Original Tuskegee Airman enlists SC resident into Air Force Reserve

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Tom Brading
  • 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Everyone who enlists in the U.S. military has one thing in common; they started their journey by raising their right hand and repeating the Oath of Enlistment. It’s a time-honored tradition that has been carried on for hundreds of years, and is something every service member must promise to adhere to throughout their military career.

As memorable as this moment is for all service members, imagine what it would feel like if the officer on the other side of the U.S. flag were a living legend in U.S. Air Force history. This was the case for Davontre Wigfall, a native of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, when he enlisted into the U.S. Air Force Reserve on Feb. 23 at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina.

During the Tuskegee Airmen Career Day here, Wigfall asked retired Lt. Col. Enoch “Woody” Woodhouse, an original Tuskegee Airman, to do the honor of swearing him into the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

Woodhouse, a recipient of the Medal of Honor, happily agreed and the impromptu enlistment ceremony occurred in Nose Dock 2, with everyone in attendance able to witness an Air Force living legend welcome the current generation of Airmen into the military.

According to Woodhouse, his intention was to show young people how excellence and determination trumps indifference.

The Tuskegee Airmen of the 332nd Fighter Group gained notoriety as the first African American fighter pilots during World War II, identified in the sky by the red-colored tails on their aircraft. While escorting bombers, they participated in some of the most iconic battles of the war along the Italian peninsula. Their actions during more than 15,500 combat sorties, earned them more than 95 Distinguished Flying Crosses.

“For me, this is history in the making,” said Wigfall. “I’m honored and grateful to be sworn into the military by a Tuskegee Airman.”

Wigfall added joining the Air Force Reserve was one of the greatest feelings of his life. Upon completion of basic training and technical school, Wigfall will return to the 315th Airlift Wing as a member of the 38th Aerial Port Squadron.

“Having a Tuskegee Airman swearing in one of our own is quite an honor,” said Tech. Sgt. Michael Smith, a U.S. Air Force Reserve recruiter. “This young Airman may not even realize the unique opportunity he received.”

Wigfall is scheduled to depart for basic training later this year.