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Former Oroville resident, Tuskegee Airman, dead at 84

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samuelbroadnaxA former Oroville resident, who left the area in the 1940s and became one of a unique group of fighter pilots during World War II known as the Tuskegee Airmen, was remembered at a memorial service Friday in Marysville.Samuel L. Broadnax, 84, died early Oct. 7 at his home in Sacramento, said his son, Brian Broadnax.

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first black military airmen.

Longtime resident Stu Shaner said Broadnax grew up in Oroville and attended Oroville High School until his senior year, when he enlisted in the military. At the age of 17, Broadnax enlisted in the Army Air Corps and trained to become a pilot at the Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama.

He graduated in 1945 as a fighter pilot.

He was the author of a book about African-American aviation pioneers, and according to his book biography, was a broadcaster and journalist.

After leaving the military, Broadnax attended Yuba College, Howard University and UC Berkeley.

Broadnax’s son, Brian Broadnax, said there are no other relatives remaining in Oroville. The former Orovillian was 84.


Written by Symphony

October 20, 2009 at 6:04 am

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