Former Tuskegee Airman visits AFA and flies with cadet

2nd Lt. Franklin Macon visits the U.S. Air Force Academy/Christina Dawidowicz FOX21
2nd Lt. Franklin Macon visits the U.S. Air Force Academy/Christina Dawidowicz FOX21

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — The Air Force Academy welcomed a WWII hero Tuesday morning, taking him on a flight over Colorado Springs.

2nd Lt. Franklin Macon is a Colorado Springs native and one of the original documented Tuskegee airmen.

“To think that they let a 21-year-old cadet at the Air Force Academy fly a 92-year-old war hero, it’s a pretty humbling experience to say the least,” said Cadet 1st Class Scott Lafferty, cadet fly team commander.

Tuesday morning, the Air Force Academy took Macon to the skies, a flight reminiscent of his past.

“It’s really great, because this is the airfield I soloed off of. It was just a dirt strip in those days,” Macon said.

But Macon’s visit was more than just a fun flight. He also spoke to cadets during a history class.

“As a little kid, I always grew up interested in aviation and I always knew who the Tuskegee airmen were, and I had the utmost respect for those guys, who were willing to fly a crude airplane up in WWII and fight the Germans,” Lafferty said.

During the hour-long flight, Lafferty said something about Macon stood out.

“I said that ‘you have a heck of a fanfare that’s going to be waiting for you when we get back,’ and he said, ‘I’m probably the most popular person that’s never done anything.’ Which obviously, we all know is not true, but it really struck me about humility,” Lafferty said.

And Macon’s advice for the cadets?

“You’re in a great service and just do everything you can to put forth all the effort to make it even greater,” Macon said.

You may remember the 92-year-old veteran had his Congressional Tuskegee Airmen Medal stolen from his home in 2011. The medal, which has since been recovered, is extremely rare and holds a lot of meaning to Macon and his past.

Tuskegee Airmen were the first group of African-Americans to fly for the American military.

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