First Wilfred DeFour fought discrimination at home. Then he fought the Nazis in Europe.
He helped America win both wars.
DeFour was one of the last of the famed Tuskegee Airmen — members of all-black units that included pilots, technicians, mechanics and other support personnel who signed up for the Army Air Force to fight in WWII. He died Saturday at age 100.
A home care attendant found him in the bathroom of his 5th Avenue apartment in Harlem at around 9 a.m.
Police said he apparently died of natural causes.,
His death leaves about 100-200 of the approximately 16,000 Airmen still alive.
“It was a blessing to have known him,” said his neighbor, Markell White. “Every time I saw him, I made sure he’s alright. …
He lived a long and amazing life.”
DeFour served as chief official in the Airmen’s engineering office, and then worked 33 years for the US Postal Service after the war, performed his final official act last month.
He appeared at the Colonial Park branch in Harlem for a ceremony renaming the building for the Airmen.
During the ceremony, DeFour unveiled a plaque with Congressman Adriano Espaillat.
“I appreciate all of the appreciation. It’s a wonderful day for me,” he said at the time, WPIX reported.
The renaming was important to him — and, in his view, his fallen brothers too.
“ [It] will mean there’s recognition for Tuskegee Airmen, and that’s very important,” he told WABC.
DeFour told the crowd he did not know his service would help make history.
To mark Black History Month in 2016, DeFour visited a fifth-grade class in Hempstead, LI, Newsday reported.
He told the kids: “We need to spread the word to let them know what went on in our time.
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