Paul David Lehman, Jr. was born on October 4, 1922. He enlisted in the United States Army in Los Angeles, California in November of 1942. He opted for aviation cadet training and quickly found himself on a train heading to Tuskegee, Alabama. Moton Field and Tuskegee Army Airfield were the focal points for the training of African-American military pilots, navigators, bombardiers, ground crews, and support staff during World War II.
After his initial training, Lt. Lehman attended navigator/bombardier training areas at Hondo, Texas. Later at Lockbourne Air Force Base in Ohio, Lt. Lehman served as Post Exchange Officer while maintaining his flying status in B-25 bombers.
In 1950, after the desegregation of the armed services, Lt. Lehman entered additional navigation training at Mather Air Force Base in California. He was then sent to Korea during the Korean War, where he flew approximately 68 missions.
Lt. Lehman was promoted to Captain in 1952 and assigned to Fairchild Air Force base in Spokane, Washington with Strategic Air Command’s (SAC) 57th Air Division. Capt. Lehman earned an aeronautical rating of Senior Aircraft Observer, and later in June of 1957, he earned the rating of Senior Navigator. His coursework included training in Principles of Guided Missiles and Nuclear Weapons Delivery Operations.
Capt. Lehman transferred to Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts where he served as a navigator on top-secret B-36 and B-52 bombers with SAC. In 1960, he received the aeronautical rating of Master Navigator.
In 1965, he attended the foremost U.S. leadership college for air and space education — the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery. He was also working on his Master of Science degree in International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, DC while attending the Air War College. He received his Master’s Degree in 1966.
Lt. Col. Paul Lehman retired from the US Air Force after serving 27 years.