How fitting it was for YALA to participate in Young Eagles flight expedition on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at Compton Airport.
A W.E.L.L. moment to commemorate black aviators who trained and worked at Compton Airport (Compton./Woodley). Prior to WWII, Mr. Earl Woodley’s Compton airport was the first airport west of the Mississippi River where Black Aviators could receive pilot training.
One of these early pioneers was Mr. James M. Woods, Sr. Mr. Woods received his pilots license training at Compton Airport under a program at the University of Southern California.
When the US war department created the first Black Pilot training program at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama to train black pilots for the military in 1941, Mr. Woods became one of the programs flight instructors after completing training in Texas.
After WWII, Black aviators owned and operated successful aviation businesses at Compton Airport. Tow of these were , B & A Aviation, owned by Paul Anderson and Rusty Burns, and Floyd’s Flying Service, owned by Booker T. Floyd. They provided flight training to many aspiring pilots and helped them obtain their pilots certificates.
Black Aviators from Compton Airport were also pioneers in Aviation Governmental Affairs. In 1985, James M. Woods, Sr. Became the First black to serve a a member of the Los Angeles County Aviation Commission and directed the commission as chairmen in 1989. Compton/Woodley Airport continues to be a pioneering Airport in Support of Black Aviation.
Young Ambassadors Leadership Academy Salutes Black Aviators who paved the way to make their experience possible!