Tuskegee Airman celebrates 95th birthday with OPS school

Posted at 10:47 AM, Nov 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-07 11:47:05-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - — "It's an event that I'll never forget," U.S. Army Air Corps Cpl. Robert Holts said.

Hand claps, cheers and heart-warming smiles filled the halls at Davis Middle School.

It was all for Cpl. Robert Holts.

He's the last known surviving Tuskegee Airman from Nebraska.

"It was an awful lot of kids to see and I enjoyed the experience of seeing these children," Holts said.

Seventh and eighth graders gave the World War II veteran a round of applause as he made his way through the halls.

Sixth graders met him in the cafeteria to sing Happy Birthday.

It was no coincidence that the celebration was held at Davis Middle School.

The school is named after Omaha native, Captain Alfonza W. Davis, who was an aviation cadet at Tuskegee Airfield.

He became the first African American aviator to be awarded his wings.

"From the moment the kids step in at this school they start learning the six pillars and what Tuskegee stands for and what it means to be an aviator," Principal Dan Bartels said.

Bartels tells us they want students to understand Holt's impact on his country and hometown.

"We talked about Tuskegee and the Civil Rights Movement and what it meant for an African American male in Omaha to do what Mr. Holts did," he said.

Holts says serving his country was personal.

My dad was in World War I and I thought it was a normal experience for me to follow in his steps and join the service," Holts said.

Before the celebrations ended, students presented him with gifts.

"Thank you so much for everything you do and, thank you for your service," Sixth grader Kennedy Drummond said.