Captain George Taylor and the 100th Fighter Squadron Visit the Bell Aircraft Plant in 1943

July 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

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In December 1943, viagra dosage
members of the Tuskegee Airmen’s 100th Fighter Squadron, information pills
332nd Fighter Group, were awaiting deployment to Naples Italy from New York City.  Prior to their deployment however, this group from Selfridge Field, MI was treated to a tour of the Bell Aircraft Corp. plant in Buffalo, NY. (group photo below)

Of particular interest to these military aviators was additional information on the capabilities of the AiraCobra aircraft which they would soon fly in combat overseas. 1 (Interview, 2006)

The Bell P-39 Airacobra was one of the principal American fighter aircraft in service at the start of World War II. It was the first fighter in history with a tricycle undercarriage and the first to have the engine installed in the center fuselage, behind the pilot. 2 (Bell P-39 Airacobra, 2011)

Now a helicopter manufacturer, but at the time of their visit, the Bell Aircraft Corp. specialized in the design and production of fighter aircraft. Beginning with the XFM-1 Airacudaa, a twin-engine fighter built to oppose attacking bombers, and then the famous P-39 Airacobra. The company also designed and built the first P-59 Airacomet, the first American jet fighter, and the P-63 Kingcobra, the successor to the P-39. 3 (Bell Aircraft Corp, 2011)

A graduate of Tuskegee Class SE-43H, Captain Taylor flew the P-39 Airacobra, as well as the P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang fighter planes in combat. Arriving in Italy in early February 1944, his base locations there included Montecorvino Airfield, Italy, Capodichino Airdrome, Italy and Ramitelli Airfield, Italy.

Captain Taylor flew more than 50 missions with the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group over Italy and was awarded two Bronze Stars, an Air Medal, and four Battle Stars. He had twelve years of active and reserve military duty. 4 (Original Tuskegee Airmen, member bios – from Taylor Obituary, 2008)

ccccccccccccccc Front Row – Kneeling

  1. Laurence D. Wilkens
  2. Brown… ?
  3. William W. Green
  4. George A. Taylor
  5. William J. Faulkner
  6. Luther H. Smith
  7. Roy M. Spencer

Back Row – Standing

  1. Spurgeon N. Ellington
  2. Vernon V. Haywood
3.  Harry A. Sheppard
4.  Samuel L. Curtis
5.  Carol S. Woods
6.  Virgil J. Richardson
7.  Freddie E. Hutchins
8.  Lowell C. Steward
9.  Wendell D. Pruit
10.  Lawrence B. Jefferson
11.  Willard L. Woods
12.  Robert B. Tresville, Jr.
13.  Armour G. McDaniel
14.  Melvin T. Jackson
15.  Starling B. Penn
  1. Interview/Conversation with George Taylor; 2006 (v. saunders)
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_P-39_Airacobra
  3. http://www.bellhelicopter.com/en_US/Company/AboutBell/History/History.html
  4. http://www.taichicago.org/archives/461

Legacy Of The Tuskegee Airmen

July 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

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Chicago Chapter Tuskegee Airmen Honored 2011 Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame

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TUSKEGEE AIRMEN VISIT NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP

July 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

On September 7th, more about the African American Task Group (AATG) Employee Resource Group (ERG) played host to some of the most legendary fighting men in the history of our great nation. Members of the Chicago chapter of Tuskegee Airmen Incorporated (TAI) visited the Rolling Meadows campus to share their history and stories of their exploits in service to our country during World War II.

The Airmen were welcomed by AATG’s Executive Sponsor, no rx Mike Lennon during an Executive luncheon held in their honor. A number of Northrop Grumman’s executives turned out to help welcome the Airmen. Those in attendance included Gaston Dudley, Mike Pefley, John Buckley, Brad Fischer, Jeanne Usher, and Mike Vajgrt. Other distinguished guests included VERITAS Chair Al Boettcher, Jennifer Harnish from Communications and AATG members Mike Reeves, Ade Gordon, John Dill, Florence Iyer, Alvita Jenkins, Kendall Whitfield, Sherry Smith, and Tina Griffin.

