Walter Palmer

Indianapolis, Indiana

Aug 22, 1921 – Mar 28, 2009 (Age 87)


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INDIANAPOLIS - Walter Palmer, one of Indiana's last living members of a famed World War II group of black fighter pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen, has died. He was 87. Palmer died at his Indianapolis home Saturday of stomach cancer, according to his daughter, Janice Carter. Palmer flew on 158 missions over Italy and Germany during the war. The all-black Tuskegee 99th Fighter Group was formed in 1941 and trained in Tuskegee, Ala., but faced racism in the segregated South. Palmer was 21 when he became an airman in June 1943. An eye injury in an auto accident ended Palmer's military career. He and his wife Rosalind Palmer moved to Indianapolis from his native New York in the early 1970s. Since then, the Tuskegee Airmen's exploits slowly gained recognition, and Palmer gave motivational talks to schools and civic groups. In 2007, Palmer was among about 300 Tuskegee Airmen who received the Congressional Gold Medal from President George W. Bush.

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