Dr. Eugene “Gene” Derricotte, grew up in Defiance, Ohio.   
He entered the University of Michigan in 1944, but was
drafted into the Army in December 1944  and shipped to Fort
Bragg, North Carolina as an Artillery Cannoneer.  Midway
through training,  he was told of the pilot training program at
Tuskegee; he volunteered, and graduated in Class 46-B in
May 1946.  

With the war over, Lieutenant Derricotte was discharged and
returned to Michigan.  He was the first African-American to
play in the backfield for the University of Michigan football
team. In 1950, he earned his Pharmacy degree and ended
four years of varsity football to include winning the 1948 Rose

After a second degree  in Dentistry in 1958, he returned to
the military, serving in Vietnam, as well as South Dakota,
Massachusetts, Texas, Hawaii, Virginia, Illinois and the Air
Force Academy before his retirement in 1985.  Dr. Derricotte
then relocated to San Antonio, starting another career at the
University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC) until his
second retirement in 2000.  Since then, Dr. Derricotte and his
wife Jeanne, enjoy occasional golf, traveling and their