Rudolph K. Silas
Born December 17, 1929 in Lehigh, Oklahoma, Mr. Silas
joined the Army at the age of 16, seeing no other future for
young black men at the time. His enlistment in July 1946, led
him to Perrin Field in Sherman, Texas and then to Fort Sam
Houston in San Antonio.  “One day the First Sergeant asked
for 21 volunteers for the Air Force, that’s when my aviation
career began”.

After the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center (now Lackland
Air Force Base (AFB), Mr. Silas was transferred to Williams
Field, Arizona serving as mechanic and crew chief on P-47, P-
51, B-25 and A-26 aircraft.  From 1951-1954, Mr. Williams
was involved in  initial B-29 bomber aircrew training at
Randolph Field (Texas), followed by tours at Andrews (MD),
Chanute (IL) and Norton (CA) where, on B-25 flying status, he
supported the Air Force Inspection General Flight Safety
Division.

On retirement from active duty in 1966, Mr. Silas remained
active  and working - advancing to the Air Logistics Center
Quality Assurance position at Tinker AFB.  He also attended
Rose State College majoring in  Business Administration;  and
received  his Aircraft and Powerplant (A&P) certificate in 1984
before retiring from civil service in 1987 with a  combined 39
years of military and federal service. Mr. Silas and his wife,
Patricia, now live in Midland, Texas.