Tuskegee Airman Charles Feaster of Xenia Dies

Tuskeegee Airmen (U.S. Air Force photo)
Tuskeegee Airmen (U.S. Air Force photo)

A Xenia man who served with the famed Tuskegee Airmen in World War II has died, according to the Greene County Coroner's Office.

Charles P. Feaster, 94, served as a technical engineer with the group of African-American aviators who were pioneers in a segregated military during the war in Europe and Africa.

He trained at Tuskegee, Alabama and Chanute Army Air Field in Illinois to join the group.

Tuskegee Airmen scored a distinguished combat record flying P-40 Warhawks, P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs in North Africa, Italy, Sicily, France, Germany and the Balkans. They often flew escort missions to protect U.S. Army Air Corps bomber crews over Europe.

Feaster kept P-40 Warhawks with the 99th Pursuit Squadron flying in Cape Bon, Tunisia.

"I felt very proud," he said in a 2003 Dayton Daily News interview. "We're flying an iron bird equipped with six 50-caliber machine guns."

The Tuskegee Airmen were bestowed the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2007.

Feaster, a retired Wright-Patterson Air Force Base employee, met President Barack Obama in June 2013 at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base near Columbus. The president gave Feaster a presidential coin.

"He thanked me for my service, and he said 'You're a path-breaker,'" Feaster told this newspaper then. "It made me feel extremely touched. It made me feel I got something accomplished."

Information on funeral arrangements was not immediately available.

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