A long-serving NYPD detective and Tuskegee Airman has died at 95 years old, officials said on Sunday.
Lt. Col. Floyd J. Carter Sr. served the city’s police department for 27 years and was in three wars: World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, according to the NYPD. He worked in the Bronx’s 47th Precinct.
“We mourn the loss of a true American Hero,” the precinct tweeted on Sunday. “Our Community & Nation has lost a giant.”
Carter Sr. was first appointed to the NYPD in January 1953 and retired in 1980, police said.
He was one of the last remaining Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American pilots who flew for the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II.
In 2007, former President George W. Bush awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the Tuskegee Airmen for their “World War II achievements that were made bittersweet by the racial discrimination they endured after returning home,” according to the U.S. Army.
“We celebrate this gentleman’s life because he helped make the #NYPD, #NYC and, indeed, our country, what they are today,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill tweeted.
As a detective, Carter Sr. often worked as a body guard for visiting dignitaries and even talked politics with Fidel Castro, according to The New York Times.
According to the Daily News, Carter Sr. became lieutenant colonel in the Air Force after joining the famous group at Tuskegee University.
On Sunday, the Alabama-based university tweeted that it “celebrates the life and legacy of #TuskegeeAirmen serviceman Floyd Carter Sr.” He was survived by his wife of more than 70 years and their two children as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren, according to the News.
On Sunday, Rep. Adriano Espaillat tweeted a bill he sponsored last year that would rename the United States Post Office at 99 Macombs Place in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen.
“Mr. Carter dedicated his remarkable life to serving his country and his city, and we are grateful,” Espaillat wrote.