Representing the Airmen was:

  • Dr. Welton Taylor, a descendant of President Zachary Taylor, Welton achieved the rank of Major while serving in the first all-African American division to enter into combat in World War II. Upon his return to civilian life Welton obtained an M.A. and Ph.D. in bacteriology and was appointed bacteriology instructor at the University of Illinois in 1948. He went on to have a phenomenally successful and distinguished career as a scientist and educator.
  • John H. Lyle was one of 23 African Americans to graduate from the segregated “Negro Pilot Training Program” at Tuskegee Institute’s Army Air Field, Tallahassee Florida. John graduated in class SE-44-0 on August 4th, 1944. He saw action as a Flight Officer with the 100th Fighter Squadron of the all-black 332nd Fighter Group flying P-51 Mustang fighter planes on bomber escort duty out of Italy. Known as the “The Redtails” this famous Squadron was the only U.S. Fighter Group in WWII that could claim to have lost as few as 25 bombers during these missions.

After lunch the Airmen moved to the Multi-purpose room to talk to employees about their exploits during WWII. The auditorium was nearly at capacity and everyone in attendance seemed to be mesmerized as the Airmen painted a picture of life as a Black Airmen during WWII.

Dr. Welton proved to be an exceptionally masterful and gifted speaker. Stories of his exploits were thoroughly engrossing. There were tales of victory, of hardship, of prejudice and of camaraderie; but though it all was a common theme of service, endurance and a healthy dose of good humor.

The session concluded with a book signing event for those in attendance followed by a tour of Manufacturing for the Airmen. All indications were that this was a thoroughly enjoyable event. AATG hopes to have the Tuskegee Airmen back for encore event in the not too distant future.

Tuskegee Airmen Mural Dedicated at Denver’s Children’s Home

July 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

information pills Arial, medicine Helvetica,sans-serif;”>DENVER CHILDREN’S HOME DEDICATES NEW MURAL

by Vince Saunders

(Denver,Colo. Oct. 23, 2006) Students at Denver Children’s Home (DCH) completed a 100 foot self-portrait mural project with local artist, Jacqueline Withers. 20 children worked on the project over the summer in the lower level of the Home.

The mural incorporates images of American’s rich cultural diversity with the students own reflections. The self-portrait mural promotes acceptance and respect for the differences which make our country strong. As Jacqueline worked with the children to create the mural she also taught them about inspiring Americans such as the legendary WWII Tuskegee Airmen. Representatives from the Denver Tuskegee Airmen chapter were present for the mural dedication.

The theme of this mural was America’s First Top Guns. Shedding light on a little known historical fact through her art, Ms. Withers taught the participating students that in

DTAs & First Top Guns, Lt. Colonel James H. Harvey, Colonel Fitzroy “Buck” Newsum and Colonel John Smith, all of the Denver Chapter, provide their autographs on the Wither’s Mural.

September 1947, the United States Air Force, as a separate service, reactivated the 332nd Fighter Group under the Tactical Air command. Two years later, 8 members of the reactivated 332nd Fighter Group established themselves as the USAF’s First Top Gun Fighter Pilots. These pilots were members of the 332nd Fighter Group Gunnery Team which won “Top 9 Guns” at the 1st annual USAF Fighter (William Tell) Gunnery Meet at Las Vegas Air Force Base, Nev., in May 1949. Through the artistic process the children learned about themselves, their heritage and each other. It is truly an amazing, inspiring work of art.

Jacqueline is an artist in action whose creative style has earned her numerous
awards and recognition. Her mural projects throughout Denver include the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library and the Swansea Elementary School. Jacqueline is a member of the Detroit Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. and a student at the Art Institute of Colorado in Denver.

BACKGROUND: Denver Children’s Home is the oldest nonprofit in Colorado. Throughout its 130-year history of service to the community it has adapted to meet the needs of the children and families who have turned to it for help. The mission is to provide a therapeutic, safe place for emotionally distressed children, adolescents and their families to heal and grow. The goal is to provide children with the greatest financial and emotional needs high quality mental health care in a safe and stable environment.


On February 23, 2006, Remembered for their valor and bravery, 72 of the nation’s first African-American military aviators were recognized during the Sixth Annual Tuskegee Airmen Convocation at Tuskegee University.

