"Coach" Roscoe Draper

Born in Haverford, PA on May 14, 1919, Roscoe Draper grew up in Haverford and Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania. He graduated with honors from Haverford High School and continued his education at the Hampton Institute (later became Hampton University). After enrolling in the civil pilot training program in 1939, Roscoe received his Private Pilot license in 1940. He was one of two men selected for the secondary course at the Tuskegee Institute (later became Tuskegee University) and completed his pilot training in 1942. He was one of the first ten men of color selected to serve as flight instructor for the Army Air Corps "Tuskegee Experiment". He taught Army Air Corps cadets in the primary phase of their flight training at Moton Field, Tuskegee, AL (from 1942 to 1946) and he also served on the academic board for the Tuskegee Institute.

"Coach" was mentored by another aviation legend, "Chief" Charles Alfred Anderson (1907-1996) who was also from the Philadelphia area. Together, they trained the famed Tuskegee Airmen who went on to copile their own impressive list of accomplishments. Roscoe was affectionately given the nickname "Coach" by his flight students because it described his teaching style.

Coach later worked for the US Postal Service and the FAA in several capacities, including Pilot Examiner and Accident Investigator. Among his many airplane ratings, Coach is also certified in helicopters. His ratings are still current and he is teaching others to became better pilots.

The above is a summary of an article in a local Philadelphia newspaper but barely scratches the surface of "Coach" Draper's remarkable life.