(courtesy photo)
(courtesy photo)

Lieutenant Calvin Spann, who was one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, died Sunday in Allen, Texas.

Spann was a fighter pilot for the trailblazing group of African American military pilots during World War II. In 1943, Spann attended aviation cadet training in Tuskegee, Alabama; he received his wings from Tuskegee Flight School as a part of the graduating class of 44G. He was later sent to Italy to become a replacement pilot.

As one of the Tuskegee Airmen, he endured and overcame the racism faced in combat while serving the country. Due to his perseverance, Spann just like other members of the Tuskegee Airmen, received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007.

He became the longest bomber escort mission in 15th Air Force history. He flew 26 combat missions over Nazi Germany. When the war ended, Spann stopped flying and left the Air Force Reserves in 1961.

A Gofundme account has been set up to fund a memorial in honor of Spann.