Surcey, William Stockton, MSgt

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Master Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 747-Airplane and Engine Mechanic
Last AFSC Group
Ordnance/Maintenance (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1944-1945, 332nd Fighter Group
Service Years
1941 - 1945
USAAFEnlisted Collar Insignia
Master Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

28 kb

Home State
Florida
Florida
Year of Birth
1918
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by A3C Michael S. Bell to remember Surcey, William Stockton, MSgt.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Jacksonville
Last Address
Jacksonville, FL

Date of Passing
May 06, 2011
 
Location of Interment
Restlawn Memorial Park - Jacksonville, Florida
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin Engineering Specialist


 Unofficial Badges 

US Army Honorable Discharge


 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Tuskegee Airmen, IncAmerican Legion
  2011, Tuskegee Airmen, Inc [Verified]
  2011, American Legion [Verified] - Assoc. Page


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
FUNERAL SERVICE for Mr. William S. Surcey will be held 11 AM, Saturday, May 14, 2011 at St. Paul A.M.E. Church, with Dr. Marvin C. Zanders, II, Pastor, officiating.

Mr. Surcey, age 92, passed away peacefully May 6, 2011. A Jacksonville native, he attended local public schools. Mr. Surcey was employed with the U. S. Postal Service as a Supervisor until he retired after many years of dedicated service. He was a member at St. Paul A.M.E. Church. Other affiliations include member of various organizations including Tuskegee Airmen, Tuskegee Alumni Assoc.-Jacksonville Chapter, Boy Scouts of America, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and American Legion Post # 197.

His daughter, Melody Surcey and brother, Waymon Surcey, predeceased him. Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Mrs. Future T. Surcey; daughters, Ms. Renee Surcey and Ms. Katherine Surcey; sisters-in-law, Mrs. Marilyn Surcey and Mrs. Alma T. Knowles (Horace); devoted cousins, Roy Drake and Mrs. Rosa Collins; a number of other relatives and friends.

Mr. Surcey will rest in the mortuary for visitation Friday from 5 PM until 7 PM( where the family will received friends at 5 PM) and Saturday at the church from 9 AM until the hour of service. Fraternal Rites will begin at 7 PM Friday. Interment will be in Restlawn Memorial Park Cemetery. Friends are asked to assemble at the church under the direction of ALPHONSO WEST MORTUARY, INC., 4409 Soutel Dr. 904-766-9671. Please Sign the Guestbook @ Jacksonville.com  Published in the Florida Times-Union on May 12, 2011
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Friday, May 13, 2011

William Surcey, 1918-2011: Tuskegee airman hailed from Jacksonville

BOB SELF/The Times-Union
 
Retired Air Force Maj. Trent Johnson salutes William Surcey upon presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal in April 2009 to Surcey, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen.

William Stockton Surcey of Jacksonville didn't receive his long-overdue honor for being part of an elite group of airmen in World War II until six decades had passed. But the Congressional Gold Medal was finally presented to the Tuskegee airman in 2009, long after the nation's first all-black unit in the Army Air Corps disbanded.

Mr. Surcey died May 6 of a heart attack and stroke. He was 92.

The World War II veteran never talked about his time as a Tuskegee Airman, said daughter Katherine Surcey. She learned about it just before a 1995 film on the African-American air corps came out.

"It wasn't until they got ready to do the movie on the Tuskegee Airmen and people were calling and checking the facts and I asked why," she said. "He said, 'Because I was one,' and it just blew me away. He said, 'It was just a job. I served my country and did what I was supposed to do.'"

The Jacksonville native graduated from the Old Stanton High School in 1939 and was in his second year at Tuskegee University in Alabama when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. After six months of training as an aircraft mechanic, Mr. Surcey was assigned to the Tuskegee Army Air Field.

"We were the first to occupy the field," he said in a 2007 interview with the Times-Union. "... We found out we could do everything that was necessary to fly and maintain aircraft for combat."

His squadron fought in the 1944 invasion of Italy. He supervised and completed major repairs on seven P-40 aircraft in a week during the fighting and earned a Bronze Star for distinguished service.

Discharged as a master sergeant in 1945, Mr. Surcey finished his studies at Tuskegee University.

He met his wife, Future, at a school football game after he threw peanut shells at her to get her attention. She said she chased him away, but he came back and promised not to bother her again.

He worked as an aircraft mechanic at Jacksonville Naval Air Station, then spent 27 years with the U.S. Postal Service. He also ran an air-conditioning and refrigeration repair business until he retired at 87.

"He was an impressive person who accomplished a lot but always maintained a quiet demeanor," his daughter said. "A friend recently put on Facebook that she will always think of him as the perfect Southern gentleman, and I said, 'Gosh, that says it all.'"

Mr. Surcey is also survived by another daughter, Renee, also of Jacksonville. A third daughter, Melody, died in 1990.

