Lee Archer
National Visionary

Born in Yonkers, New York
September 6, 1919 - January 27, 2010

Tuskegee Airman, Corporate Executive

Lee A. "Buddy" Archer served as a member of the distinguished Tuskegee Airmen who garnered an outstanding combat record in World War II.

Read an open letter
to Lee Archer
from a R.I.C.H.
After excelling in high school, he enrolled in New York University to study International Relations. In early 1941, sensing war was imminent; he applied for pilot training in the US Army Air Corps. Although he passed the mental and physical examinations, he was refused appointment because government policy at the time did not allow black citizens to serve in the Army Air Corps. Archer went into the Army as a regular enlistee. In May 1942, while stationed at Camp Wheeler, Georgia, Archer heard the Army Air Corps was finally accepting black candidates for pilot training under the "Tuskegee Experiment." He immediately reapplied.

This interview has
been archived in the
NVLP Collection of
African American
Oral Histories at the
Library of Congress
American Folklife
In July 1943, Archer earned his wings, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He flew a total of 169 combat missions, including bomber cover, convoy escort, scrambles,reconnaissance, and strafing. When he returned to the United States from overseas, he became the Chief of the Instrument Instructors School, at Tuskegee Army Air Field, in Alabama. He was then selected for a regular commission and sent to UCLA to complete his college education.

Archer retired after a twenty-nine year career that included three CEO positions in international military organizations. He had earned eighteen Air Medals, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and Special Citations from Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson, as well as the director of the CIA. He also received the Accueil de Paris, a special award presented by the mayor of Paris for activities in support of Franco-American relations.

Archer is the father of four children.


Open letter to Lee Archer from RICH student (Learn about RICH)
Lee Archer's Wikipedia page

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