A New Clinic At The Aurora VA Hospital Will Be Named After Tuskegee Airman And Civil Rights Activist John Mosley

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The Aurora VA Medical Center Center in February 2018.

A Tuskegee Airman who was the first Black football player at Colorado State University will be the namesake of a new community-based outpatient clinic at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Aurora.

Lt. Col. John Mosley, born in Denver in 1921, was elected to CSU’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1998 in recognition of his achievements on their football and wrestling teams. He walked on to the teams in an era where Black athletes were all but banned from participating in collegiate athletics.

After graduation, Mosley joined the Air Force’s 332nd Fighter Group, known as the Tuskegee Airmen. The all-Black aviator unit fought in World War 2, and Mosley later served in Korea and Vietnam. He worked as a civil rights activist after leaving the Air Force, rallying support for across-the-board integration of the military. He died in 2015 at the age of 93.

Congress approved the dedication in H.R. 4172, a bill sponsored by Rep. Jason Crow, a fellow veteran.

“I can't think of a better name for my fellow veterans to be walking into this new clinic in Aurora, Colorado. To see the name of Lieutenant Colonel John Mosely and remember his service, his sacrifice, his leadership and the best of what we can be as a country,” Crow said on the U.S. House floor Monday.

The new clinic, which opens next summer, won’t be the only memorial to Mosley in Aurora. The Edna and John W. Mosley P-8 school is named after Mosley and his wife, who was the first Black person to serve on Aurora’s city council.

Another effort to immortalize the family name failed last year, when a Denver neighborhood decided to change its name last year due to its connection to Benjamin F. Stapleton, a former Denver mayor and member of the Ku Klux Klan. Mosley was one of the new names under consideration, but the neighborhood ended up renaming itself Central Park instead.