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An artifact of Air Force Capt. Matthew Quy's plane, one of the few surviving planes that were used to train the Tuskegee Airmen is ready for display at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Monday, July 18, 2016, in Washington. The museum's grand opening will be on Sept. 24. (AP Photo/Paul Holston)

The longest-living Tuskegee Airman, Willie Rogers, has died at 101


Willie Rogers, the last Tuskegee Airman, died Friday at 101 years old after complications from a stroke.

The Tuskegee Airmen was an elite, all-black fighter pilot squadron during World War II. It was the first black military division in U.S. history. The Airmen did not lose a single bomber to enemy fire in more than 200 combat missions. 

Rogers, who live in St. Petersburg, Fla., was a master sergeant in the Airmen. 

He would always say there were many who deserved attention more, but were not here to receive it.
Veronica Williams, Rogers' daughter

When then-President George W. Bush gave 300 Airmen the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007, Rogers was not there. At the time, even his daughters did not know he served in the Airmen, The Tampa Bay Times reports. He told them he didn't talk about it because he did not fly, but served on the ground, doing logistics work. He was still wounded in combat.

The mayor of St. Petersburg acknowledged Rogers' death on Sunday.

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