DETROIT. - Family and friends gathered to say happy birthday to Matthew Corbin, a second lieutenant in the Air Force between 1943 and 1945.
"He is part of the greatest generation," said Lawrence Millben with the Detroit Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen. "He and the Tuskegee Airmen by themselves were instrumental in helping save the world from Nazism."
On Saturday, Corbin celebrated 100 years on the planet. He is a member of the storied Tuskegee Airmen, who were part of the Army Air Corps program to train Black Americans to fly and maintain combat aircraft. Many dedicated servicemen and servicewomen fought racism to also fight for their country.Corbin was awarded the Victory Medal and the American Theatre Ribbon, in October 1945.
"We are losing these treasures and turning 100-years-old, a century is a big celebration," said Eric Palmer the president of Detroit Red Tail Incorporated.
Palmer is on a mission to make sure the next generation of Americans never forget the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen.
98-year-old Lt. Colonel, Alexander Jefferson, was shot down on his 18th mission and served the balance of the war as a prisoner of war. One of the original Tuskegee Airmen honored one of his brothers Saturday, by participating in the caravan celebration.
"We want to make sure that people know about what the they did and what we're trying to do as the youngsters is to keep that legacy alive," said Alfonso King with Friends of the City of Detroit Airport.