One of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, William Broadwater was quite young when he signed
up for service in World War II, but he got in enough service flying B-25s to sustain
a life-long disability and have a Purple Heart pinned to his chest.
“Tuskegee Airmen” is the popular name for the first group of African American pilots
to fly as military aviators at a time when the U.S. Armed Forces was still racially
segregated. They flew and fought with great distinction in the Second World War.
Like many military pilots, Lieutenant Broadwater was “totally disappointed when
I learned that I was flying a bomber instead of a fighter.” But he came to love
the plane on which he trained: “The B-25J was a pretty neat aircraft. It had 14
guns on it.”
More than 400,000 Americans lost their lives in WWII, another 670,000 were wounded.
A member of a DAV Chapter in Maryland, William left the military in 1948, but he’s
still active in several veterans’ activities, including Purple Heart ceremonies
for American heroes coming home from Afghanistan and Iraq.