August 23, 2018
World War II veteran, Staff Sgt. Wally Higgins of Alfred Station, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, died Wednesday, at the age of 92. Higgins had been awarded the World War II Victory Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the New York State Medal for Merit. After the war, Higgins attended Alfred University where he graduated with a degree in ceramic engineering.
Congressman Tom Reed: “Wally was a hero both during war in the air and at home on the ground. A Tuskegee Airman, he should be remembered for his bravery and willingness to serve his country and community up until his final days here on earth.”
State Senator Cathy Young:
“It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Wally Higgins, a decorated World War II veteran and a beloved member of our community. An original Tuskegee Airman who served in the Pacific Theater, Wally was among the first African-American military aviators in the U.S. Armed Forces. Although he lived during a time when racial discrimination and segregation were still terrible realities in many parts of the United States, his patriotism never wavered and he willingly risked his life for our nation.
It was my honor to induct Sergeant Higgins into the Senate’s Veterans’ Hall of Fame in 2015 and an even greater privilege to have the opportunity to get to know this extraordinary man. A loving father, husband and active member of our community, Wally’s life was dedicated to service. Despite his achievements, he lived his life with great humility, kindness, compassion and excellence. Everyone he met was a friend.
America has lost one of its true heroes. However, his legacy endures and his spirit lives on in our hearts.”