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Legacy of 2 Tuskegee Airmen From Steubenville Honored

The legacy of Jerome and John “Ellis” Edwards, Steubenville natives and members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, were celebrated Thursday. The downtown mural, located along Washington Street, was dedicated in September.

STEUBENVILLE – Historic Fort Steuben this week celebrated the legacy of Jerome and John “Ellis” Edwards, Steubenville natives and members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen.

The Tuskegee Airmen were African-American fighter pilots and support personnel who fought with distinction during World War II. The Edwards brothers are the subject of Steubenville’s most recent mural, located on Washington Street and dedicated on Sept. 29.

Thursday was chosen for the day of remembrance because it is the anniversary of the death of Jerome Edwards, killed when his plane malfunctioned while taking off from his airbase in 1943.

His brother, John “Ellis” Edwards, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross after downing two enemy ME-109’s over Italy in 1945.

The brothers are both interred at Union Cemetery.

Due to the deteriorated condition of Jerome’s original headstone, a new replacement stone was approved by the National Cemetery Administration and is on its way to Steubenville.

“We are overjoyed that Jerome will have a replacement marker in Union Cemetery,” Historic Fort Steuben Director Paul Zuros said. “The Edwards brothers answered the call of duty, and Jerome gave his life for our country to protect the freedoms we all enjoy, despite the fact that these brave soldiers’ own civil rights were questioned.

“With the new marker in Union Cemetery, and the new mural downtown, we will honor the Edwards brothers and the Tuskegee Airmen’s heroic contribution to our city and our nation,” he said.

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