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Museum of Aviation unveils statue of world’s first black fighter pilot

2nd Lt. Bullard was a native Georgian and has the distinction of being the world’s first black fighter pilot during World War I

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — The Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins will be unveiling and dedicating a statue Wednesday honoring the life and military legacy of Eugene Bullard.

Bullard, originally from Columbus, Georgia, became the first black fighter pilot when he joined the French Air Service during World War I and downed three enemy aircraft.

Prior to taking to the skies, he was assigned to the French 170th Infantry where he fought on the frontlines in some of France’s worst battles. He was ultimately wounded four times in combat.

He was known to German enemies as ‘the Black Swallow of Death,’ and he later went on to serve in World War II.

Bullard received 15 military decorations, including the French Legion of Honors, the highest military award given by France.

He was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force after his death by President Bill Clinton in 1994.

The Georgia World War I Centennial Commission will install the full-size, bronze statue of Bullard.


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