Bob Martin

The convocation, which was held at 11 a.m., in the General Daniel Chappie James Center for Aerospace Science and Health Education, recognized the Tuskegee Airmens exemplary combat performance during World War II and their important contribution to Tuskegee’s distinctive educational mission.

University President Benjamin F. Payton noted that the African-American pilots began flight training at the University’s Moton Field in 1941 and gained international fame during World War II. “The Airmen’s achievement is an integral part of Tuskegee University’s past and present legacy of academic excellence and public service,” Dr. Payton said.

It was under the leadership of Tuskegee President Frederick D. Patterson, that the school was awarded the U.S. Army Air Corp’s contract to host, help and train America’s first African American fighter pilots. Tuskegee won that contract in open competition with other universities. “Tuskegee University submitted a proposal in response to the Army Air Corp’s request for proposals to train Black pilots. We had already collaborated with leading African American civil rights groups and the Black press to exert pressure on the federal administration to provide the opportunity for Blacks to train as pilots,” Dr. Payton said.

George Taylor

At the time Tuskegee University had already invested in the development of an air field, had a proven civilian pilot training program, and its graduates performed highest on flight aptitude exams. Between 1941 and 1945, nearly 1,000 African-Americans were trained as fighter pilots at Tuskegee . Program participants were graduates of Tuskegee University, as well as graduates of other universities across the nation.

The Tuskegee Airmen had a distinguished record of combat performance, including but not limited to:

“The destruction of 260 enemy aircraft their never having lost a single bomber to enemy fire in more than 200 combat missions as air escorts; an achievement unmatched by any other fighter group, the collective earning of 850 medals Their distinguished combat performance helped persuade then-President Harry S. Truman in 1948 to issue Executive Order 9981, which desegregated the U.S. Military,” Dr. Payton said.


Laverne Shelton

Tuskegee University played an integral role in creating the Tuskegee Airmen legacy, and for that reason, honorary doctorates in public service were bestowed upon these remaining legendary African-American military aviators. “We are conferring these degrees as part of Tuskegee’s 125th celebration because these aviators have contributed mightily to American, African-American and to Tuskegee University’s history,” Dr. Payton said. It should be also be noted that the Tuskegee Airmen’s legacy provides the inspiration for Tuskegee’s current aerospace scienceengineering program, the only historically black college or university program to offer an accredited degree in aerospace science engineering. Since 1983 more Black aerospace science engineers have graduated from the program than any other in this country.

Source Credit – Tuskegee University website at: http://www.tuskegee.edu

Celebrating “Dan
Williamson Day”
By Kathleen L. Witman

Chapter ambassadors, whose duties include shuttling visitors around the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2005 grounds, are among the many volunteers who help make the fly-in run smoothly.

EAAer Rob Strickland has taken his role as ambassador for EAA Chapter 790 one step further.

Last year at EAA AirVenture, Strickland headed to the exhibit hangars to see where he could be of service. He ran into veteran Bob Martin at the Tuskegee Airmen Inc. exhibit and struck up a conversation about the all-black World War II military group. “The more I talked to him,” said Strickland, “the more I realized I needed to do more to help the group preserve its history.”

So he offered Martin a golf cart ride through the Warbirds area. While there he took several pictures of Martin among the aging aircraft. “Seeing that older gentleman turn into a kid again when we visited theWarbirds was an experience I’ll never forget,” said Strickland. When he returned home to Elgin, Illinois, Strickland combined the images on
a CD with information and other images he found on the Internet to illustrate and preserve Martin’s story.

This year at EAA AirVenture, Strickland met Dan Williamson, a former primary flight instructor at Tuskegee during World War II. Meeting the 93-old gentleman prompted Strickland to declare Wednesday, July 27, “Dan Williamson Day.”

Throughout the special day, Strickland escorted Williamson around the AirVenture campus. One of their stops included the Vintage aircraft area. There, they found several Stearmans—the same type of aircraft in which Williamson used to train students. At one point Strickland said, “Dan was explaining to a Stearman owner how to fly his plane.” Once an instructor, always an instructor.

Before finishing the day’s tour, Strickland and Williamson stopped at the Red Tail Project display on the grounds. Also interested in preserving history of the Tuskegee Airmen, the group is rebuilding the P-51C Mustang, Tuskegee Airmen. On display there are several large-scale photographs of Tuskegee Airmen, and surprisingly, Williamson found his youthful self among them. “He signed the picture and was able to identify others in the photo,” said Strickland. “It was great.”

