Tom Oxendine, decorated Lumbee veteran, passes on at 87
Tom Oxendine, a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, died on Thursday. He was 87.

In 1942, Oxendine was the first Native American to be commissioned as a U.S. Navy pilot. He won a Distinguished Flying Cross for his World War II service, according to The Robesoniani.

After earning a college degree, Oxendine continued his military career. He served in Korea and Vietnam, commanded the Navy's largest basic flight-training program, was director of plans for the Navy Department's Office of Information in the Pentagon and served as director of the public affairs office of the Naval Air Systems Command, The Robesonian reported on May 14, 2001.

Oxendine retired from the Navy and went to work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs during the Nixon administration. He was part of a team that was instrumental in steering the agency into the era of self-determination, Charles Trimble wrote in 2008. He worked for the BIA for 16 years.

Get the Story:
Well-known Lumbee Oxendine dies (SCNow 5/27)
Sympathies To The Thomas Oxendine Family (UNCP Braves 5/27)