but few would compare to the courageous and heroic deeds of the African American aviation pioneer Colonel John Charles Robinson, not to be confused with the other African American pilot in Ethiopia named Hubert Julian the “Black Eagle.”
Recruited by Emperor Haileselassie I to lead his Royal Air Force in 1934 against an imminent fascist attack by Benito Mussolini, Col. Robinson, nick-named the “Brown Condor” stood up when the entire world failed to take action. He valiantly flew dangerous missions to transport men, supplies and the Emperor himself in the face of fierce resistance from Italian fighter pilots.
Invited back to Ethiopia after Italy was ousted, Robinson brought pilots and technicians from the US to help reorganize aviation in Ethiopia and train the pilots that would serve in the Imperial Ethiopian Air Force and future commercial airlines. He also later established the successful American Institute school for elementary and secondary students in Addis Ababa. Not only was John Robinson an Ethiopian war hero but he is also considered the “Father of the Tuskegee Airmen” of WWII fame.
Although the earliest planes and pilots in Ethiopia in the 1920′s were from Europe, led by the Frenchman Andre Maillet, by the dawn of the Italian Click Here to Read More