Lowell Steward, 95, a former member of the Tuskegee Airmen who flew nearly 200 missions over Europe during World War II, died Wednesday of natural causes at a hospital in Ventura, Calif.

After graduating with a business degree from Santa Barbara College in 1941, Mr. Steward joined the Army Air Corps and trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama.

He was shipped to Italy in 1944 with the 100th Fighter Squadron of the famed all-black unit.

From Capodechino Air Base in Naples, Mr. Steward completed 96 missions, flying P-39 Airacobras and P-40 Warhawks. Later based in Ramitelli, Italy, he flew 96 escort and strafing missions in P-51 Mustangs. He was ultimately awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

After being discharged in 1946, he went to real estate school, became one of the first black real estate agents in Los Angeles, and went on to a 40-year career in the industry. - AP