Tuskegee Airman Edward Creston Gleed, World War II combat fighter pilot, was born on November 5, 1916, in Lawrence, Kansas, to Herbert Joseph Gleed Sr. and Carrie Syphax Joseph Gleed, a professor at Tuskegee Institute (now University). Their other son was Herbert Joseph Gleed, Jr., one year older.

Gleed graduated from the University of Kansas on June 9, 1941, with a Bachelor of Arts in history. Later that year he enlisted in the US Army and was assigned to 9th Cavalry Regiment, one of the famed Buffalo Soldier units. The following year he was an aviation cadet in Alabama’s Tuskegee Flight School program at the Tuskegee Army Air Field.

Gleed became a Tuskegee Airman when he graduated from flight school and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Single Engine Section Cadet Class SE-42-K on December 13, 1942.

Gleed rose rapidly in rank and by 1944 he was Squadron Commander of the 301st Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group which was stationed at Ramitelli Air Strip near Foggia, Italy. His squadron was responsible for escorting Allied heavy bombers assigned to bomb Budapest, Hungary. On July 27, 1944, Gleed and other pilots of the 301st encountered German fighters. Gleed was credited with shooting down two German Focke-Wulf Fw 190 (Würger) enemy planes and while on the same mission, he and other pilots destroyed supply dumps, bridges, oil refineries, and German planes on the ground.

After World War II ended, Gleed continued to serve as a fighter pilot. He was deployed in service during both the Korean Conflict in the 1950s and the Vietnam conflict in the 1960s. In 1970, Edward Creston Gleed retired honorably as a full Colonel after 30 years of military service and over 6,000 flying hours.

Gleed later served as System Program Manager, Chief Administrator, and Contract Negotiator of government computer programming contracts for two major Defense Operational Control Systems at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, California.

In 1976, Gleed earned a Juris Doctorate (law degree) from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, California. Gleed has also received numerous awards including the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Legion of Merit, and Bronze Stars.

He was the husband of Lucille Elbertha Graves Gleed and a father to three children: Elizabeth Gleed Ingersoll, Elaine Gleed Williams, and Carol Gleed Weaver. Colonel Edward Creston Gleed, former Tuskegee Airman, military pilot in Korea and Vietnam, attorney and systems administrator, died on January 25, 1990, in Riverside, Riverside County, California. He was 73.