Custis, Lemuel Rodney, MAJ

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
AAF 1056-Pilot Single-Engine Fighter
Last MOS Group
Aviation (Officer)
Primary Unit
1945-1946, AAF 1056, USAAF 3rd Army Air Force
Service Years
1941 - 1946



Two Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Not Specified
Year of Birth
Not Specified
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SFC Ken Logue-Deceased to remember Custis, Lemuel Rodney (Tuskegee Airman), MAJ.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Wethersfield, Connecticut
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Feb 24, 2005
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
The first five men to have the silver wings of the Army Air Force pinned on their chests were Benjamin O. Davis, George Roberts, Charles BeBow, Jr., Mac Ross and Lemuel Custis. In March of 1942 the black pilots were inducted into the U.S. Army Air Corps in ceremonies on the airstrip at Tuskegee and later that month the 100th Fighter Squadron was formed as part of the 332nd Fighter Group.

Custis was assigned to the all-black 99th Fighter Squadron, which flew escort and patrol missions in P-40 Warhawks in North Africa, Sicily and Italy from April 1943 to July 1944. Members of the 99th first tangled with German fliers while covering the beaches during the Allied invasion at Anzio on Jan. 27, 1944.

Other Comments:
Lemuel Rodney Custis, was the last surviving member of that first class. Having received a BS Degree from Howard University in 1938, he became Hartford's first African-American police officer in 1939. Custis flew 92 combat missions in the P-40 while assigned to the 99th Fighter Squadron, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroism. He later returned to Tuskegee as an advanced flight instructor and was released from active military service from the U.S. Army Air Force in 1946 as a Captain.
Interred at Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hartfor. Connecticut
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 Ribbon Bar

Aviator Badge (Senior)

 Unit Assignments
USAAF 9th Army Air ForceUSAAF 3rd Army Air Force
  1943-1945, AAF 1056, USAAF 9th Army Air Force
  1945-1946, AAF 1056, USAAF 3rd Army Air Force
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1944 Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)/Operation Strangle
 Colleges Attended 
Howard UniversityTuskegee Institute
  1936-1938, Howard University
  1941-1942, Tuskegee Institute2
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