Son of Tuskegee Airmen pilot visits LCPS

Son of Tuskegee Airmen pilot visits LCPS
Captain Howard Baugh

On Thursday, February 8th, retired pilot Captain Howard Baugh spoke to students at Thomas Jefferson and Jouett Elementary School.

Captain Baugh’s father, the late Lt. Colonel Howard L. Baugh, was a decorated member of the legendary “Tuskegee Airmen”.

The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of highly-skilled African-American pilots in WWII. Despite discrimination and doubts from some of their peers, the Tuskegee Airmen included many of the most successful pilots in WWII. 

Lt. Colonel Baugh, who passed away in 2008 at the age of 88, was a highly successful pilot. He entered the U.S. Army Corps class in 1942, and by 1944, had recorded victories in air-to-air combat against German Fighter bombers. As was the case with many of his Tuskegee Airmen comrades, Lt. Colonel Baugh retired from the service with numerous medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, National Service Defense Medal, and a WWII Victory Medal.

Captain Howard Baugh is also a pilot. He spent a majority of his life as a commercial airline pilot, but also spent time in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.

Now, Captain Baugh travels the country as a motivational speaker, highlighting the success of his father and explaining how it impacted his own life 

“We have to, as Americans, inspire the youth to be all they can possibly be,” Captain Baugh said. “This is the greatest country on Earth. There are so many opportunities. And we need to expose our youth to all these different variables through education and career fields. It’s just a wonderful opportunity for me.”

Captain Baugh said his speaking schedule picks up during February, since it is Black History Month. Captain Baugh said that the month gives him a chance to share and preserve history that, at times, hasn’t been well documented.

“The reason we have Black History Month is because back in those days, black history was not recorded. Even in all of my research about the Tuskegee Airmen, I found so many inconsistencies and most of what I’ve learned has been from original Tuskegee Airmen. Fortunately, with my dad being one I got to meet a lot of them.”

During his 25 years of active duty, Lt. Colonel Baugh logged 6,000 pilot hours, including 250 combat hours. He flew more than 17 different types of military aircrafts. After retiring from Kodak in 1984, Lt. Colonel Baugh moved to Petersburg, Virginia, and began a career of public speaking.


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