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Theodore ‘Ted’ Lumpkin (1919–2020), Tuskegee Airman

by John Maxwell

Theodore ‘Ted’ Lumpkin was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, the Black pilots and support staff who served with distinction in World War II. He served as an intelligence officer, giving mission briefings to pilots during a combat tour in Italy. He retired from the Air Force Reserves as a lieutenant colonel.

Tuskegee Airmen Inc.

Lumpkin’s own family didn’t know about his involvement in the Tuskegee Airmen until much later in his life. After retiring from the Air Force Reserves and subsequent careers as a social worker and real estate broker, Lumpkin became the president of the Los Angeles chapter of Tuskegee Airmen Inc. The organization’s mission is to honor the accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen and promote interest in aviation and science among young people. Lumpkin kept a busy travel schedule for many years, giving presentations and attending board meetings.

Tributes to Theodore ‘Ted’ Lumpkin

“When I realized who these guys were and what they’d done, I was just overcome at how much they persevered. They did not bow down. They achieved things that detractors said they couldn’t, weren’t capable of doing” —Georgia Lumpkin, his wife, told the Los Angeles Times

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Full obituary: Los Angeles Times

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