2 Tuskegee Airmen, lifelong friends, die in LA on the same day

Human Interest News   —   Posted on January 19, 2015

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Joseph Shambrey (l) and Clarence Huntley (r)

2 Tuskegee Airmen die in Los Angeles at 91 on the same day 

Two members of the Tuskegee Airmen — the famed all-black squadron that flew in World War II — died on the same day. The men, lifelong friends who enlisted together, were 91.

Clarence E. Huntley Jr. and Joseph Shambrey died on Jan. 5 in their Los Angeles homes, relatives said.

Huntley and Shambrey enlisted in 1942. They were shipped overseas to Italy in 1944 with the 100th Fighter Squadron of the Army Air Force’s 332nd Fighter Group. As mechanics, they kept the combat planes flying.

Huntley serviced P-39, P-47 and P-51 aircraft, and as crew chief was responsible for the plane of the squadron commander, Capt. Andrew D. Turner, said Huntley’s nephew, Craig Huntly of Inglewood. “The life of his pilot was in his hands, and he took that very seriously,” his nephew said.

His concern led Turner to nickname him “Mother,” Huntly said.

In addition to facing danger, the Tuskegee Airmen faced racism.

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Tuskegee airmen attend a briefing in 1945.

Shambrey’s son, Tim Shambrey of Altadena, said his father recalled getting off a train in Alabama where a hospitality station was welcoming returning white troops with handshakes and free coffee.

“When he and his buddies came off, dressed in their uniforms, of course they didn’t get any congratulations” and were asked to pay for their coffee, Shambrey said.

They did so.

“The thing about those men is that they were very proud” and decided not to make a fuss, Shambrey said. “They were already used to so much discrimination.”

In later life, Shambrey didn’t talk much about his war service but he held barbecues that sometimes drew 150 people, including a lot of his old Army buddies, his son said.

Huntley also didn’t talk much with his family about the war, said his daughter, Shelia McGee of Los Angeles.

He told them: “I was doing what I was supposed to do, and that was to serve my country,” she said.

Shambrey was a National Guard combat engineer during the Korean War and later spent his career with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, his son said.

Huntley was a skycap for more than 60 years at airports in Burbank and Los Angeles, his daughter said.

Flower Girl, Ring Bearer Walk Down Aisle Again as Bride and Groom

Briggs Fussy and Brittney Husbyn once served as ring bearer and flower girl at a Minnesota wedding — and two decades later they would walk down the aisle a second time.

This past weekend, though, the 22-year-olds weren’t just presenting rings or tossing petals. They were the bride and groom.

In 1995, Fussy stood in as the ring bearer while Husbyn walked as the flower girl in his godmother’s wedding.

flower_girl_ring_bearer“We were 3 years old, I think,” Fussy said. “It was my godmother’s wedding and Brittney’s mom worked with her. She needed a flower girl.”

The pair reunited in 2007.

“Brittney and I met in high school when she sat in front of me in government class” Fussy told ABC News. “One day, she went home to ask her mom about me. I have a pretty unique name [Briggs], so that must of stuck out to her.”

Husbyn discovered that her classmate was, indeed, the boy she knew from the wedding years ago.

“We were in class and she had a picture with her from the wedding,” Fussy said. “I started to laugh because it was the same one we had hanging in the hallway at home, but I never knew who she was. That wedding was the only time I ever saw her.”

Fussy and Husbyn, who were dating different people at the time, became a couple two years after their rendezvous. The pair went on to attend Mankato State University together, where they still study today.

On Saturday, Jan. 10, Fussy and Husbyn married among 310 family and friends — all of whom continue to find the couple’s coincidence a pretty remarkable one.

“Everybody loves it — especially my godmother, she takes all the credit,” Fussy said. “It’s constantly brought up that we walked down the aisle together again.”

Since their story has gone public, the newlyweds have been reveling in the positive attention.

“We never expected having all this popularity, but we’re enjoying it,” Fussy said. “We will definitely print out the articles and keep them around. I’ll show them to my kids.

Labrador rides Seattle bus to dog park all by herself

A dog has become a regular bus rider in Seattle after learning the route to a local dog park.

Two-year-old black labrador Eclipse often rides the bus to a nearby dog park with her owner, Jeff Young. But one day, she started taking the bus alone.

Mr Young said he once missed the bus while finishing a cigarette. Before he knew it, Eclipse had climbed onto the vehicle and later got off at the right stop. “She’s been urbanised, totally. She’s a bus-riding, side-walk walking dog”, he said.

Bus rider Tiona Rainwater said: “She makes everybody happy! How could you not love this thing.”

While local transit officials appreciate that Eclipse likes taking the bus, they say she’d be safer with her owner and on a leash.

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