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September 27, 2013
Oroville Mercury Register
February 20, 2004 (Almost 10 years ago) Looking Back on Oroville Heroes
April 15, 1945
Former School Grid Star Earns Pilot’s Wings

Flight Officer Samuel L. Broadnax was recently awarded his wings and commission from the Aviation Cadet Corps at the Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama. Broadnax hails from Danielson Street. He attended the local high school and was outstanding in football and track events. He enlisted in the service two months after the beginning of the school term in 1944, during his senior year. His brother Fred S. Broadnax is a sergeant in the armed forces.

Stu’s notes:
I never knew till now that Oroville had a man in the famous Tuskegee Airmen. Although he probably never made it to the War in Europe, it would be nice to know more about him. This young man is one that Oroville can be proud of.

February 27, 2004
Stu’s Notes:
I learned a little more about Oroville’s Tuskegee Airman, Dorothy Bauer called and said she went to Yuba College with Samuel L. Broadnax in 1947-48. He wore a leather jacket, probably his Flight Jacket and that he was studying Journalism and he was a very nice young man. She talked to him about 20 years ago and he had been working for KSFO Radio in San Francisco. He was living on a boat north of the city. He was divorced and said his wife didn’t like living on a boat. I think h e would be about 78 years old now. I have asked people if they have heard of the Tuskegee Airman. Many said no. So I feel I should say that during WWII the Armed Services were segregated and it took a lot of convincing to get the Generals to admit African Americans into Flight School. Finally they agreed to an all African American group and the Tuskegee Airmen were formed in the early 1940’s. They flew the P51 Mustang, probably the best built single engine fighter in the War.

September 29, 2006
Stu’s Notes:
Amazing is all I can say about events of the last couple of days. Serving on the Veterans Day Parade Committee with Bob Hewitt gave me an amazing find. A way to reach Sam Broadnax, Oroville’s Own Tuskegee Airman who I wrote about on Feb,20 and 27, of 2004. You can find these stories on our web site. Thanks to Bob, a man I thought was dead has come to life. And what an exciting life Sam has led. Bob gave me a website of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc, William “Bill” Campbell Chapter. I called Donna Hurts, the president, left a message; she called back within an hour and told me yes Sam was alive and well and that I should call him. I did and for an hour I talked to Sam about his life after he left Oroville and Oroville High School for an adventure that few of us get to have. As a young boy in Oroville he, like me picked crops as I did to help our family get by. He was a member of Scout Troop 29, I was in troop 33 Thermalito. Unlike me, he was outstanding in foot ball and track. In his senior year he heard that they were recruiting for an all African American Fighter Group in our Army Air Force. The only white people would be the training officers. He caught the Oroville-Chico bus on a fall day in 1944. The bus stopped in down town Chico. End of the line, he walked all the way out to the Chico Army Air Drome, took the written test, passed it and was so excited that he failed the physical, as his blood pressure was too high. Sent back home to Oroville, he went to an Oroville Doctor who said his blood pressure was fine. Sending this report and Sam back to Chico and a whole new life soon evolved. He told me what a shock this African American went through when he got to the South for training at Tuskegee, Alabama. Sure there was discrimination in Oroville at the time but nothing like the South. Sam went on to earn his wings and became Flight Officer Samuel L Broadnax, as a Famous Tuskegee Airman. They flew P-51’s in Italy and over Germany earning many medals. Although the War in Europe got over soon after Sam graduated he was going to go to fight over Japan maybe flying a P-47. When the war got over there, thanks to the Atomic Bomb, Sam found himself in a very discriminating America. There were no Aviation jobs in America for African Americans. Sam went on to Yuba College, so did I. Sam’s Mother’s maiden name was Stewart, the same as my mother’s maiden name. We both have Scottish ancestors so maybe I’m related to a Tuskegee Airman. What more could I want. There were only 926 Tuskegee Airmen and think, Oroville should be so proud to Honor this man. (To be continued next week.)

Stu’s Notes:
September 27, 2013
Well almost 10 years ago I found a little news clip about Sam Broadnax and as you can see by the above story which I thought should be put all together. Hopefully I’ve acquired new readers since then that will enjoy the above story. I myself read my articles over many times since it never ceases to amaze me what Butte County Heroes have done through the years, never. Next week I hope to bring back the story of Lt. Thomas Doyle and his heroic act in saving a German Town in so doing, gave up his life. Tomorrow night Sam and Thomas will be inducted into the Oroville High School Districts Hall of Fame at the fifth annual Ceremony and Dinner at Gold Country Casino Show Room. The event is sold out. So next year get your tickets early. Nine other High Achievers who graduated from the district will also be inducted.

Plans are under way for this year’s Veteran’s Day Parade, November 11, 2013.