Theodore W. (Ted) Robinson (19262001)
The Black Wings African American Aviation Pioneers, a new
online research site, is dedicated to the memory of Ted Robinson.
Ted Robinson Tuskegee airman, Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) flight safety inspector, and historian played a key
role in the development of the National Air and Space Museums
original Black Wings exhibit. His tireless and creative research
shaped the content of this exhibition in the early 1980s. Teds
knowledge of early black aviators assisted the Museum in the development
of a series of public programs, film documentaries, books, and now
this new online research site.
Ted grew up in Chicago, and it was in his home town that he became
acquainted with the flying activities of early black pilots such
as Cornelius Coffey, John C. Robinson, and Willa Brown. Toward the
end of World War II, Ted was admitted to the then segregated flight
training program of the United States Army Air Forces at Tuskegee.
At Tuskegee, Ted earned his wings as a second lieutenant, flying
B-25 medium bombers. But his graduation at Tuskegee came just as
the war ended, which meant that he and his squadron were not assigned
to combat duties. His subsequent career involved training as an
engineer, a long tenure in the FAA, and work as a flight instructor.
Throughout his life, Ted Robinson took a keen interest in civil
rights, a commitment deepened by his active involvement in the Society
of Friends (Quakers) in his mature years. He was active as well
in the Tuskegee Airmen association and, as a research associate,
with the National Air and Space Museum.
The National Air and Space Museum proudly dedicates this
online research site to the memory of Theodore W. Robinson.