GARY, Ind. (CBS) — A former Tuskegee Airman learned Wednesday that he will be getting another Congressional Gold Medal to replace the one that was stolen from his home.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, Quentin Smith, 93, was all smiles as he left the office of U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.), having found out the medal would be replaced.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports
The former Tuskegee airman was having difficulty breathing when WBBM Newsradio called, but he said through his housekeeper that he is very happy.
She said he was very upset when the Congressional medal was stolen from his home while he was away. He waited until recently to report the theft, which occurred last summer, because he was embarrassed.
Police say the medal was taken with jewelry and other items while Smith was away.
The medals are special to the Tuskegee Airmen, as Virgil Poole, 91, said recently.
“So I said, well, hell, I am somebody now,” Poole said. “That’s the way I think about it.”
On Friday, Smith will be presented with a new medal at his home.
Smith received his medal five years ago for his service as a flight instructor for the Tuskegee Airmen – the all-African-American squadron that did missions for the U.S. Army during World War II.