Lee Archer (pilot)
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|Lee A. Archer Jr.|
|Born||September 6, 1919|
Yonkers, New York
|Died||January 27, 2010 (aged 90)|
Manhattan, New York City
|Service/branch||United States Air Force|
|Years of service||1941-1970|
|Unit||302nd Fighter Squadron|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Congressional Gold Medal and more|
He studied at the New York University. After his study he joined the army having the hope to become a pilot. In that era he had to discover that it was not possible for him as an African-American, due to the Jim Crow laws. As a result he was sent of to Georgia for a communication job. After the army changed its policy, he was accepted to the trainings program for African-American on Tuskegee Army Airfield in Alabama.
During World War II Archer flew on 169 combat missions for the 302nd Fighter Squadron above Europe, and brought down several hostile planes. During a mission in August 1944 he destroyed six German planes on the ground. On October 12, 1944, he 'landed' in a series of air combats above Hungary, which was occupied territory then by Nazi Germany. Flying a P-51 Mustang he brought down three German fighters.
When he came back in 1945 he discovered that nothing had changed in the American society. When he stepped out of his plane, the first sign he saw demanded ′Colored Troops to the Right, White Troops to the Left′. Archer stayed in the army until 1970. At that moment he was a Lieutenant Colonel.
He continued his career in civil society at General Foods in White Plains, New York, where he was one of the first African-American vice presidents of an American corporation. In 1987 he founded his own company in venture capital, called Archer Asset Management.
Furthermore he was mentioned as an exemplary air force fighter at the presentation of the Freedom Medal as well as in the category of Freedom from fear of the Four Freedoms Awards. Furthermore he and his fellow Tuskegee pilots were honored with a Congressional Gold Medal in 2007.
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