Louisville Tuskegee Airman dies - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Louisville Tuskegee Airman dies

(source: Calloway Family) (source: Calloway Family)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - One of the original Tuskegee Airmen from Louisville has passed away. Julius Calloway died Monday, he was 87-years-old and played a major role in aviation history.

Nearly a thousand pilots were trained at Tuskegee between 1941 and 1945 and Julius Calloway was one of them. Over the years, he touched many lives and shared his passion for being in the sky.

Julius Calloway III proudly shares pictures of his father that document history. Calloway was one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, a group of black pilots who broke the aviation color barrier in the U.S. Military during World War II.

"My mother always claimed his first love was flying and everything else came second," said Calloway III.

Calloway III shared with WAVE 3 a stack of old pictures that tell a story of a brave man who knew he was destined to be in the sky at a young age.

Calloway got his wings by the age of 20. His death comes as the new movie "Red Tails" is raising awareness about the airmen. Calloway III says his father got to meet some of the actors playing out the Airmen's lives.  

"We did get to see the trailer when we were up there for the reunion in Washington D.C.," said Calloway III.
 
Calloway was trained to take part in the war against Japan but, the fighting ended before he ever saw combat. He joined the Air Force Reserves, but segregation made it hard for him to become a commercial pilot. So, he started Calloway Flying Services, a school that trained pilots at Bowman Field.

In 1953 Calloway volunteered for active duty during the Korean War, training pilots on several jet aircraft and served overseas in Korea, Morocco, and Thailand before retiring as an Air Force major in 1970.

The bond he had with his fellow airmen never faded, he kept in touch and rarely ever missed a reunion. Calloway is in the Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame and leaves behind his passion for flying with his son.

The last time Calloway flew a plane was a the age of 80. Calloway III says his father battled cancer.
 
Visitation for Calloway will be on Friday at AD Porter and Sons in Louisville with his funeral on Saturday.

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