Black aviator, Wendell Pruitt, was honored in his home town of St. Louis on this day. He won the Distinguished Flying Cross for shooting down three German planes, destroying 70 on the ground and helping to sink a German destroyer. He was killed while training other black pilots for the Tuskegee Airmen.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.