LI Tuskegee Airman passes on story of bravery

At only 19, Lt. Col. William Wheeler, of Hempstead, made history as one of the first black fighter pilots in World War II.

As one of the Tuskegee Airmen, Wheeler took on Germans from the skies. Members of the all-black fighter pilot squadron flew more than 15,000 missions and destroyed 1,000 enemy aircraft.

Wheeler says he never hesitated to join the fight.

??in every war in which this country has been involved, black people have fought, even as slaves,? Wheeler says. ?How could I let down that tradition??

Wheeler speaks to audiences throughout the year to help keep the story of Tuskegee Airmen alive.

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