Richard A. Baugh Son, DOTA Howard Baugh, Lt. Col., USAF, Ret.


Richard A. Baugh is the Treasurer of the Howard Baugh Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. (HBC-TAI) and son of the namesake of this organization based in Petersburg, VA. HBC-TAI is one of 55 nationwide chapters of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. whose mission is to preserve the legacy of the WWII heroes known as the “Tuskegee Airmen” and to use that legacy to inspire youth to pursue careers in STEM, Aviation, Aeronautics, and Aerospace.

Howard Lee Baugh was born in Petersburg, VA on January 20, 1920. He attended public schools in Petersburg and Brooklyn, NY and graduated from Virginia State College (University) in 1941. Baugh entered the U.S. Army Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet in March 1942. He completed pilot training at Tuskegee Army Air Field in November 1942 (Class 42-J-SE) and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant.

Rendering by Artist Harald Shull depicts Lt Col Howard Baugh at ages 23 and 86.

In July 1943, Baugh was deployed to Sicily as one of the first group of replacement pilots for the 99th Pursuit Squadron. Flying P-40 & P-51 Fighter aircraft out of Sicily and Italy during WWII, he flew 136 combat missions. On January 27, 1944, Baugh was credited with 1.5 Aerial Victories while the 99th Pursuit Squadron protected the Allied occupied Anzio, Italy beachhead from aerial attack by German Focke-Wulf FW-190 fighters.

For his 16 months of combat during WWII, Baugh was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross; Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters; European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; National Defense Service Medal; and Distinguished Unit Citation.

After his deployment, Baugh returned to Tuskegee as a Flying Instructor and soon became Director, Flying Training, Tuskegee Army Air Field. 

After the war, Baugh remained in the military as a Command Pilot and career officer for more than 25 years. During that time he amassed nearly 6,000 pilot hours, including 240 in combat and 1,100 in jet aircraft. 

Baugh retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the USAF on June 30, 1967. He then embarked on a second career joining Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, NY. Baugh retired from Kodak in 1984 and moved back to Petersburg with his wife, Constance.

Throughout his military career, Baugh piloted the following military aircraft: PT-13, PT-17, BT-13, L-20, AT-6,  P-40, P-47, P-51, B-25, B-26, C-45, C-47, B-57, B-66, T-33, F-80, and SA(HU)-16.  Long after retiring from the military, Baugh was given the opportunity to ride in the 2nd seat of a two-seater USAF F-15D Eagle in 1997 (at age 77) and a two-seater USN F/A-18F Hornet with the Blue Angels in 1998. In both cases, once airborne the aircraft controls were turned over to him for about 20 minutes. In the case of the F-15D, Baugh was able to fly the aircraft out over the Atlantic Ocean and break the "sound barrier" for the first and only time in his life. 

Once retired, Baugh became a much sought after Speaker for his unique insights into the Tuskegee Airmen Experience. He spoke at Schools; Colleges & Universities; Small Companies; Large Corporations; Organizations; Groups; and Military Bases throughout the US, Europe, and even in Greenland and Iceland.

Howard Lee Baugh passed away on August 23, 2008. He was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Constance, and his older brother William. He was laid to rest with Full Military Honors at Arlington National Cemetery next to his wife.

The legacy of Howard Lee Baugh will live on through HBC-TAI; his (3) sons: Howard, David, & Richard; (2) daughters-in-law; (4) grandchildren, (4) great grandchildren; (1) brother; (1) brother-in-law; many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, admirers, and countless others around the world whose lives he touched and inspired.