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Capt. Dwight Is First Negro Candidate for NASA Program

Mar. 30, 1963 - The first Negro candidate for future U.S. manned space programs was among 15 test pilot trainees whose names were announced today. He is Air Force Captain Edward J. Dwight Jr., 29, of Kansas City, Kan. Dwight, a one-time star athlete at Ward High School in his hometown, has served in the Air Force since August 1953. Commissioned as a pilot at Williams Air Force Base, Chandler, Ariz., he was a jet training instructor there for 2 1/2 years. Later, he spent nearly 2 years as a B-57 pilot in Japan and then 3 1/2 years at Travis Air Force Base, Fairfield, Calif. Mr. and Mrs. Edward Dwight Sr. (pictured below) expressed great pride in their son today. “I think it’s wonderful, just wonderful,” said Mr. Dwight. “We’re so thrilled,” added Mrs. Dwight. “We’re all on cloud nine.” The 15 test pilots — 14 Air Force and 1 Marine — were chosen to attend the fourth class of the aerospace research pilots’ course. The 7-month course will begin June 17.

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