One of the three surviving Tuskegee Airmen in Arizona has died. Lt. Col. (retired) Robert Ashby was 95 years old when he passed away on Friday, March 5, in his Sun City home. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first Black pilots who flew combat missions during World War II. Ashby was also the first African American hired by Frontier Airlines. First assigned to Japan as part of the U.S. occupying force, he was rejected by two white flying units because of the color of his skin.