The legendary Tuskegee Airmen lost another pilot on Aug. 19 when George Hickman died in Seattle at age 86, according his wife, Doris.
He served as one of the United States’ first Black military pilots and ground crew members.
Hickman became interested in aviation as a boy and joined the segregated aviation program in Tuskegee, Ala. Before the Tuskegee Airmen, no Black pilots had flown in the U.S. military. Hicks served in the Army Air Corps from 1943 until 1945, graduating in the class of 1944.
Initially Hicks had been eliminated from the program after facing segregation and mistreatment from White superior officers. “I felt like I had really been mistreated,” Hickman told the Associated Press.
Hickman continued to work in aviation after leaving the army. In 1955, Hickman moved to Seattle to work for Boeing as an engineering training instructor and executive in the aerospace division.
After retiring in 1984, Hickman became a longtime usher at University of Washington and Seattle Seahawks football games where, it was reported, he was always joyous and interacted with the crowd.