Lest We Forget - African American Military History by Researcher, 
				Author and Veteran Bennie McRae, Jr.

Colonel Roosevelt Lewis (USAF-Ret.)

Colonel Roosevelt Lewis (USAF-RET.)



Col. Lewis invited to shuttle launch

Tuskegee News
July 14, 2005


Copyright 2005. Tuskegee News, Tuskegee, Alabama. Permission to reprint and post granted by Mr. Guy Rhodes, Associate Publisher/Editor.





Colonel Roosevelt J. Lewis, Jr., (Fixed Based Operator at Historic Moton Field, Tuskegee), has been invited by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to view the lift-off of Space Shuttle Discovery on its STS-114 mission from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The mission was targeted for July 13, 2005. The STS-114 crewmembers will deliver supplies to the International Space Station; however, the major focus of their mission will be testing and evaluating new space shuttle flight safety.

Lewis has been invited to a pre-launch guest reception the evening before the launch and a visit to the VIP viewing site at Kennedy Space Center. Additionally, the NASA invitation includes a tour of the Center on the day preceding the launch.

In responding to the invitation from NASA, Lewis stated, "I am thrilled beyond words to be accorded the opportunity to witness a live launch at Kennedy Space Center. I have a lifelong love of SCIENCE and interest in Space and this is very special because it is the STS-114 'Return to Space' mission".

Aviator, businessman, military logistician; Lewis is well known in Aviation circles. He has served as a member of the Alabama Aeronautics Commission; President of the Aviation Council of Alabama; and Chairman of the Space-Camp Committee-U. S. Space and Rocket Agency, Huntsville. Colonel Lewis has been credited by Governor Bob Riley for playing a key role in the creation of the $29.1 Million Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site and helping carry on the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen at Moton Field. He has contributed substantially to aviation developments in Alabama.

Taught to fly by the legendary C. Alfred Anderson, "Chief" flight instructor of the Tuskegee Airmen, he returned at the personal request of "Chief" to found Air Tuskegee in 1989. He has personally taken 2,387 youngsters for first flights, facilitated licenses for 349 and 52 students have been placed in military jet training seats.

Former students work at a number of aerospace companies, such as Boeing and Lockheed and fly military jets in all the Services, except the Coast Guard. Lewis has logged over 5,600 hours and checked out in 54 aircraft; from Piper Cub to Jets.

Colonel Lewis holds a BS Degree in Chemistry, Tuskegee University and MA Degree in Transportation & Business Management (Presidential Scholar), University of Alabama.

He served for 26 1/2 years in the U. S. Air Force, including five Pentagon jobs and as a commander on four occasions; he is a former USAF "Transportation Officer of the Year". His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and 14 others. He is married to the former Carolyn D. Adams of Mobile, and they have one daughter, Melissa Michelle-PhD Candidate, University of Maryland.

"Should I take my flight suit?", he joked with his wife and daughter... "they may have room for another pilot. I will call and let you know if I will be late for dinner."

Return to Tuskegee, Macon County, Alabama

Category: World War II | Subcategory: Tuskegee Airmen | Tags: Florida , Alabama
Related Topics / Keywords / Phrases: 1989, 2005, Adam, aerospace, airman, airmen, Alabama, Aviation, Florida, MA, Mary, Maryland, Old,