Joseph Alfred McNeil

One of the original four taking part in the Woolworth sit-ins. A Wilmington native, he graduated from Williston Senior High School. McNeil entered North Carolina A&T State University as an Air Force ROTC student. He earned a degree in engineering physics from A&T in 1963. His roommate at Scott Hall on the A&T campus was another sit-in participant, Ezell Blair Jr.
McNeil was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force in 1964 where he was a navigator on the KC-135 Stratotanker air refueling/cargo aircraft.

In 1969 he joined the Air Force Reserves, retiring as a Major General. He also worked for IBM, Bankers Trust in New York City, as a stock broker for E.F. Hutton in Fayetteville and is now retired from the Federal Aviation Administration, where he was a manager of the FAA’s New York Flight Standards Division, Eastern Region, Europe and Africa.
McNeil and his family have lived in Hempstead, New York since 1970. He received the Village of Hempstead’s Medal of Honor in 2002. McNeil’s wife, the former Ina Brown is a descendant of Sitting Bull. They have five children.

Sources: News & Record Archive; ;
UNCG’s Greensboro Voices; Newsday (Melville, NY) archive

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