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Tuskegee Airman and central Florida native Richard Hall dies at 97

A statue of him resides outside the Hannibal Square Heritage Center in Winter Park.
Credit: U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Adam M. Stump
From right, retired U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Richard R. Hall, Jr., a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Montoria Hubbard, the Tuskegee Airmen Gen. Daniel "Chappie" James chapter president, and U.S. Air Force Col. Gina Humble, 11th Operations Group commander at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., sing the Air Force song during a concert at The First Academy Faith Hall in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 14, 2011. The U.S. Air Force Band Ceremonial Brass honored Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American military aviators in the U.S. armed forces, during their performance, playing a new work entitle "Red Tail Skirmish." U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Adam M. Stump/Released.

WINTER PARK, Fla. — Chief Master Sgt. Richard R. Hall Jr., a member of the Tuskegee Airmen and native of Central Florida, has died. He was 97. 

Hall grew up in Winter Park and was attending Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans when he was drafted in 1942, according to the U.S. Air Force.

Hall served with the Air Force for 31 years, first as a member of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II and then later as a master chief sergeant during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, WMFE reports. 

In 2007, Hall was honored and awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President George W. Bush, according to WESH

In Winter Park, Hall is honored with a life-size statue outside the Hannibal Square Heritage Center. On Tuesday, the heritage center remembered Hall in a social media post. 

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