The viewing is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. today at the Alphonso West Mortuary, 4409 Soutel Drive, Jacksonville. The funeral is at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Paul AME Church, 6910 New Kings Road, with burial to follow at Restlawn Memorial Park, 2600 Ribault Scenic Drive.

dan.scanlan@jacksonville.com, (904) 359-4549

 
   
Other Comments:
From Florida Star:

Our Tuskegee Airman
William S. Surcey

Former President George W. Bush honored the Tuskegee airmen with a congressional medal two years ago, Jacksonville’s own William S. Surcey, 90, could not attend because his wife was ill and he did not want to leave her. But on Tuesday, the City of Jacksonville decided to provide a ceremony to honor their hero.

According to family members, Mr. Surcey is a quiet man but he was over joyed upon finally receiving the Congressional Medal.

Mr. Surcey said he considered remaining in the military upon their return after playing such a significant role in the 1944 invasion of Italy. He was discouraged and totally changed his mind when they returned to America and a statement was made...
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William Surcey

William Surcey was born in Jacksonville, Florida to Will and Maggie Surcey. He was educated in the Duval County Public School system and graduated from Stanton High School, class of 1939. He was awarded the honor of Eagle Scout during his time in the Boy Scouts. He began his formal education at Tuskegee University (at that time, named Tuskegee Institute) located in Tuskegee, Alabama. While a sophomore, Surcey applied to become a member of the 99th fighter squadron (later called “The Tuskegee Airman”.) He trained, worked and traveled with the Squadron to Italy and at the end of his service, had the rank of Master Sergeant. In 1944, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. He returned to Tuskegee, earning a degree in Auto Mechanics. In 1947, while at Tuskegee, Surcey met Future Trammell, his college sweetheart and in 1948 she became his wife. They settled down in Jacksonville, Florida where they started a family of three daughters. Surcey owned a business “Bills Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service” and worked with the United States Postal Service retiring as a USPS Supervisor after 30 years. He has been a faithful member of Saint Paul A.M.E. Church for 91 years. Since retirement he spends quality time with friends and family and continues his work with various organizations, including the Tuskegee Airmen, The Jacksonville Chapter of the Tuskegee Alumni Association, the Boy Scouts of America, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and David Dwight Boy Scout Committee, to name a few. In March 29, 2007, the Tuskegee Airmen were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.
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Friday, May 8, 2009

Mr. William Stockton Surcey–Tuskegee Airman: Received The National Congressional Medal of Honor

 
Mr. William Stockton Surcey was honored on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at City Hall in Jacksonville, Florida, for his accomplishments as an airplane mechanic for the Tuskegee Airmen over 60 years ago. Major Trent Johnson, leader of the Andrew Jackson High School ROTC Unit, presented Master Sergeant William Surcey with the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor (right); the highest civilian award presented by Congress. In 2006, when the Tuskegee Airmen were honored in Washington, D.C., Mr. Surcey was unable to attend because of his wife’s illness during that time. God has blessed her recovery and Mrs. Future Surcey was present at his ceremony; one made possible through the efforts of Ms. Brenda White, a nurse who has done much research on the history of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Many family members, to include his daughters, Ms. Renee and Ms. Katherine Surcey (2nd row), the brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., of which Mr. Surcey is a proud member, his Pastor, The Reverend Dr. Marvin C. Zanders, II, church family, and many friends were present to share the celebration. His late brother (my daddy), Lieutenant Wayman Philip Surcey, served as a bomber pilot for the Tuskegee Airmen, and was also a lifetime member of St. Paul A.M.E. Church Jacksonville; he died in 1995. No doubt the church prayed for both of them as they served their country encouraging young black soldiers all over the world. His medal could be presented to his widow in future months.

The Andrew Jackson High School ROTC Unit presented the colors. This group included St. Paul's own, Miss Jasmine Christopher, who is the current Miss ROTC. There was a short photo session directly after Mr. Surcey received the gold medal and many photo sessions, interviews, congratulations from everyone, and autograph signings after the ceremony ended. Musically, we opened with “The Star Spangled Banner” and ended with “God Bless the USA.” Pastor Zanders gave the Benediction and offered the blessing of the food.

We salute Master Sergeant William Stockton Surcey for his receipt of the National Congressional Gold Medal of Honor for The Tuskegee Airmen.

 


   
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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
99th Fighter Squadron332nd Fighter Group
  1941-1945, 99th Fighter Squadron
  1944-1945, 332nd Fighter Group
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1945 World War II
 Colleges Attended 
Tuskegee Institute
  1939-1947, Tuskegee Institute
 My Aircraft/Missiles
P-40 Warhawk/Kittyhawk  P-47 Thunderbolt (Jug)  P-39 Airacobra  P-51/F-51 Mustang  
  1943-1944, P-40 Warhawk/Kittyhawk
  1944-1944, P-47 Thunderbolt (Jug)
  1944-1944, P-39 Airacobra
  1944-1945, P-51/F-51 Mustang
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