Eugene J. Bullard, 1895-1961 / World’s First Black Combat Aviator
Eugene J. Bullard, 1895 - 1961
Bullard grew up in a small shotgun style house near this site. His father, William, was a laborer for the W. C. Bradley Company. Eugene completed the fifth grade at the 28th Street School. Shaken by the death of his mother, Josephine, and the near lynching of his father, Bullard left Columbus as a young teenager. In 1912, he stowed-away on a merchant ship out of Norfolk, Virginia. He spent the next 28 years of his life in Europe.
World’s First Black Combat Aviator
In World War I, Bullard earned the Croix de Guerre, France’s highest military medal, as an infantryman at the Battle of Verdun. He later flew some 20 missions as a French combat pilot. In the interwar years, he was a musician, club owner, and celebrity in Paris. He married a Parisian society woman with whom he raised two daughters. When Germany conquered France in 1940, Bullard came to New York where he worked in obscurity for the rest of his life.
Erected 2007 by The Historic Columbus Foundation and Historic Chattahoochee Commission.
Location. 32° 29.126′ N, 84° 58.662′ W. Marker is in Columbus, Georgia, in Muscogee County. Marker is at the intersection of Talbotton Road
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Secondary Industrial School (approx. 0.3 miles away); Alma Woodsey Thomas (approx. half a mile away); Colored Department of the City Hospital / Doctors and Nurses (approx. half a mile away); Brigadier General Henry Lewis Benning (approx. 0.6 miles away); Linwood Cemetery (approx. 0.7 miles away); Columbus' First Jewish Cemetery (approx. 0.7 miles away); St. Elmo (approx. 0.7 miles away); Confederate Dead (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbus.
Also see . . .
1. Eugene J. Bullard - The New Georgia Encyclopedia. (Submitted on August 14, 2011, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia.)
2. Biography of Cpl. Eugene J. Bullard - U.S. Air Force. (Submitted on August 14, 2011, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia.)
Categories. • African Americans • War, World I •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 8, 2011, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. This page has been viewed 857 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 8, 2011, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.