Terry J. Charlton, Jr

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Terry J. Charlton, Jr
BornTerry Joseph Charlton, Jr
May 31, 1916
Beaumont, Texas, US
💀DiedDecember 20, 1988(1988-12-20) (aged 72)
Beaumont, Texas, USDecember 20, 1988(1988-12-20) (aged 72)
Resting placeAnthony Cemetery in Beaumont, Texas in Jefferson County.
🎓 Alma materUnknown
💼 Occupation
  • Military officer
  • fighter pilot
📆 Years active  1942–1945

Terry Joseph Charlton, Jr (May 31, 1916 - December 20, 1988) was an U.S. Army Air Force officer and combat fighter pilot with the 332nd Fighter Group's 99th Fighter Squadron, best known as the prodigious, all-African American Tuskegee Airmen, "Red Tails," or “Schwartze Vogelmenschen” ("Black Birdmen") among enemy German pilots.[1]

He is notable for being a member of Tuskegee Advance Flying School (TAFS)'s Class Number Class SE-42-J, the Tuskegee Airmen's eighth pilot cadet class.. He was one of the 1,007 documented Tuskegee Airmen Pilots.[1][2]

Early Life, Family[edit]

Charlton Jr was born on May 31, 1916, in Beaumont, Texas in Jefferson County.[3] He was the son of Terry J. Charlton Sr. (1 May 1874 - 25 Dec 1934), a professor and co-founder of the Charlton-Pollard High School, and Bobbie Blanche Hubert Charlton (1886–1934). Charlton Jr was the oldest of several siblings: Laly Venton Charlton Washington (1917–2007), Charles Hubert Charlton (1919–2003), George Robert Charlton (1921–2003), Thomas Pollard Charlton (1923–1989), and Mary Lula Charlton (1925–1929).

Charlton Jr's paternal grandfather, Charles Napoleon Charlton (“Charlie Pole Charlton”) (January 19, 1845 - March 23, 1908), was a formerly enslaved African American who arrived in Beaumont, Texas in 1869 and founded Charlton High School.[4] In 1924, Charlton Sr collaborated with T.T. Pollard to merge Charlton High School and Beaumont High School to become Beaumont Charlton Pollard High School.[4] In 1975, Beaumont Charlton Pollard High School closed after court-ordered desegregation and unification of the South Park school district and the Beaumont school district.[4]

Charlton Jr's maternal grandfather, Robert Wallace “Bob” Hubert (18 Dec 1833 - 17 Feb 1918), a white slaveholder who served as a Captain for the Confederate States during the U.S. Civil War. After the Civil War, Hubert fathered twenty children by three of Hubert's former enslaved African American women. Two of the women were sisters.[5][6] Charlton Jr.'s maternal grandmother was a formerly enslaved African American woman named "Peggy" whom Hubert names in his diaries as his "cook.” According to poet and genealogical researcher Lauren Russell, Hubert fathered several children with Peggy, including Russell's own great-great-grandmother.[7]

Charlton Jr was married to Elizabeth Lucille Charlton.[8][9] They had several children: Carolyn Frances Charlton, Terry Joseph Charlton III, Paulette Velma Charlton, Claudette Angela Charlton, William Earl Charlton, Merrell Arlene Charlton (5 Oct 1949 - 10 Sep 2012), Elizabeth Ollie Charlton, and Adrienne Jocelyn Charlton.[8]<

According to Charlton Jr.'s enlistment records, Charlton Jr was a 4-year college graduate and a mail carrier prior to entering the U.S. Army Air Corps.[8][9]

Military Service, Tuskegee Airmen[edit]

On March 9, 1942, Charlton enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in Houston, Texas with the rank of Private.[8][9]

On November 10, 1942, Charlton Jr graduated from Tuskegee Advanced Flight Program's Single Engine Section Cadet Class SE-42-J. His classmates included 2nd Lt Howard Baugh, 2nd Lt Jerome Edwards, and 2nd Lt Melvin T. Jackson.[10][11] On February 9, 1946, Charlton Jr. was discharged from the U.S. Army Air Corps with the rank of 1st Lieutenant.[8]

Very little information is documented about Charlton Jr.'s life after World War II.


Charlton Jr passed away on 1988. He was interred at Anthony Cemetery in Beaumont, Texas in Jefferson County.

See also[edit]

  • Executive Order 9981
  • List of Tuskegee Airmen
  • List of Tuskegee Airmen Cadet Pilot Graduation Classes
  • Military history of African Americans


  1. 1.0 1.1 "U.S.A.F. Veteran Online Memorial | TWS Roll of Honor". airforce.togetherweserved.com. Retrieved 2021-07-17.
  2. "Tuskegee Airmen Pilot Roster". CAF Rise Above. Retrieved 2020-08-11.
  3. Fold3 by Ancestry. "INDEX RECORD FOR Terry J Charlton - Social Security Death Index." https://www.fold3.com/record/62114954/terry-j-charlton-social-security-death-index
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Beaumont Enterprise. "Nurturing the Charlton-Pollard neighborhood." Teresa Mioli. March 20, 2011; Updated: April 4, 2011. https://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/Nuturing-the-Charlton-Pollard-neighborhood-1256702.php
  5. FOR PEGGY: HAUNTOLOGIES OF DESCENT. SARAH STEFANA SMITH August 14, 2019. Collaboration with Poet Lauren Russell. 2019-Present. http://www.sarahstefanasmith.com/forpeggy/2019/8/14/for-peggy-hauntologies-of-descent
  6. Pitt Magazine. "Lift Every Voice: In examining her ancestry, a poet finds the voices history has silenced." University of Pittsburg. https://pittmag.pitt.edu/news/lift-every-voice
  7. Robert Wallace Hubert slave schedule 1860. Pages 1-2.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Ancestors, Descendants and Extended Family of Joseph Wayne Peery: Lieutenant Terry Joseph Charlton Jr. http://www.peerygenealogy.com/home/site/p10279.htm
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 [S701] Army Enlistment Records, U. S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946, U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 about Terry J Charlton
  10. CAF Rise Above. "Tuskegee Airmen Pilot Roster." https://cafriseabove.org/the-tuskegee-airmen/tuskegee-airmen-pilot-roster/ . This data derives from CAF Rise Above's research project compiling data from Tuskegee Airmen historians including the Air Force Historical Research Agency.
  11. CAF Rise Above. "Class SE-42-J." https://cafriseabove.org/artifact/class-se-42-j/

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