New addition to Library came anonymously

Friday, February 26, 2010

Through the generosity of an anonymous donation, the Brazil Public Library recently received a new addition to its ever-growing collection.

The library now has a copy of "Black Knights: The Story of the Tuskegee Airmen," written by Lynn M. Homan and Thomas Reilly, with a forward by Louis R. Purnell.

The book was published by the Pelican Publishing Company, based in Gretna, La.

The first printing of the book took place in 2001.

"I think it would be a wonderful addition to our collection," Library Director Jill Scarbrough said.

The donation came in February, which is also National African American History Month.

Throughout the month of February, the library had a display honoring African American history.

The book also has significant importance to Clay County as it refers to former Brazil resident Charles B. Hall several times.

On July 2, 1943, Hall -- a member of the Tuskegee Airmen -- became the first African American to shoot down an enemy plane.

Hall, then 22, and his squadron, provided cover for a formation of B-25 "Mitchell" bombers when more than 20 German fighter planes attacked over Castelvetrano Field, Sicily. Hall shot down a German Focke-Wulf FW190.

It was his eighth mission and the unit's first aerial victory against the Luftwaffe.

Following the mission, Hall was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

In 2009, through the efforts of members with the Charles B. Hall Memorial Foundation, a monument was erected at Brazil City Hall.

A dedication ceremony took place in August 2009, in honor of the monument.

"The library is very gracious for this," Scarbrough said. "We want the community to know that we're grateful. Numerous people and families have donated to the library. It's almost weekly."

After World War II, Hall worked at Tinker Air Force Base before going on to work with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Upon retiring from the military, he became an insurance agent in Oklahoma City, until he died in 1971.

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  • Very nice. It was a classy move by someone and hopefully will help to continue to smash the remaining racial divide in this country, state, and county. The Tuskogee airmen were heroes. I am proud that Charles Hall called Brazil home.

    -- Posted by RDK on Sat, Feb 27, 2010, at 6:18 PM
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