Coming after the remains of a City College of New York student turned Tuskegee Airman lost in 1944 were finally discovered in Europe, CCNY pays homage to another deceased member of World War II’s famed squadron. On August 23, CCNY’s CUNY Dominican Studies Institute and U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) host a ceremony to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Esteban Hotesse posthumously. He will be remembered for his service to the all-Black fighter group.
The event, 6:30 – 8 p.m. in CCNY’s Shepard Hall room 95, is free and open to the public and media. Reservation is required by sending an email to RSVP.Espaillat@mail.house.gov or calling 212.663.3900.
Raised in New York, Hotesse was the only Dominican-born member of the Tuskegee Airmen when he died in a crash during a training mission in July 1945. He was 26 and had landed on Ellis Island with his mother from the Dominican Republic, at age four.
Three months before his death, Second Lieutenant Hotesse and 100 other Tuskegee Airmen had been arrested for resisting segregation at an officers’ club on a U.S. Army Air Corps base in Indiana. Their action is considered by historians as an important milestone in ending segregation in the military, and as a model for civil disobedience decades later during the Civil Rights struggle.
Three years ago, Hotesse was among numerous Dominicans featured in the CUNY DSI exhibit “Fighting for Democracy: Dominican Veterans from World War II,” at City College.
Although Hotesse did not attend City College, one known Tuskegee Airman from CCNY is Lawrence E. Dickson whose plane went down during a mission in December 1944.
An undergraduate between 1940 and 1942, Dickson’s remains were discovered in Austria recently and positively identified on July 27 by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The Harlem resident had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for meritorious service and was on his 68th mission when he died.
About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.