He had more than 21 years of active military service and was one of the more than 100 western Pennsylvania residents who became Tuskegee Airmen.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A Tuskegee airman who was born and raised in Pittsburgh has passed away.

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Chief Master Sergeant James Cotten was 93. He had more than 21 years of active military service — including with America’s first Black aviators — and another 45 years of service with the defense department.

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(Photo privided)

KDKA’s Bob Allen talked to Cotten in 2013 when a Tuskegee Airmen’s Memorial was unveiled in Sewickely.

Cotten was one the more than 100 western Pennsylvania residents who became Tuskegee Airmen.

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During the war, the Tuskegee Airmen became one of the most decorated squadrons, flying in more than 1,500 combat missions.