Military Wiki
Rutherford H. Adkins
Rutherford H. Adkins in 1944
Nickname Lubby
Born (1924-11-21)November 21, 1924
Died February 6, 1996(1996-02-06) (aged 71)
Place of birth Alexandria, Virginia
Place of death Nashville, Tennessee
Service/branch United States Army Air Force
Years of service 1943-1945
Unit 332nd Fighter Group
Other work
President of Knoxville College President of Fisk University

Rutherford H. Adkins (Lubby) (1924-1998) was a World War II pilot with the Tuskegee Airmen. He flew fourteen combat missions with the Tuskegee Airmen. He came home to complete his education and earn multiple degrees: he was the first African American to earn a Ph.D from the Catholic University in Washington D.C. Adkins went on to serve in many positions in higher education: he served as President of Knoxville College and Fisk University.

Military service[]

World War II[]

Adlkins was drafted into the army while he was attending college at Temple University in 1943. He attended Tuskegee University and graduated October 16, 1944.[1] He was assigned to the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332nd, and sent to Europe. In Europe he flew 14 combat mission mostly in support of bombing runs.[2][3]

After the war[]

Adkins returned home to complete his education earning a bachelor's degree, a master's degree and a Ph.D. He then went on to a long distinguished career in education.

  • Physics professor at the U.S. Naval Academic school
  • President of Knoxville College from 1976 to 1981
  • President of Fisk University 1997[4][5][6]


Adkins attended college at Virginia Union University, Richmond, VA and Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. He was drafted before he could complete his education. After the war Adkins returned to earn a bachelor's degree from Virginia State University (1947). He also earned master's degree in physics from Howard University in 1949. And he was the first African American to receive a PHD from The Catholic University In Washington D.C. (1955).[2]

Personal life[]

Adkins was married to Nanci Cherry Adkins and together they had two daughters.[7] He went on to serve a long distinguished career in education. In 1997 he was diagnosed with cancer, and he died in 1998.[3]


External links[]

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