Oldest Remaining Member of Tuskegee Airmen Dies at Age 101

Willie Rogers was a master sergeant in the first African-American military aviation squadron.

Tuskegee Airmen P 51 Mustang
The Tuskegee Airmen flew P-51 Mustangs with their tails painted red.Wikimedia Commons/Max Haynes

Willie Rogers, the oldest remaining member of the Tuskegee Airmen, has died at 101 years old.

Rogers, a master sergeant in the first African-American military aviation squadron, died Friday evening from complications of a stroke, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Family members told the Times that Rogers wasn't one to boast about his military service. They knew he'd served in World War II, but they weren't aware he was part of the Tuskegee Airmen until he told them in 2012. Rogers told his family he'd kept silent about his involvement with the Red Tails because he worked on the ground in logistics and administration.

"He would always say there were many who deserved attention more but were not here to receive it," his daughter Veronica Williams told the Times.

Rogers did see combat. He was shot in the stomach and leg by German soldiers in Italy, spending three months in the hospital before returning to the war.