Calvin Spann, Tuskegee Airman and Pilot, Dies
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

(Image: Twitter)

Lt. Calvin Spann, a Tuskegee airman and fighter pilot, died Sept. 6 at his home, according to a news statement. He was 90.

Spann became an original airman and fighter pilot with the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group after receiving his wings from the Tuskegee Flight School. He was part of an elite class of African American pilots, and he served in Europe during World War II, flying 26 combat missions in Europe.

Up until his death, Spann was very active in his community, speaking at schools, churches and organizations about his experience as a Tuskegee Airman.

[Related: Mel Farr, Former NFL Running Back and Business Titan, Dies at 70]

Public memorial services for him were held in Texas, where family, friends, fans and legislators honored his legacy:

After the war, Spann faced challenges due to segregation, and was able to find work in a factory before eventually moving on to became a sales representative for Roche pharmaceuticals. During his sales career, he owned a restaurant-bar and was a real estate broker.

President Bush awarded him and his fellow Tuskegee Airmen the Congressional Gold Medal in 2006.

He is survived by his wife, Gwenelle Spann of McKinney; daughters Gai Spann of Brooklyn and Carla Spann-Lopez of Allen, Texas; a son, Calvin J. Spann Jr. of New York; and three grandchildren.

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.