Lonely Eagle, Nov 1996
Sergeant Mack Hopkins
Mack H. Hopkins, was born the son of Professor McHenry and
Bessie Hopkins on November 30, 1917. His parents lived on campus
at Wiley College. He graduated from Central High School in
Marshall, Texas in 1937, and from Wiley College in 1941. While at
Wiley, where he played football, he met Pauline A. Lewis, his wife for
46 years until her passing in 1990.

Just two months after the United States enter WWII in December of
1941, Mr. Hopkins volunteered for Army service and was
competitively selected for assignment to the famed 301st Fighter
Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group. As a Sergeant, Mack
became a flight instructor at Tuskegee, Alabama where he trained
African-American pilots for the 332nd Group for the remainder of
the war. He had remarked that this special program brought the top
athletes and students of the black race together to fly for the Army
Air Corps. He said they were the cream of the crop.

After his honorable discharge on December 10, 1945, Mr. Hopkins
attended California Aeronautical Institute in pursuit of an
Aeronautical Engineering degree, hoping to continue a flying
career. However, flying jobs were not plentiful for young blacks, so
Mack remained in California and a position with the U.S. Postal
service, where he spent the next 26 years.  He and several friends
continued their passion for flying and organized the Fleetwing Flying
Club in Compton, California.

Following retirement from the Postal Service in 1972, Mr. Hopkins
worked for Hughes Aircraft for ten years, and then returned to his
hometown of Marshall, Texas.  He became actively involved in public
service, giving generously of his time, energy, finances and smiles
to many civic and community organizations as a member of the
Ebenezer United Methodist Church, Harrison County Financial
Board, Board of Directors of the Marshall Chamber of Commerce,
Marshall School Board, Harrison County Appraisal Review Board,
Board of the League of Women Voters, and the Harrison County
Literacy Council.   A leader in the black community in and around
Marshall Texas, Mr. Hopkins was also active with the Alpha Phi
Alpha Fraternity, the Wiley College Alumni Association and the San
Antonio Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen until his passing on November
15, 1996.