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Original member of the Tuskegee Airmen dies in Ala.; flew 77 missions, crash-landed just once

Retired Lt. Col. Herbert Eugene Carter, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen who broke color barriers in World War II, has died.

Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford said Carter died Thursday afternoon at East Alabama Medical Center. He was 95.

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first black aviators in the U.S. military. During World War II they were trained as a segregated unit in central Alabama at Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University. Carter was in the first group that trained for the 99th Fighter Squadron.

They were prohibited from fighting alongside white counterparts and faced severe prejudice, yet became one of World War II's most respected fighter squadrons.

Carter flew 77 missions and crashed landed only once.

Tuskegee's mayor ordered flags in the town flown at half-staff. Funeral arrangements are pending.

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