Obit: Charles "Chuck" Dryden
- ATLANTA (AP) � Lt. Col. Charles "Chuck" Dryden, one of the first of the pioneering black World War II pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen, has died. He was 87.
Dryden died Tuesday in Atlanta of natural causes, said a spokesman for the National Museum of Patriotism in Atlanta. Dryden was on the museum's board of directors.
Dryden's 21-year military career included combat missions in Korea and assignments in Japan, Germany and U.S. bases. He retired from the Air Force in 1962.
Dryden was selected for aviation cadet training as part of a segregated Army Air Corps unit at Tuskegee Army Flying School in Alabama in August 1941, only a month after the program began and four months before the U.S. entered World War II.
Dryden's P-40 airplane was nicknamed "A-Train," and he titled his autobiography "A-Train: Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman," published in 1997.
In March 2007, Dryden and some 300 surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen gathered in Washington to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.
Dryden earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Hofstra University and a master's degree in public law and government from Columbia University. He was also a professor of air science at Howard University.
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