Mr. Charles P. Feaster
City of Xenia, Ohio | Resolution Number 16 - B
Resolution of Appreciation for Mr. Charles P. Feaster (Posthumous)
WHEREAS, the Xenia City Council wishes to acknowledge the life and death of a friend, Mr. Charles P. Feaster; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Feaster was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and in 1940, he chose to attend Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) because it was one of the few black colleges that had a flying program and it had been his dream since the age of 8 to be a pilot; and
WHEREAS, during his first year at the institute, an Army Air Corps recruiter spoke about the 99th Pursuit Squadron to all male students were invited to take a test to join the squadron, originally called the "Tuskegee Experiment"; Mr. Feaster took the test and became the sixth name on the list, and during the five-year experiment, over 16,000 black men and women were trained as air traffic controllers, bombardiers, flight instructors, mechanics, navigators, officers, pilots, radio technicians, and weather forecasters by the War Department, and only 996 black men graduated as pilots; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Feaster served in the Army from 1941 to 1945 as a Technician/Flight Engineer in the 99th Pursuit Squadron, later called the 99th Fighter Squadron and also known as the "Red Tails", which distinguished itself during missions flown in P-40 Warhawks, P-47 Thunderbolts, and P-51 Mustangs - each equipped with up to eight .50-caliber machine guns - in the North African, Sicilian, Italian, Northern and Southern France, Rhineland, and Balkan campaigns during World War II; and
WHEREAS, the 99th Fighter Squadron, the first Army Air Force unit to consist of African Americans to engage in air combat during World War II, bravely fought a war on two fronts - they helped the world triumph against fascism abroad and they fought valiantly for racial justice and equality at home, and though the Tuskegee Airmen faced the enormous challenges of discrimination from military officers, inferior equipment and heightened scrutiny, the pilots and their support personnel excelled and acquired one of the best records in military aviation history that exemplified their efforts to rise above prejudice and serve their country and eventually led to the desegregation of U.S. Armed Forces by President Harry S. Truman in 1948 and was considered a "Double Victory at Home and Abroad"; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Feaster received a Bronze Star for his exceptional technical service, a combat ribbon reflecting 11 major battles and three invasions, and on March 27, 2007, President George W. Bush awarded him with a Congressional Gold Medal, which is the highest civilian award in the United States; and
WHEREAS, upon completion of his military tenure, Mr. Feaster transferred to Central State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Arts; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Feaster began his employment at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in 1951 where he served as a Management Analyst, Procurement Analyst, and Program Analyst and was awarded several sustained Superior and Quality Performance Awards during his 38-year tenure, and upon his retirement in 1987, he received the Air Force Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Feaster enjoyed speaking at various events and to local history classes about his experiences as a Tuskegee Airman to inspire young people to believe that they can overcome hardships and excel at whatever they do; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Feaster faithfully served his community and his church as a volunteer on the City’s Civil Service Commission from December 9, 2004, to December 31, 2013; as a member of the EverReady Club, Sr. Usher Board, at Zion Baptist Church; as Secretary of the Wilberforce-Xenia Optimist Club (retired after almost 30 years); and as one of the founding members of the Promoters of the Arts, Literature and Sciences (PALS) Club, a Greene County professional men’s organization that provides scholarships and supports youth activities.
NOW, THEREFORE, the City of Xenia hereby resolves:
Section 1. The City Council for the City of Xenia wishes to remember Mr. Charles P. Feaster and praise him, posthumously, as a revered Tuskegee Airman and a faithful servant to his community and his church.
Section 2. The City Council, the Appointed Officials, and all City employees wish to extend their sympathy to Mr. Feaster’s family, especially his beloved wife, Mae, to whom he was married for sixty-five (65) years.
Section 3. This Resolution shall be passed as an emergency so the City Clerk can provide the family with a signed and dated copy to include the official seal of the City of Xenia, and it shall remain in full force and effect from and after the earliest date allowed by law.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, this Resolution shall be placed in the permanent record of the City of Xenia in honor and remembrance of Mr. Charles P. Feaster, his history-making service to this country, and his lifelong service to this community.
Passed: January 28, 2016
Xenia City Council
Michael D. Engle, President
Wesley Smith, Vice President
Marsha Bayless, Mayor
Dr. Edgar Wallace
Attest: Michelle D. Johnson, City Clerk