HOME

S.E. Michigan
Vets List

Library of Congress
Vets Web Site

Alexander Jefferson
War: World War II, 1942-1969
Branch: United States Air Force
Unit: 332nd Fighter Group
Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Birth Year: 1921
Place of Birth: Detroit, Michigan
Read: "I Got Shot Down"
Read: "The Tuskegee Airmen"

SEE VIDEO BELOW

Alexander Jefferson graduated from Chadsey High School in Detroit, from Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia with a B.S. Degree, and did graduate work in Chemistry at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

In January of 1944 he graduated from the pilot training course at Tuskegee Army Air Field followed by three months of combat training at Selfridge Field, Michigan. He served as a P-51 fighter pilot with the Red Tail, 332nd Fighter Group, 301st Fighter Squadron in Ramitelli, Italy. In the course of providing protection from enemy aircraft, he flew 18 long range escort missions for B-17 and B-24 bombers. On August 12, 1944, three days prior to the invasion of Southern France, he was shot down by ground fire while strafing radar stations on the coast. Captured by German troops and interned for nine months as a prisoner of war, he spent five months in Stalag Luff III, 80 miles east of Berlin on the Odor River.

On January 29, 1945, when the Russians started their offensive, the prisoners, American, British and French, were transferred to Stalag VIIA, Mooseburg, approximately 20 miles north of Dachau. Liberated by American forces on the 29th of April, 1945, He visited Dachau to witness the results of the atrocities committed by the Nazis.

Following the war, he became an elementary school science teacher in the city of Detroit. He was discharged from active duty in 1947 and retired from the reserves in 1969 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He retired as an assistant principal in 1979. He is an active member of various church, educational and alumni organizations. He is one of the founders of the Detroit Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen and is a member of the Tuskegee Airmen Speakers Bureau.

As a Life Member of the Silver Falcon Association, he serves on a voluntary basis as an Admissions Counselor for the United States Air Force Academy and the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps. He is a Life Member of American Ex-Prisoners of War and is a Perpetual Member of the Military Order of World Wars. On October 14, 1995, he was enshrined into the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame.