Sgt. Amelia Jones, a 95-year-old veteran of the famous Tuskegee Airmen, was honored this week with a bronze replica of a Congressional Gold Medal. “I do want to say, I’m a proud lady today,” Jones told the Georgia crowd upon receiving her medal. The Tuskeegee Airmen, an all-black squadron of pilots that flew critical bombing and fighter missions during WWII, represented excellence. Their outstanding performance and service to the nation helped set the stage for a fully integrated armed services: “They proved conclusively that African-Americans could fly and maintain sophisticated combat aircraft. The Tuskegee Airmen’s achievements, together with the men and women who supported them, paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military.”
Amelia Jones was one of the women who supported them. Jones volunteered for the Army and fought through racial and gender barriers to win a position in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corp, known as the WAAC. Jones discovered only recently that her duties had made her an actual member of the Tuskagee Airmen. She hadn’t considered exactly what group she was serving, only that she was serving her country.