332nd FG Pilots
Left to Right: Dempsey W. Morgan, Carroll S. Woods, Robert H. Nelson, Andrew D. Turner, Clarence P. Lester
"MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Retired Air Force Maj. Carrol S. Woods, a decorated member of the Tuskegee Airmen who was honored with his colleagues this year in Washington, died after a battle with cancer. He was 88.
Services for Woods will be held Tuesday at Washington Chapel AME Church in Tuskegee. Woods, of Montgomery, died on Nov. 20.
Woods was among the members of the famed fighter group to receive the Congressional Gold Medal from President Bush in a ceremony in April in Washington.
Woods was inducted into the Alabama Military Hall of Fame last year, but his only child, son Carrol S. Woods Jr., said his father never talked much about his experiences serving in the military's first black fighter group in World War II.
"These guys just did their jobs and that kind of forced my father to be a hero," Woods told the Montgomery Advertiser, which reported the death Monday. "All through elementary school, I had no idea my father had been a fighter pilot."
Woods' plane was shot down over Greece in October 1944. He was a prisoner of war until April 1945 when Gen. George Patton and his army reached the POW camp in Greece.
Woods' friend and fellow Tuskegee Airman, Lt. Col. Herbert E. Carter, also of Montgomery, flew in the 99th fighter squadron of the 332nd fighter group. Woods flew more than 100 missions before retiring from the Air Force.
"We lost a gentleman who gave the early part of his life to the defense of this country," Carter said.
Almost 1,000 pilots trained as a segregated Army Air Corps unit in Tuskegee during World War II. The Tuskegee Airmen were known as the "Red Tails" for the color of the tails of their fighters."
Units served with
The United States entered World War II with a military that was segregated by race and remained segregated until 1948. War Department planners generally placed White and African-American Army personnel in separate units during World War II.
The 99th was originally formed as the Army Air Force's first African American fighter squadron, then known the 99th Pursuit Squadron. The personnel received their initial flight training at Tuskegee, Alabama earning them the nickname Tuskegee Airmen....
||Washington, DC, USA
||Baltimore, MD, USA
||25 March 1941
||85368 Moosburg, Germany
||October 1944 – May 1945
||6 October 1944
||Montgomery, AL, USA
||20 January 2007