Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dudley M. Glasse-American Hero

Its nearly impossible to not think of firefighters on 9-11, and it is equally difficult for me to think of firefighters and not think of Mr Glasse. A quiet and good humored man who was the backbone of Boy Scout Troop 163 , Mr. Glasse was a decorated New York city firefighter, who would ultimately rise to the rank of Bronx Borough Commander...... and remember the Bronx was burning at the time! In his leisure, when he wasn't sharing life/survival skills with the neighborhood youth, this finely tuned athlete and scholar very unassumingly ran, as well as swam the marathon.
But before all of that, he was a Tuskeegee Airman. A B-25 Pilot with the 477th, Mr. Glasse, like many of his African American contemporaries, would find the fight for equality at home to be as perilous if not more than the war raging overseas. In March 1945, along with 162 other Black Officers facing Jim Crow accomodations at Freeman Field Indiana, the young aviator openly(under possible penalty of death) defied orders not to enter its "whites only" officers club. The so-called Freeman Field Mutiny and other similar acts of defiance played a significant role in the decision made by President Truman in 1948 to issue Ex. Orders 9980 and 9981, which spelled the beginning of the end of segregation in the armed forces and government. For more info visit:

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