Thomas Dudley

LAHS Website Editor

     Colonel James E. Randall (Retired), Lucy Addison High School Class of 1945, is in the national news. Col. Randall, living in Colorado Springs, Colorado recently learned that the helmet he lost in October 1965, when his jet fighter was shot down over Vietnam, is working its way back to him after more than 47 years. Randall is considered the fifth Lucy Addison High School Tuskegee Airman based on the fact that he enrolled in training at Tuskegee in 1945.  However, the war’s end resulted in those training classes being terminated.  Subsequently, Randall graduated from Hampton Institute and was invited by the Air Force to enroll in pilot training at the advent of the Korean War.  Randall received his wings and flew missions in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the latter flying  the Air Force’s famed F-105 Thunderchief  jet fighter.

   When Randall , who was then a Major, was shot down in 1965, he was located and rescued under enemy fire. He boarded the recovery team’s helicopter with two sprained ankles, but without his pilot’s helmet left somewhere in the jungle near Dien Bien Phu.

    Around 1991, a  friend of  Gary  Gregg, who like Gregg, was a frequent traveler to Vietnam, purchased the helmet in a Saigon market. In 2007, Gregg, an ex-Marine, learned of the helmet with Randall’s name inscribed and began searching for him.  That search ended this year when he located Colonel Randall living in Colorado Springs, about ½ mile from his son.  Gregg will be presenting the helmet to Colonel Randall on August 1, 2013 at the Tuskegee Airmen’s Convention in St. Louis.

Click on the television at right  for the video of this breaking story…

An Addison Hero in the National News

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Addison News Flash