Another Tuskegee Airman is gone but not forgotten

Bellingham HeraldAugust 13, 2014 

Lt. Col. E.P. Drummond, Jr., late of the Tuskegee Airmen, passed away in Washington State.

COURTESY PHOTO — Tacoma News-Tribune

Lt. Col Edward P. Drummond, Jr. taught his three children there was nothing in life they couldn’t overcome.

Drummond, part of the last graduating class of renowned African American pilots trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama during World War II, proved it by overcoming so much in his own life.

“What dad’s experiences and example showed us is what we could become if we just believed in ourselves and disregarded skin color,” said his oldest son, Edward P. Drummond III.

Drummond, who lived in Lakewood, died Aug. 3 after battling a chronic illness. He was 87.

The Philadelphia-born pilot made the South Sound his home after being assigned to McChord Air Force Base twice during his 25 years of service. After being honorably discharged in 1970, he went to work for the state Department of Social and Health Services and the Department of Licensing until he retired in 1982.

Drummond was the last surviving member of the Tuskegee Airmen to belong to the Seattle-based Sam Bruce Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen Inc. He was an ambassador for the local chapter and its scholarship program.

“Ed was a great lecturer. We just loved to hear him tell his stories,” said Thomas Gray, an officer for the chapter. “He will be terribly missed. He was that kind of person you were glad you knew in your life.”

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