From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Sloan, John Steward

(born: 1918  -  died: 2001) 

John Steward Sloan was a decorated Tuskegee Airman, private pilot, author, journalist, and the first African American personnel counselor at Inland Steel Company in Chicago.

Sloan was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Abram and Patsie Sloan. A history and sociology graduate of Kentucky State University, he became a journalist with the Kentucky Reporter newspaper.

During World War II, Sloan was a pilot with the 32nd Fighter Group of the 99th Fighter Squadron, the first Black fighter squadron in the U.S. His plane was shot down over Monte Cassino, Italy in 1944; he suffered a fractured thigh when he was hit by shrapnel; he managed to bail out of the plane and survive. Sloan received a Purple Heart and Honorable Discharge.

He returned to Kentucky for a brief period before he and his wife Wilhelmina Carson Sloan moved to Chicago, IL, where he  was employed at the Inland Steel Company. Prior to his retirement from the company in 1978, Sloan had advanced to become a corporate finance manager. He was also a private pilot and had worked as a radio DJ.

Sloan was a member of the Chicago Urban League. He is the author of two books: The Game Plan for Handicapping Harness Races (1975) and Survival! a Purple Heart Tuskegee Airman (2000). John Steward Sloan died December 28, 2001 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

For more information see John Steward Sloan in "Interesting People," Chicago Metro News,08/4/1979, p. 9; E. Smith, "Lt. John S. Sloan shot down over Italy," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 9/26/2009; "John Steward Sloan" at the American Air Museum in Britain website; and R. E. Igoe, "John Sloan, Sr., Inland Exec, Tuskegee Airman," Chicago Tribune, 1/5/2001, Obituaries section, p. 8.

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Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Kentucky reporter (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Game plan for handicapping harness races
NKAA Source: Survival! A Purple Heart Tuskegee airman
NKAA Source: Chicago metro news (newspaper)
NKAA Source: St. Louis post-dispatch (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Chicago tribune (newspaper)

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“Sloan, John Steward,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 12, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-08-03 16:06:06