Lieutenant Colonel Edgar V. Lewis

Edgar V. Lewis attended Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia for two years, but didn’t make enough money during his summer employment to return for his junior year. Money was tight so he joined the Air Force on July 13, 1949 to take advantage of the G.I. Bill. 

He told them he wanted to train in electronics, but was told those career fields were not open to people like him. He insisted and became an Electronic Specialist, graduated as a fighter pilot flying the B47 and one of the first African American pilots to fly the B52, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. After 23 years of service, he retired from the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel. 

Lewis went to work for the Federal Aviation Administration where he held several positions over the course of his 22-year tenure including, Aviation Operations Inspector, responsible for the certification of airline pilots, Regional Air Transportation Resource Specialist and Assistant Manager of Operations in the Flight Standards District Office. Lewis served as FAA liaison to Eastern Airlines during the modification of its operations. 

At the time of his retirement from the FAA, Lewis was serving as Manager of Operations Branch, Southern Region, responsible for the review of all airline training programs and certification in the Southern Region. Lewis was the first African American Manager at the regional level for the FAA.

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