LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Funeral services were pending for Alton F. Ballard, an original member of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Ballard died Sunday, March 8, at his Los Angeles home at age 94, according to the Los Angeles Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen Inc. His daughter, Alta Ballard, said her father suffered a heart attack about a year ago, and although he recovered, his health began deteriorating several months ago.

Ballard was a cadet at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1942 and graduated from flight training the following year. He was deployed overseas in December 1943 as a member of the 332nd Fighter Group, flying a P-51 Mustang as a “Red Tails” pilot.

He flew 89 missions and was awarded an Air Medal for meritorious achievement, a Distinguished Flying Cross and European Theater of Operations Ribbon.

Ballard returned to Tuskegee Air Base as a flight instructor, eventually retiring from the Air Force with the rank of captain. After leaving the military, he was an elementary school teacher and assistant principal in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

 

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