Bentley Dallas was bestowed with the ultimate honor of driving and escorting Tuskegee Airman Staff Sergeant Homer Hogues and his family in the annual Martin Luther King Day parade.
We met the 88-year-old young man and his family on a sunny yet chilly morning in South Dallas. He arrived to the awaiting 2016 Bentley Continental GTC via Dallas Police escort.
Two officers helped him get settled in, while he took it all in. He didn’t say much, but his big smile said everything.
Staff Sergeant Hogues was truly amazed and impressed. He looked around, feeling the beautiful intricately stitched burgundy leather seats.
Brian Simmons, sales experience manager at Bentley Dallas, was his driver and escort for the parade.
Brian made sure to adjust the seats for Staff Sergeant Hogues, and did everything necessary to make sure he enjoyed the day in ultimate luxury and comfort.
Staff Sergeant Hogues’ story is as intriguing as the man himself. While sitting in the Bentley, awaiting the start of the parade he was greeted by countless admirers including Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Dallas City Council members, ROTC cadets, as well as members of the military. They stopped by to shake his hand, salute him, say hello, and thank him for his service.
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson stopped by to say hello to Staff Sergeant Hogues.
Staff Sergeat Hogues’ career with the Tuskegee Airmen started shortly after graduating high school. He was drafted into the military, and saw this as an opportunity to better himself and serve his country.
He was assigned to the famous 99th Fighter Squadron 332nd Fighter Group at Lockbourne Air Force Base in Columbus, Ohio as an airplane mechanic. During this time Benjamin O. Davis Jr, the first African-American general officer in the U.S. Air Force, was the commanding officer. He was also Staff Sgt. Hogues’ teacher, who became a mentor, and now the two men worked together. Benjamin O. Davis Jr. a 4-Star General went on to work at the White House, in the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Staff Sgt. Hogues, worked on P-47 Thunderbird planes, with pilots like “Chappy” James, who helped win World War II. He was proud of what he did, and says when the Tuskegee Airmen pilots would return from missions, mechanics and ground crew awaited with tremendous pride.
Hogues returned to Texas in 1949 and applied for a job at Braniff airlines. Despite his experience as an airplane mechanic, he was told by Braniff that if he wanted a job, he could clean planes, sweep floors, or pick up trash. At this time, he regretted leaving the Air Force.
In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor to the Tuskegee Airmen.
“We (the family) didn’t find out he (Staff Sergeant Hogues) was an Airman until 2009, after the medals were given out in Washington D.C.” said daughter Barbara Hogues. “We run into a lot of families with the same story,” continued Barbara, “Daddy said when he got out of the military and everyone acted like nothing special had been done, then he thought no one wanted to know about the Tuskegee Airmen. He didn’t talk about the military. At our schools, they didn’t teach us about the Tuskegee Airmen. That’s why I’m so glad God blessed him to live long enough to see this day. Even though he wasn’t a pilot, his duty of airplane mechanic was just as important. I take him out now for all the Airmen who didn’t get a chance to see this day.”
After retiring in 1995, Staff Sergeant Hogues continues being recognized for his service.
He also participates in events and speaking engagements representing the US Air Force and Tuskegee Airmen, his love and pride for family and country is immeasurable.
Being a Tuskegee Airman, Staff Sgt. Hogues has been invited by US Presidents to be participate in parades, including the Presidential Inaugural Parade for President Harry S. Truman in 1949. President Obama also extended a personal invite to Staff Sgt. Hogues to be in a parade, which Hogues gladly accepted. Hogues says the biggest difference in the two parades decades apart is how he and the African-Americans were treated. The Tuskegee Airmen, the first all African-American squadron in the US Military, were put up to sleep in a plane hangar when in town for President Truman’s parade. Hogues said, “It was so so so cold!” as he hugged himself and shivered.
Staff Sergeant Hogues and his family were also invited to dinner at the Governor’s mansion by former Texas Governor Rick Perry.
After the MLK Parade, Staff Sergeant Hogues and his family spent time with the team at Park Place Premier Collection.
Park Place Premier Collection General Manager Heath Strayhan with Staff Sergeant Hogues.
Park Place Premier Collection General Manager Heath Strayhan and Sales Experience Manager Brian Simmons with Staff Sergeant Hogues.
Park Place Premier Collection Sales Experience Manager Brian Simmons with Staff Sergeant Hogues.
It was a real treat to hear his stories and spend the day with this incredible man, his wife, and daughter! Thank you for your service Staff Sergeant Hogues.
For more information about Bentley or to schedule a test drive, please contact:
Malcolm Gage at Bentley Dallas 844-745-8538 or MGage@10.2.54.33