1 He was the first black combat pilot, who earned the nickname Black Swallow of Death for his courage during the deadliest of missions. But before he took to the skies for France during World War One, Eugene Bullard fled America to escape racism and ended up in Glasgow.

2 Born in Georgia in 1895, Eugene was 11 when he ran away from home, traumatised by the near-lynching of his father, William, by a mob of drunken white men and his own brushes with racial hatred. In 1912, with the aim of getting to Paris, Eugene stowed away on the freighter Marta Russ, which took him to Aberdeen. From here, he took a train to Glasgow. He spent five months in the city, earning money as a lookout at illegal gambling dens.

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3 In World War I, he served with the French Foreign Legion before being transferred to the French army’s 170th Infantry. He survived some of the most horrific battles, but was badly injured, losing almost all of his teeth and suffering shrapnel wounds to his thigh. He flew 20 missions and earned 15 French military medals.

4 The injuries meant he could no longer serve as a foot soldier so he became an aircraft gunner in the French air force. Now a corporal, in May 1917 he became the first black combat pilot twenty-four years before the famous Tuskegee Airmen took flight. When the US entered the war, Bullard sought a transfer to its air force. His request was ignored.

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5 After the war, Eugene ran a night club in Paris where he rubbed shoulders with the likes of F Scott Fitzgerald. In 1959, the French government made him a knight of the Legion of Honor, the nation’s highest order and decoration. Eugene died in 1961 from stomach cancer. He was posthumously commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Air Force in 1994 and a statue in his honour now stands at Robins Air Force Base.