Farewell to a hero

By Nikki Henderson | nhenderson@ktalnews.tv

Published 05/26 2014 10:41AM

Updated 05/26 2014 10:48AM

Tuskegee Airmen gather to say goodbye to one of their own, World War II pilot Hiram Mann.  Dan Billow reports.

A World War II hero was laid to rest Friday in Titusville, Florida.

Hiram Mann was one of the first black pilots trained by the U.S. military and one of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen.

"The military establishment, the myth was that black men couldn't fly," says Lt. Colonel Leo Gray, one of Mann's fellow pilots. "We knew we were good. We were as good as anybody they had in the Air Force."

From around the United States, the Tuskegee Airmen came to salute mann at his open casket. Relatives took a last look, and Colonel Gray remembered the dogfight when they all felt they had come of age.

"On March 24th over Berlin, we destroyed three German ME-262 jets, probably destroyed two others, we probably destroyed an ME-163 rocket plane, and we damaged three ME-262 jets, and we lost one plane. That wasn't bad for men that couldn't fly," he says.

Colonel Mann and his wife Kitty were married in 1940.

She died in 2012.

He's now next to her in the cemetery.

Source: http://bit.ly/1lN0mBV

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