AfriGeneas Military Research Forum
William A. Leslie, Tuskegee Airman/NYC Policeman
Several hours ago, I posted information about my late father, James Audra Thompson, who was a Tuskegee Airman. In his graduation class from Tuskegee Flight School was William A. Leslie. Vicky responded to my post and asked if this William A. Leslie was from New York. The researcher in me took over and I started doing some digging. Vicky, you were correct. Mr. Leslie was truly influential in African-American history as well as in New York history. Online, I discovered a book titled "The Black Shields". On page 103 is the following information about this remarkable man: "William A. Leslie was the first African-American who became a member of the famous Negro "Tuskegee Airmen" of the Army-Air Force, before choosing a career as a police officer for the city of New York. Floyd J. Carter was the second "Tuskegee Airman" to become a police officer. Leslie is a graduate from the Tuskegee class of October 16, 1945 as a 2nd Lieutenant (pilot). He was appointed as a police officer officer July 1, 1950, and assigned to the 32nd Precinct. Leslie, among others, knew the limitations and restrictions of assignments for Black officers, so he did not request a transfer to Aviation. He was correct in his assumptions. William A. Leslie retired from the Police Department with the rank of Sergeant in 1982."