Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Schmaltz introduces plan to rename local road in honor of Jackson County military hero
RELEASE|February 14, 2024

State Rep. Kathy Schmaltz is leading a new effort to name a local roadway in honor of a Purple Heart recipient and member of the historic Tuskegee Airmen from the Jackson area.

Schmaltz, R-Jackson, introduced legislation today that would designate a one-mile stretch of U.S. 127 as the 2nd Lt. Roosevelt Stiger Highway.

“This will be a powerful tribute to Roosevelt Stiger’s bravery and the sacrifice he made for our country,” Schmaltz said. “2nd Lt. Stiger was a valiant member of the Tuskegee Airmen. By commemorating his memory in our community, we will honor his remarkable contributions to our nation’s history and also inspire future generations to uphold the ideals of courage, perseverance, and unity that he exemplified.”

Roosevelt Stiger was born in Tennessee on March 24, 1919, the youngest son to Willie and Adlena Stiger. By 1930, the family had moved to Jackson, Michigan, where Willie Stiger worked as a painter for the steam railroad. 

Roosevelt Stiger registered for the selective service on Oct. 16, 1940, and eventually enrolled in the Tuskegee Aviation Cadet program. He graduated from flight training on March 12, 1944, at Tuskegee Army Airfield in Alabama, and deployed to Italy with the 302nd Fighter Squadron.

On Oct. 7, 1944, Stiger left Ramitelli Air Base as a bomber escort for a raid against the Lobau Oil Refineries at Vienna. He reported oxygen issues while flying over the Adriatic Sea and another flight member witnessed his plane plummeting toward the sea. He continues to be classified as missing in action.

House Bill 5452, introduced by Schmaltz, would rename U.S. 127 from mile marker 39 to 40 – a stretch near the I-94 interchange – as the 2nd Lt. Roosevelt Stiger Highway.

The plan was referred to the House Transportation, Mobility and Infrastructure Committee for consideration.


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