- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas lawmakers and officials are celebrating the legacy Milton Pitts Crenchaw, a flight instructor who trained the first African-Americans to fly combat airplanes in World War II.

Dozens gathered at the state Capitol Tuesday for a memorial ceremony for Crenchaw. Crenchaw was an Arkansas native who died last month in Georgia after battling cardiovascular disease and pneumonia. His family was given citations from the House and Senate honoring his life.

Officials also unveiled a portrait of Crenchaw that will be displayed at the state Capitol during the next week.

Crenchaw was among the last surviving instructors of the Tuskegee Airmen. He was among the original flight instructors in the program that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt wanted to train black pilots for war.

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