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George W. Biggs (1925–2020), Tuskegee Airman who flew in three wars

by Linnea Crowther

George W. Biggs was a U.S. Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force veteran who flew as a Tuskegee Airman in World War II.

Three wars

When Biggs enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943 at age 18, it was his second attempt to join up – he had been denied when he tried to enlist at age 16. He was placed with the Tuskegee Airmen, the elite group of Black pilots and other airmen, where he trained as a navigator. In the years after the war, decided to reenlist in the U.S. Air Force as a non-commissioned officer. His career took him to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, where he was one of the first Black officers and helped integrate the base, though he later spoke of the severe discrimination he and other Black military personnel endured. He was promoted to major, and he flew in the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Later life

After his retirement from the Air Force, Biggs became an agent for the U.S. Customs Service in Nogales, Arizona. In 2007, Biggs was among the Tuskegee Airmen who were honored with the Congressional Gold Medal. Upon Biggs’ 95th birthday in June 2020, U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego wished him a happy birthday on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and noted, “Mr. Biggs’ character and actions truly embody what it means to serve one’s country.”


Tributes to George W. Biggs

Full obituary: Arizona Republic

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