Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

October 21, 1939

On October 21, 1939, the Atlanta Daily World reported John C. Robinson, an African-American pilot nicknamed the “Brown Condor” who served in the Ethiopian Air Force in the war against Italy, was selected by the National Youth Administration as a consultant for a new air mechanics school in Illinois. “About $250,000 worth of surplus and obsolete aviation from army and navy stocks have been allocated to Colonel Robinson’s school, including several full sized complete airplanes, one of which is already on the grounds of the institute,” the article noted. “This equipment will be used to give instruction of a purely industrial nature and the commercial aspects of the aviation picture will be stressed rather than the military.” Robinson was a graduate of the Tuskegee Institute where he later helped establish the aviation school that trained the Tuskegee Airmen.

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