The Rotary Club of San Saba is hosting Granville Coggs, M.D. as their program Thursday, November 15 at 11:15a.m. This special meeting will be held at Armadillo Arena on the San Saba High School campus. Dr. Coggs will present information about his life and achievements. The public is invited. As one of the nation’s first black military pilots, “Tuskegee Airman” and Harvard M.D., Granville Coggs triumphed over 1940s racial discrimination to become part of a living American legend.He became one of the 992 pilots who made up the legendary 332nd Fighter Group and 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps (aka the Tuskegee Airmen), and who fought with such heart-stopping valor against the mighty German Luftwaffe throughout World War II.Arkansas’s original Tuskegee Airmen were a part of a segregated group composed of African-American Army Air Corps cadets, personnel, and support staff known as the Tuskegee Airmen. He trained as an aerial gunner and in 1944 was commissioned as a bombardier, flying the B-25 Mitchell bomber. He fondly remembers the noisy but reliable drone of that twin engine and the challenge of learning to operate such a complex and potentially rose quickly in the world of radiology. He worked with some of the first ultrasound machines while at Kaiser Foundation Hospital and the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) in the 1960s and 1970s. While he was working as a full-time faculty member at UCSF, the Picker Corporation gave him a cardiac ultrasound machine. After his success in diagnosing mitral stenosis with it, the company gave Coggs one of its first abdominal ultrasound machines. “The images were so crude compared with the definitive pictures we have today,” he says. “We were lucky if we could tell whether a baby was breech or vertex.” He established the ultrasound division at UCSF in 1972.Since then Coggs has invented two biopsy devices. He presented his latest—a low-cost, precision probe for percutaneous breast biopsies—to his peers in 1993. He believes it could be an asset for physicians working in developing countries. “I had hoped some company would want to market it,” Coggs said. “There’s a need for this sort of tool in the field.”Now well past retirement age, radiologist Granville Coggs goes for the gold. On his home answering machine, Granville Coggs ’53 identifies himself first as a runner, then as a radiologist because, he says, “People are more impressed by my running.” At age 87, Coggs swims and sprints daily as part of his training, in the past he has won the gold in the 400- and 1500-meter events in his age bracket.When Coggs reflects on the circumstances that allowed him to push through social limitations, he thinks of his father and the values he instilled. “As an educator he touched so many lives,” he says. “People would come up to him many years later to thank him. As a radiologist, I know I’m touching people’s lives, but it’s anonymous. I’m proud of what I do, but I could never fill my father’s shoes.”Perhaps he’ll fill even bigger shoes—in 2001 Coggs was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame—and he may have the time in which to do it. Coggs’s father lived to age 105. “My father might have lived even longer,” Coggs says, “if he had been an aerobic activity advocate like me. I feel confident about living to be 100 on genes alone. With my running and swimming, I should live to 110.