Two weeks after being recognized as an Documented Original Tuskegee Airmen (DOTA), solidifying his place in history alongside others who braved racism and discrimination in helping to integrate the U.S. military, local senior, Howard Tymony passed away on November 29. Tymony was 93 years old.

Services will be held on Monday, December 17 at Morgan Jones Funeral Home, located at 4200 Broadway. A family viewing will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and a public memorial will be held from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Tymony was born on May 31, 1925. He was drafted in 1944 at the age of 19 and went on to spend 31 years of his life in the U.S. military. He started out in the Army Air Corps and went on to serve in the Air Force and became a weapons expert. During World War II, Tymony helped load guns and arm planes flown by the 332nd Fighter Group. He rose through the ranks to become an artillery supervisor. Over his three-decade career, Tymony conducted missions in Italy, Guam, Vietnam, Libya, and the Philippines.

He was a friend and roommate of Tuskegee Airman and Olympic gold medalist Mal Whitfield. A gifted pianist, Tymony was often requested by famed General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. and his wife to play during special events. He was also present on the Freeman Army Airfield in Indiana in 1945 when a number of African American officers attempted to integrate an all-White officer’s club.

Tymony was a double amputee, as a result of diabetes that stemmed from his exposure to Agent Orange while serving during the Vietnam War. He lived in a care facility in Elk Grove at the time of his passing. It was there that the Tuskegee Airmen Heritage Chapter Of Greater Sacramento presented him with a Congressional Gold Medal on November 12, Veterans Day, marking his status as a DOTA, having served during World War II. The medal is the same as those presented by then President George W. Bush in March 2007.

According to the Tuskegee Airmen Heritage Chapter, “anyone–man or woman, military or civilian, black or white–who served at Tuskegee Army Air Field or in any of the programs stemming from the ‘Tuskegee Experience’ between the years 1941 and 1949 is considered to be a documented original Tuskegee Airman (DOTA).”

Members of the Tuskegee Airmen Heritage Chapter crowded into Tymony’s small room to shower him with additional accolades and gifts.

Tymony is survived by daughter Christine Rice, sons Howard Tymony, Jr. and Gene Murry, Sr. and a host of grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren.

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By: Genoa Barrow

OBSERVER Senior Staff Writer