My father was Howard A. Tibbs and others in the city of Salem, Ohio and area provided during the World War II era. Howard Tibbs was a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps (AAC) and during this period the unfortunate policy of segregation among the armed forces was still in effect. Mr. Tibbs and other Salemites served in these units that would (ca.-late 1960’s) form the “Tuskegee Airmen”-comprised of men and women of African American-ethnic origins that were in the U.S. AAC from 1941-1948. The following AAC servicemen also from Salem are George Catlin, Joseph Cooper and James Cyrus who served in the U.S. Army (Regular) also Melvin Ormes who would gain the rank of Colonel-U.S. Army, both of them were cousins to Howard Tibbs. Salem, Ohio had other veterans of WWII of African American origins. (There are more persons who served in other US armed services yet to be discovered, we encourage them and their families to come forward and your society to find them).
Howard Tibbs was the grandson of Charles Howard of Salem, Ohio and Howard Street named in honor of Charles Howard during his lifetime- ca.1890’s.
Mr. Howard served in the Civil War in the GAR- Ohio Colored Troops Company L, 1st Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Heavy Artillery. Grandfather Howard spent three years in the Union Army. We submit these materials with the hope that a broader understanding of the contributions of these persons (Tibbs- Howard family) and many others will bring enlightenment to Salem’s present and tell more of the cities rich past.