Fitzroy "Buck" Newsum (May 22, 1918 – January 5, 2013) was an American Retired Colonel, military pilot who was one of the original members of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. He reached the rank of colonel before retiring in 1970.
"Buck" Newsum was born on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York City, on May 22, 1918. He was raised on the island of Trinidad (in present-day Trinidad and Tobago), where he saw his first airplane, a Curtiss Robin, land near his home in 1929 when he was 10 years old.
He graduated from the College of Military Science at the University of Maryland. He joined the New York National Guard in 1939 He was second lieutenant in the Anti-Aircraft Coast Artillery Corps in 1941 and was sent to Hawaii, where he commanded an anti-aircraft missile group on the islands, following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt arranged for thirty-three African American servicemen to take an entrance exam for the Army Air Corps. Newsum was one of just thirteen men to pass the test. After passing, he chose to attend the Tuskegee Army Air Field's flight school rather than the Officer Candidate School that the other twelve men enrolled in. Newsum would pilot the P-47 Thunderbolt warplane during the war.
He later obtained a master's degree in public administration from the University of Oklahoma. He reached the rank of colonel before retiring in 1970. Newsum worked as a public relations manager at Martin Marietta in Denver, Colorado, after leaving the military.
Newsum was one of the surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen who received a Congressional Gold Medal from President George W. Bush in 2007. he had previously been inducted into the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame in 1991.
Newsum died in Denver, Colorado, on January 5, 2013, at the age of 95. He was buried at Fort Logan National Cemetery with full military honors. Newsum was survived by his wife of sixty-six years, Joan Carney Newsum, four children and four grandchildren. U.S. Senator Mark Udall also paid tribute to Newsum following his death, noting that he proudly served as the U.S. military despite the segregation of the era.
References[edit | edit source]
- Davidson, Joanne (2013-01-13). "Tuskegee Airman Fitzroy "Buck" Newsum, 94, persevered to be a pilot". Denver Post. http://www.denverpost.com/obituaries/ci_22362535/tuskegee-airman-fitzroy-buck-newsum-94-persevered-be?source=rss_emailed. Retrieved 2013-01-16.
- Pohl, Jason (2013-01-14). "Tuskegee Airman Fitzroy "Buck" Newsum gets one final flyover". Denver Post. http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_22372988/tuskegee-airman-tuskegee-airman-fitzroy-buck-newsum-gets. Retrieved 2013-01-16.
- "Denver funeral service, flyover honor Col. Newsum, one of original Tuskegee Airmen". Associated Press. Fox News. 2013-01-14. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/14/denver-funeral-service-flyover-honor-col-newsum-one-original-tuskegee-airmen/. Retrieved 2013-01-16.
- "Tuskegee airman leaves legacy of service". Our Colorado News. 2013-01-16. Archived from the original on 2013-11-01. https://web.archive.org/web/20131101031316/http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/centennial/news/tuskegee-airman-leaves-legacy-of-service/article_f2bf2240-603d-11e2-bd9e-0019bb2963f4.html. Retrieved 2013-01-16.
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