We have lost yet another one of our stalwart brothers to Omega Chapter. Brother Mitchell Higginbotham was initiated on 5/10/1941 through Nu Psi Chapter at Virginia State College (currently Virginia State University). Brother Higginbotham later enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp and was one of the Tuskegee Airmen. Brother Higginbotham was a Life Member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity with Lambda Omicron. Let us keep the Higginbotham family and the Brothers of Lambda Omicron Chapter in our thoughts and prayers. I have included Brother Higginbotham’s Obituary to share the accomplishments of this amazing Omega Man.
Tuskegee Airmen Ambassador of Goodwill
Second Lieutenant Mitchell Higginbotham, one of 7 Tuskegee Airmen from the Village of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, died Sunday, February 14, 2016 of natural causes in a nursing home in Rancho Mirage, California. He was 94.
In 1942, while a student at Virginia State College, Mitchell enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp and was sent to Tuskegee Air Field where Black enlistees were trained to be pilots. He was assigned to the 477th Bomber Group and trained to fly both single and multi engine military aircraft. While in training, he was cited for his skills as a B 25 Medium Bomber pilot. Mitchell’s younger brother, First Lieutenant Robert Higginbotham, is also a Tuskegee airman. Robert is a retired Orthopedic Surgeon.
During World War II, the Pittsburgh Courier launched a national “Double Victory “ campaign calling for victory against this country’s enemies overseas and over all forms of racial discrimination at home. Mitchell, and three local pilots, scored a win over segregation at three bases where they served, Selfridge Field, Michigan, Godman Field, Kentucky and Freeman Field, Indiana. Even though commissioned officers, the Tuskegee pilots were wrongly classified as “trainees” and routinely denied entrance to Officer’s Clubs. In early 1945, the 477th was sent to Freeman Field for advanced training in anticipation of combat duty in the Pacific Theater. While in training, Mitchell, and 100 other Tuskegee Officers, lined up to enter the Freeman Field club. This protest was encouraged by civil rights leaders and was widely reported in the Pittsburgh Courier and other black newspapers. Joining in the protest were the late Lieutenants Calvin Smith of Beaver County, William Curtis of Sewickley and Wendell Freeland of Pittsburgh. Although initially jailed, the protesters were later released by direct order of the President.
After the war, Mitchell went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Labor Relations from the University of Colorado. He then joined the staff of the Urban League of Pittsburgh. Mitchell was later hired by the Greater Pittsburgh Airport where he managed landings and take offs of all unscheduled aircraft. Mitchell then relocated to Los Angeles where he served as a LA County Probation Officer until retiring.
Mitchell is survived by his Brother Robert, Sister-In-Law Margaret, and two nephews, Robert and Michael. Mitchell requested that he be buried at the Tuskegee Memorial in the Sewickley Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Mitchell L. Higginbotham may be made to the Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation, P.O. Box 881780, Los Angeles, CA 90009 or at www.taisf.org.
The following comments came from the 12th D list serve
It is with a deep sense of loss that I must tell you that Brother Philmore Graham passed away on Friday evening, June 12, 2014. Philmore was initiated at Rho Psi Chapter, Tennessee State University in May 1959. He served proudly in the United States Air Force after college, which brought him out to California.
Philmore was 12th DR of the 12th District, a Life Member of our beloved fraternity, a kind and loving husband and father, and one of the finest Brothers and Men we will ever know.
21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart : for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.
RIP Brother Graham – Rho Psi 5-59
Philmore Graham saved my life and is responsible for everything that I am and will be. God sent him to make sure that many fatherless children not only had a positive role model, but someone they could count on through every aspect of life.Philmore Graham introduced me to higher education and he pushed me beyond my own limits. He believed in me and never doubted that I could change and be somebody some day.
His love was unconditional and came with no strings, no matter what my circumstances.
The world truly lost an angel tonight and I will forever know that all of my accomplishments and successes are truly due to the fact that he loved me and fought for my survival.
I love you Philmore Graham. Rest in peace and I thank God you came into my life!!!
Shamann Walton, Pi Chi
Our prayers and condolences from the brothers of Phi Omicron Chapter-Baja Ques of San Diego California.
Attached are words and an eloquent illustration of our brother from Rep.Miller. http://capitolwords.org/date/
Basileus Elect. Bro. Jovanim Martinez, Phi Omicron
Really don’t know what to say. Philmore was probably the greatest Que I’ve ever me. I actually thought he would never die—that he’d be here forever. Aside from the impact on me personally—I was on line when I met him—he gave me my life’s mission-the Omega Boys Club. I only hope we can continue to represent and live out his mission and his spirit and legacy. That way he will never die. Omega chapter just got a great one.Bro. Dr. Joseph Marshall, Pi Chi
Alive & Free – Omega Boys Club
Please select the link below to submit your prayer request:
To all Chapters of the “Massive and Progressive” 12th District,I greet you in the name of the Supreme Basileus of the Universe from whom all blessings flow. This correspondence is in regards to the annual National High School Essay contest. Please find attached with this email the official announcement for said contest.Please make sure to read the rules and timelines for the contest. The following are a few items worth highlighting from the announcement.Topic: “What Do You View as the Critical Skills Needed to be Successful in College and Beyond?”– Open to all College-bound, High School Seniors– Essay must be original, 700-750 words in length.– 3 type-written, double-spaced copies must be submitted– Contest closes October 25, 2013– Manuscript must be submitted to the LOCAL Chapter sponsoring the contest.– National Awards to be announced on or about June 30, 2014Each Chapter in the 12th District is expected to select a local winner and submit the essay to the 12th District Achievement Week Sub-Committee by December 31st , 2013. The 12th District Achievement Week Committee will then select a winner to represent the 12th District and submit that essay to the Intl Achievement Week Chairman by end of March 2014.The attached Essay Contest form is available on the IHQ website and will be on the 12th District website.If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding the National High School Essay contest please do not hesitate to contact me directly.Bro. Andrew J. Davis- Chairman12th District Achievement Week Committee