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City to honor WWII aviator with street name change

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The city of Wichita Falls is renaming a street to honor the story of a local Tuskegee airman.

The city will officially change Cleveland Avenue into the city to Cleaver Street on Friday, February 24 at 11:00 am

The street name change is in honor of Leroy Cleaver Jr.

The late Cleaver has a long line of honors from his life, including a Congressional Gold Medal Award winner for Tuskegee Airmen in WWII.

Cleaver Jr. enlisted in the United States Air Force on April 23, 1942 and received an honorable discharge on April 2, 1946.

During his service, he trained as a pilot at the Tuskegee Institute of Technology. He later became a pilot instructor and held his pilot’s license for several years.

He was the first black civilian at Sheppard Air Force Base to teach aircraft hardware, missile corrosion, jet engine mechanics, and water and sewage control.

Cleaver Jr. retired from the base in 1970. He also taught at Barwise Junior High School and was pastor of the Jackson Memorial Church of God in Christ (COGIC) for approximately 35 years.

The Jackson Memorial COGIC is located at the corner of Marconi and Cleaver, the intersection where the street name change will take place on Friday. The community is invited to celebrate the change at 11am

The street name change is a collaborative effort by many who felt that Mr. Cleaverde’s legacy deserved the honor.

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