Vernon Sport

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Vernon Kingsley Sport
Born July 16, 1923
Died September 8, 2008(2008-09-08) (aged 85)
Conyers, Georgia
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Army Air Corps
Rank Captain squad commander
Unit Tuskegee Airmen
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Congressional Gold Medal

Vernon Kingsley Sport (July 16, 1923 – September 8, 2008)[1] was a member of the prestigious Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. In later life he worked for the cause of affirmative action and donated much of his time to help those in need.

Early life[edit]

Vernon Sport enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps immediately after graduating from high school. He requested a posting at Moton Field in Tuskegee, Alabama, the home field of the Tuskegee Airmen. Each time, he was turned down for lacking a college degree. In retrospect, "it was an exercise in determination. He continuously requested to try out for the airmen. He didn’t have a college education at that time, but he was very well-read," Dr. Alfred Wyatt, Sport's son-in-law, would note later.[1] Eventually, he would prevail, rising to the rank of captain squad commander. After leaving the Air Corps, Sport would earn a bachelor's degree from Suffolk University and a master's degree from Goddard College.[1]

Later life[edit]

Sport moved to Massachusetts, where he worked in the state courts as an affirmative action officer, helping to ensure equal access for African-Americans. He also served on the boards of such notable organizations as the NAACP, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.[1] His son-in-law would later recount, "I think the experience of being with the Tuskegee Airmen prepared him to be a leader."[1]

Sport retired and moved to Conyers, Georgia in 1988, but that didn't stop him from helping others. He worked with an Atlanta-area charity, the Angels of Mercy, which provided food and support to homeless persons, for many years. In 2007, Sport, along with the other Tuskegee Airmen, would receive the Congressional Gold Medal for their service.

Vernon Sport died in Conyers, Georgia on September 8, 2008, of complications from Alzheimer's Disease. He was survived by his wife, three sisters and four children.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Kirsten Tagami (2008-09-13). "Vernon Sport, 85, Tuskegee Airman". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2008-09-13.