Esteban Hotesse

Esteban Hotesse

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Born in Dominican Republic, Esteban (Stephen) Hotesse served in World War II as a Tuskegee Airman. Born on February 2, 1919, in Moca, Dominican Republic, Hotesse at the age four along with his family moved to New York City.

On February 21, 1942, Hotesse (went by the name “Stephan” Hotesse) enrolled in the military where he began and completed flight training as a B-25 bomber pilot with the 619 squadron of the 477 bombardment group. A year later Hotesse applied for U.S. Naturalization.  Hotesse was trained at Freeman Airfield, Indiana where Black bomber pilots were trained during WWII, he was part of Class 44-45B, where he earned the rank of second lieutenant as reported by Tom Lauria a researcher at Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

On April 5, 1945, Hotesse and several Black pilots of the 477th Bombardment Group were arrested when they protested segregation by entering an all-white officers club. This became known as the Freeman Field Mutiny. On April 23, these Tuskegee Airmen were released from the brig on the orders of Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall.

Although Hotesse and his squadron never flew in combat as a result of the war had come to an end in 1945, Hotesse died in a B-25 crash over the Ohio River in Indiana during a military exercise on July 8, 1945 at the age of 26. Hotesse was not piloting the aircraft at the time.

*info from Department of Veterans Affairs Public Affairs

 

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