound bombs that were dropped from the wing of a B-52 being prepared for a Vietnam War mission.

In 2007. nearly 300 original Tuskegee Airmen were awarded a Congressional Gold Medal in 2007.

Said Bailey,

“History speaks for itself, he was a role model, not only for African-Americans, but for all Americans in general.”

Said Willie E. Allen the widow of Edward Allen,

“I didn’t even know he was a Tuskegee Airman until after we were married.  When I found out I started reading all about the Tuskegee Airmen.  I was so proud of him.”

His wife said her husband also hardly talked about the racial discrimination he faced in his early days in the military and refused to carry any anger over it.

“That was just not the type of person he was.”

Family members are planning a memorial for Aug. 13 at the African American Performing Arts Center.

We send our thoughts out to his family, friends and all of those he’s touched over the years. Thank you for your service and sacrifice sir.


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We Fight: Tuskeegee Airman John Edward Allen Passes Away  was originally published on theurbandaily.com