It has been so great to see the history of the Tuskegee Airmen in our community. It is a vital part of our aviation history and all students should learn about their plight. When I was a girl, I learned that my grandfather, Ernest H. Buehl, played a small but vital part in that history.
Emory C. Malick was a young African-American man desperately searching up and down the East Coast to find someone who would instruct him how to fly. No one would trust a black man with their expensive planes and he was continually rejected.
Known as the “The Flying Dutchman,” Ernest was an experienced World War II aviator who flew the first airmail flight from New York to San Francisco to Los Angeles in 1920. He was a man who still carried his pilot’s license in his back pocket, signed by Orville Wright, No. 824; we still have this in our family.
Ernest had no problem teaching young Emory how to fly. In fact, he eventually took Emory to Air Transport Licensing and made sure the instructor gave Mr. Malick a fair test (apparently Ernest had to become quite insistent). Emory C. Malick passed the test and shortly thereafter was commissioned by the Tuskegee Institute to be the head trainer for the Civilian Pilot Training Program, later called the Tuskegee Airmen.
Our family is incredibly proud of all of our grandfather’s accomplishments in aviation, but his contribution to the equality of the skies is a great highlight for all of us. Ernest passed away in 1990 at the age of 93.