'Tuskegee Airmen' artist speaks at annual PRCC Black History program

'Tuskegee Airmen' artist speaks at annual PRCC Black History program
Photo credit WDAM.
Photo credit WDAM.

FORREST COUNTY (WDAM) - A retired dentist who's gained national notoriety for his paintings of the "Tuskegee Airmen" spoke at the 11th annual Black History Month program at the Forrest County Center of Pearl River Community College Tuesday.

Clinard 'Clint' Martin, 77, presented a history of the "Tuskegee Airmen" using several pieces of his artwork.

The "Tuskegee Airmen" were in the 332nd Fighter Group.

It was a segregated and highly-decorated group in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.

Martin, a McComb native who retired from the VA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, 20 years ago, has painted about three dozen works honoring the group.

"A lot of paintings are centered around missions that they flew and some were commemorative to recognize the different aircraft that they did fly," said Martin.

Several of his works have been exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum, the Pentagon and the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

"It's such a fascinating story as to how these guys actually survived issues in their own country and go out and fight the enemy," Martin said. "They just wanted to be a part of what America was all about at that time."

Martin's uncle, Walter Downs of Magnolia, Mississippi, was a member of the "Tuskegee Airmen."