Retired Lt. Col. Herbert “Gene” Carter, a pilot with the original World War II-era 99th Pursuit Squadron Tuskegee Airmen, died Nov. 8 at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Ala. He was 93. Carter flew 77 combat missions and 200 tactical air-to-ground support missions, flying P-40 and P-47 aircraft. He was born Sept. 27, 1919, in Amory, Mississippi, and was studying veterinary science at Tuskegee Institute when WWII broke out. He applied for the new Army Air Corps pilot training program and graduated with the fourth class. He remained in the Air Force after the war, serving in various aircraft maintenance and flight test officer positions, as a teacher with the ROTC detachment at Tuskegee Institute, and as deputy director of the Military Advisory Group for the German Air Force. After retiring from USAF in 1969, he served for 16 years at the Tuskegee Institute as associate dean for Student Services and for Admissions and Recruiting. (Also see AFNS release and his biography on Air University’s Gathering of Eagles website.)
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.