National Aviation Month: A Local Color Story

Another first for the city of Columbus: Lonnie Corman takes flight in plane that he built.

Photo is personal property of Yvette Corman Davis.

November is National Aviation Month, and as Christian Spirituality Examiner for Columbus, Ohio, I was preparing an article in celebration of the occasion but with an African American focus. I have a friend whose father was among the noted Tuskegee Airmen, and the thought occurred that I could pay tribute to those distinguished pioneers in aviation. I also thought of Bessie Coleman and her role as one of the pioneers in terms of women in flight. As I was going to continue working on the article, my wife mentioned that I should talk with a friend of hers, an attorney whose grandfather not only built an airplane but he flew it himself back in the 1920s. Upon talking with her, she shared with me more information regarding her grandfather, Lonnie Carmon, who was recognized as the first Black aviator in Columbus, Ohio. She later sent me the text from a tribute she had completed on her website along with photos that she had also incorporated. Quite providentially I extracted from the information and compiled a slide show as well from the photos and completed an article which may be of interest as we celebrate National Aviation Month. Here is the web address:

Lonnell Johnson/Dr. J

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