This 'n' That

Sunday, August 05, 2007


The Brazil Times of Brazil, Indiana reports that Charles "Buster" Hall will have a memorial constructed in his honor. Charles B. Hall was a native of Brazil, Indiana, which is also the birthplace of James "Jimmy" Hoffa. A street in Brazil, Indiana has already been named for Mr. Hall.

In the book, "American Patriots", (Random House, 2001) author Gail Buckley writes: "On July 2, 1943, Buster Hall, escorting B-25s over Sicily, made the first 99th kill, bringing down a Focke-Wulf 190. There is a photograph of Hall, very young and slightly stunned, the first black American pilot to shoot down an enemy aircraft, holding a celebratory bottle of Coca-Cola instead of champagne....Hall's victory brought important visitors: Major General James H. Doolittle, Lieutenant General Carl Spaatz, and Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower...And Buster Hall, owner of the first kill, knocked out two more enemy, winning the Distinguished Flying Cross...But Buster Hall, winner of the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the first black American pilot to down an enemy plane, became a restaurant manager after the war. No airline or commercial transport company would give him a job...." Many black American veterans faced similar racism upon returning to the U.S. after the Second World War.

Gail Buckley, who authored "American Patriots", is the daughter of singer/actress Lena Horne.


Board of Works approves placement of Hall memorial

Charles B. Hall
Managing Editor

Thanks to a Friday vote, the Charles B. Hall Tuskegee Airman Memorial will now have a permanent residence.

The board voted 2-0 Friday to place the memorial for the Brazil native next to the Lewis McNutt water fountain, which sits on City Hall grounds facing U.S. 40.

A committee composed of five residents have been in discussion for nearly three years putting together ideas of what the memorial might look like in addition to where it would be placed.

Residents had the opportunity to see a schematic drawing of the memorial, provided by Process Development and Fabrication, 10102 N. Murphy Ave., Brazil.

Current plans for the memorial call for a 2-foot marble column with a bronze plaque placed on it. On top of the plaque would be a bronze P-40 fighter plane. The memorial, according to the design, would stand 5-feet tall.

Committee members said the reasoning behind wanting to place the memorial next to the Lewis McNutt water fountain was that Hall was a good friend to Ted McNutt-Englehart, a relative of Lewis McNutt.

Hall was born on Aug. 25, 1920 in Brazil.

He made history as being one of the first 43 African-American pilots trained for combat as part of the 99th Pursuit Squadron during World War II. During combat, Hall shot down three enemy planes and was the first African-American to shoot down an enemy plane, when he shot down a German Focke-Wulf 190 on July 2, 1943.

Hall died on Nov. 22, 1971.