Cirrus Remembers Quentin Smith, Tuskegee Airman
Cirrus is saddened to share that 94-year-old former Tuskegee Airman Quentin P. Smith passed away Tuesday in Gary, Indiana.
Smith was one of the original men trained at Tuskegee Institute during World War II, when the military was still segregated.
Smith is perhaps best known for his stand against segregation at Freeman Field where he and several other Tuskegee Airmen attempted to integrate the then all-white officers club. Despite threats of imprisonment and possibly even death, he refused to back down on this stand, and was later released and received an honorable discharge on an order from then President Harry Truman.
After leaving the Air Force, Smith returned to his hometown Gary to teach English at Roosevelt High School, and later become the principal of West Side high school. He was also heavily involved in local politics, and received a Congressional Medal in 2007, the highest civilian honor bestowed by Congress.
The late Mr. Smith was the great uncle of our sales team member, Michael Matthews. Cirrus salutes Mr. Smith for his service and courage, and wishes his family our deepest condolences.