Covering Macon County: Family And Friends Say Goodbye To Tuskegee Airman

It was a celebration of a life well-lived. At 81 Ernest Craig Well is among the youngest of all the Tuskegee airmen. Well didn't know Major Carrol Woods personally but that didn't matter. Well wanted to be at the funeral and say goodbye.

"It's a brotherhood and we just show up," Well said.

For Carrol Woods, it all started in 1942. A Georgia boy drafted into the Army who later became one of the original Tuskegee airmen. He flew more than a hundred combat missions in World War Two. He was shot down and found himself a POW in Greece. Freedom came 7 months later.

Fellow airman Herbert Carter remembers.

"I've known Carrol since 1942 and we were like brothers in every way," Carter said.

At home Woods was simply known as dad, devoted to his family and never talked about legacy.

"He was the guy that tossed you the baseball and threw the football with you," said Carrol Woods, Jr.

Over time Major Carrol Woods started a family, spent more than 30 years at Alabama State University as the Director of Purchasing and never sought the limelight on his role as a Tuskegee airman. In fact, during the service one man called Woods 'the most humbled of all the airmen.' He was the quiet one.

"He just didn't talk about it and I think one reason is because he was from a large family," said Carter.

Another speaker talked about another side of Woods; his sense of humor even when he was dying of cancer. When asked how he was doing just two weeks ago, the former fighter pilot responded, 'I'm still here and any day I'm still here is a good day.'

Major Carrol Woods had just turned 88 two months ago, and not long ago he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by the United States Congress.