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Women were not allowed to join combat during WWII but it was Carter’s dream to have an aviation career. According to her son, Herbert Carter Jr., Mildred’s only regret was not being able to join the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots organization (WASP), which was an all-white female service group during World War II. She was rejected because she was black. It wasn’t until she was 70 years old that she finally received a letter inducting her into the program.

When her husband Herbert went to war, she saw a film at the theater of the Tuskegee Airmen and right on the screen was her husband, one of the original 33 pilots, tending to his aircraft. She cried.

In September 2011, Mildred Carter was honored at the Tuskegee Human and Multicultural Center with a ceremony and roses. She had hoped to stick around for her husband’s 94th birthday a few weeks later and was able to do so prior to her passing one month later. She was 90 years old. Ninety-five year old Herbert Carter died late last year.

Little Known Black History Fact: Mildred Carter  was originally published on

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