BLOUNTSTOWN, Fla. (WMBB)–It was a somber morning in Blountstown as a Tuskegee airman was laid to rest. Cornelius Davis was one of the first black fighter pilots in the Army Air Corps. He passed away on June 1st at 100-years-old. His family says they’re honored to carry on his legacy and celebrate his fulfilled life.
Davis was born in Blountstown in 1921 and later joined the military in 1942.
“He was a patriot and very patriotic. When World War II came about, he chose to serve in the Army Air Corp,” said David Bridges, Davis’ Son-in-Law.
Davis was one of the first African American aviators in the United States Air Force.
“As an airman, as a Tuskegee airman, being black, there were many hardships he had to face,” said Reverend Angus Jackson with St. Paul AME Church.
His service to the United States made history and inspired generations to come.
“We’re glad we have his story and will continue to tell his story to his grandchildren, his great grandchildren and will continue to pass that down,” Bridges said.
Although he spent the last several years living in Gainesville, his family says he chose to come home. The say he was a family man.
“This is his hometown, this is where he was born. And all his brothers and sisters are laid to rest here as well,” said Angela Davis Bridges, Davis’ daughter.
Family members called Thursday’s ceremony a joyous occasion, as they celebrate his 100 years of life.
“We’re happy we had him as long as we had him and we know he lived his best life,” Bridges said.
Davis is now buried at the Magnolia Cemetery in Blountstown.