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Old 4th August 2022, 03:42
DavidIsby DavidIsby is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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SSgt James Lloyd Shipley, 332nd FG

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We are saddened to hear of the passing of Tuskegee Airman James Lloyd Shipley at the age of 99. Born on June 29, 1923 in Tipton, Missouri to Galveston Leroy and Frances Arvenia Redmon Shipley, Shipley developed a love for engineering at a young age and dreamed of being a mechanic.
James’s fascination with engines gave him an opportunity to sign up with an all Black fighter group, now known as the legendary Tuskegee Airmen. In 1942, at 19 years old, he volunteered to join the all Black Army Air Corps at a time when many did not believe African Americans should be in the United States Armed Forces. After completing his basic training at Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama, he started aircraft mechanic school in Lincoln, NE where he learned how to rebuild and assemble all parts of the airplane. Next, he went on to Detroit, MI to gain more knowledge operating airplanes and how to get them ready for pre-flight and post-flight. After completing his training, he was deployed to Italy as a crew chief and earned the rank of Staff Sergeant. After the war, James returned to Tipton and enjoyed a career as an auto mechanic.
It was not until many years after Shipley’s service in WWII that he received his long overdue honors, accolades, and recognition. In 2007, Shipley received a replica of the Congressional Gold Medal that President George W. Bush presented collectively to the Tuskegee Airmen as a unit for their stellar record in combat. In 2013, Shipley went on an honor flight organized to take World War II veterans to visit the war memorials in Washington, DC. In 2017, a biography “Together As One: the Legacy of James Shipley, World War II Tuskegee Airman" was written by Jeremy Amick. In 2019, Shipley went to Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington to discuss his life and experience as a Tuskegee Airmen with the Air Force Base. In 2020 – another life milestone – after 79 years, he received his honorary High School diploma from Tipton High School, at the age of 97. In 2021, Shipley experienced flying in a PT-17 Stearman, the aircraft the United States Army Air Corps used to train Tuskegee Pilots. James has also received other medals and honors throughout the years.
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