H.M. Cummings, member of Tuskegee Airmen, dies

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - H.M. Cummings, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, the country's first group of black military pilots and crew, has died.

His nephew says Cummings had been sick with pulmonary distress and died Thursday of complications in surgery at a Columbus, Ohio, hospital.

He was 90.

Cummings, a native of Dublin, Ga., was among a group of remaining Tuskegee Airmen who traveled to Washington D.C. in January to watch President Barack Obama's inauguration.

Nephew Herndon R. Cummings of Kettering, Ohio, said Saturday his uncle was overjoyed by the experience.

The airmen dealt with racial prejudice along with the pressures of World War II. Blacks previously had not been allowed to fly in the military.

They trained as a segregated unit at an air base in Tuskegee, Ala.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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