Eddie E. Marcy (1919–2016)

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Eddie Marcy was a member of the support staff of the famed Tuskegee Airmen in World War II. Marcy was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on June 13, 1919, to Arthur and Callie Marcy. His parents moved to Big Stone Gap, Virginia, so his coal miner father could find work in the mines there. After high school graduation, he himself spent a year and a half as a coal miner in Derby, Virginia.

Marcy was stationed at Selfridge Air Force Base in Harrison Township, Michigan, beginning December 20, 1943, as part of the 100th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group, and later the 305th Bombardment Wing. He left Selfridge for Ramitelli, Italy.

Marcy never flew a plane but as a fueler he was responsible for keeping a certain number of planes fueled three times a day and in the air flying missions. While at Ramitelli, Marcy was one of the crew preparing planes to fly in the famous Berlin Campaign Mission in 1945, for which the Tuskegee Airmen were tasked with escorting the first American bombers to attack Berlin. The Airmen shot down several enemy planes in a single day during this mission. Filmmaker George Lucas, in his 2012 film Red Tails, fictionalized the Berlin Campaign and the role that the Tuskegee Airman played in it.

For his heroic service during the war, Eddie Marcy received major awards, including a Certificate of Merit for his service in the European, African, and Middle Eastern campaigns. Marcy was particularly proud of this certificate because it bore the signature of Col. George S. (Spanky) Roberts, the first African American accepted for U.S. Army pilot training. Marcy also received the Bronze Star for meritorious service in Rome-ARNO, Southern and Northern France, the Balkan Campaign, and the Germany/Berlin Campaign, Apennines, Po Valley Campaign, 12th AF February 1944 and May 1944, 15th AF June 1944.

After the war, Marcy returned to Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan where he served until he was discharged. He then began a thirty-year career with Chrysler after moving to Detroit. He later said that he liked the city because of the opportunity it afforded a black person who had lived in the South.

Eddie Marcy passed away in Detroit, Michigan, on March 26, 2016 at the age of 96. His wife Constance passed away on October 2, 2015. They are survived by sons Charles Marcy, Dwain Fennoy, and Kevin Fennoy; two daughters, Thelma Monroe and Jevita Terry.