Sam Bruce Chapter
The Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. Sam Bruce Chapter in Seattle, WA, spearheaded by the efforts of Harold Morris (class of 44-D), was founded by four original Tuskegee Airmen living in the Pacific Northwest. Morris, originally from Tacoma, WA, was the second president of the chapter. The other three founding members were James Wiley (fourth aviation class of 1942), originally from Pittsburg, PA and the chapter’s first president; Leroy Roberts (aviation class of 44-E), originally from Toccoa, GA and the chapter’s third president; and Clarence Oliphant (class of 44-E), originally from Council Bluffs, IA. The chapter was named in memory of Sam Bruce, a Garfield High School graduate who was the only African American Seattle-area airman killed during World War II.
In addition to the four founding members, those who attended the first meeting of the newly organized chapter were Gil Baker, Charles Cooper, Charles Crenshaw, Edward Drummond, Jose Elfalan, Richard V. Gambell, Weldon Groves, Sr., William T. Henry, George Hickman, Jr., William Holloman, Jack Holsclaw, Earnest Rowe, Perry S. Thomas, Arnold Wallace, James W. Whyte, and Rhohelia T. Webb. Regional President Edward Gleed presided at the installation.
Today, the mission of the airmen and their supporters is to tell the Tuskegee Airmen story, to raise funds for youth scholarships and grants, and to encourage young people to pursue post-high school education in various areas, but especially those related to aviation.