Louis G. Hill Jr., 90, one of the Tuskegee Airmen who were the nation's first black military pilots, has died.

Mr. Hill died April 25 of complications from a stroke, said his wife, Vilma.

He joined the Army in September 1941, three months before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He later joined the Air Force program for black pilots in Tuskegee, Ala., and earned his wings in 1944, his wife said.

She said her husband was a B-25 bomber pilot and flight leader, but World War II ended before his unit deployed.

At the time he joined the military, white officers and enlisted men refused to salute the black officers, turning their heads instead, Vilma Hill said.

While he was attending officer candidate school at Camp Lee, Va., Mr. Hill and 11 other black students decided not to sit together during meals as assigned. Instead, they took seats with white students in an attempt to integrate the hall, Vilma Hill said.

After the war, he taught high school English, chemistry and physics and lectured about his experience as a Tuskegee Airman, she said. - AP