Did you know our own Dr. Needham Jones belonged to the famous Tuskegee Airmen? While a student at Alcorn A&M College, Jones was called up in the draft just six weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941. He was allowed to complete the spring semester as a member of the reserves and reported to the Air Corps at Camp Shelby, Mississippi on September 7, 1942. After eight days of testing, he was sent with the 30 highest scoring to Maxwell Air Force Base in Tuskegee, Alabama, and became a member of the 99th Pursuit Squadron. At discharge he had the rank of Corporal.
Dr. Jones spent many years in education in Stone County serving as Principal at Locker High School and then as Assistant Principal at Stone High. Through Dr. Jones efforts, many young people stayed in school to complete their high school education.
Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-MS), on March 1, 2013, hosted a ceremony officially recognizing Tuskegee Airman and current Hattiesburg resident, Corporal Needham Jones, Sr., at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg.
Sources: http://palazzo.house.gov/press-release/palazzo-honors-local-tuskegee-airman-congressional-gold-medal; http://mscivilrightsproject.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=266:needham-jones&catid=788:person&Itemid=74; http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/article/20130301/NEWS01/130301032/Member-Tuskegee-Airmen-honored-Congressional-Gold-Medal