SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — A World War II veteran and member of the celebrated Tuskegee Airmen squad received a long overdue tribute Thursday in his New Jersey hometown.
Malcolm E. Nettingham, who served in the first racially integrated flight radio communications class for the US Army, passed away a year ago. Family described him as a devoted father, a hometown hero and a community staple.
Nettingham was assigned to the 617th squadron, 477th composite group as a radio operator and gunner at the height of World War II
He would later return to his hometown of Scotch plains where he raised a family and lived a full life, passing away just days before his 102nd birthday last September .
On a day where veterans across the country are saluted for their service, Nettingham received an overdue, posthumous tribute. A school he attended was renamed in his honor.
Students at the newly christened Malcolm E. Nettingham Middle School celebrated the life of the late veteran Thursday.