A card-carrying member of Tuskegee Airmen Inc.’s Chicago DoDo Chapter, Strickland also flies Young Eagles throughout the year, embracing both EAA’s and the Tuskegee organization’s mission to introduce flight to youngsters.

Beverly L. Dunjill, DoDo chapter president and former Tuskegee fighter pilot, noted that flying Young Eagles is a way for the Tuskegee organization to “preserve the Tuskegee legacy, give back to the community, and fly kids who might not have the opportunity otherwise.”

When asked how EAAers can help preserve the Tuskegee legacy, Dunjill broadly smiled and said, “Fly more kids.” And that’s what Strickland intends to do to keep the bridge connected between older members and today’s youth.

ETA THEATER PARTY A SMASHING SUCCESS!

July 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Articles

Captain George Taylor & the 100th Fighter Squadron Visit the Bell Aircraft Plant in 1943

Article Excerpt:

In December 1943, tadalafil
members of the Tuskegee Airmen’s 100th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group, were awaiting deployment to Naples Italy from New York City. Prior to their deployment however, this group from Selfridge Field, MI was treated to a tour of the Bell Aircraft Corp. plant in Buffalo, NY. (group photo attached)

Of particular interest to these military aviators was additional information on the capabilities of the AiraCobra aircraft which they would soon fly in combat overseas. 1

(PLEASE CLICK ON HYPERLINK ABOVE TO VIEW FULL ARTICLE)
Captain George Taylor & the 100th Fighter Squadron Visit the Bell Aircraft Plant in 1943

Article Excerpt:

In December 1943, ed
members of the Tuskegee Airmen’s 100th Fighter Squadron, story
332nd Fighter Group, price
were awaiting deployment to Naples Italy from New York City. Prior to their deployment however, this group from Selfridge Field, MI was treated to a tour of the Bell Aircraft Corp. plant in Buffalo, NY. (group photo attached)

Of particular interest to these military aviators was additional information on the capabilities of the AiraCobra aircraft which they would soon fly in combat overseas. 1

(PLEASE CLICK ON HYPERLINK ABOVE TO VIEW FULL ARTICLE)

 

On Sunday October 24, sick 2010 the chapter’s Fall Fundraising committee sponsored an outing to the ETA Theatre to enjoy an entertaining comedy about the miracle of friendship. And so, at 3:00 PM on that Sunday afternoon, for “DODO’s” and our guests, “The Trip” was on.

The play, written by Crystal V. Rhodes / directed by Mignon McPherson Nance was about a cross- country journey ETA  THEATER  PARTY  A  SMASHING  SUCCESStaken by four longtime friends who discover that after a life- time of believing they know each other, find out they really don’t know each other at all. Petty annoyances, verbal battles and the revelation of an unexpected secret spell the end of the longtime friendship, but twenty years later a second hilarious trip by the women reveals that the bond between friends can be as precarious as it can be enduring.

The play was excellent and the actresses were true artists. They were able to paint a picture of the complexities of life and friendships. After the play, we were joined by some of the cast who mingled with The Chicago “DODO” Chapter and our guests. Also in the Reception Hall a feast of grandeur was set out in elegant fashion that would please even the most selective palate. Unparalleled entertainment, food and the magnificent historical Tuskegee Airmen made for a majestic and memorable afternoon. If you missed your chance to participate in this event, please lay your worries to rest. Plan on joining us next year for our third Annual Fall Fundraiser.

Sonjia M. Hall

DOTA George Taylor & the 100th FS Visit Bell Aircraft Plant in 1943

July 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Articles

Captain George Taylor & the 100th Fighter Squadron Visit the Bell Aircraft Plant in 1943

Article Excerpt:

In December 1943, tadalafil
members of the Tuskegee Airmen’s 100th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group, were awaiting deployment to Naples Italy from New York City. Prior to their deployment however, this group from Selfridge Field, MI was treated to a tour of the Bell Aircraft Corp. plant in Buffalo, NY. (group photo attached)

Of particular interest to these military aviators was additional information on the capabilities of the AiraCobra aircraft which they would soon fly in combat overseas. 1

(PLEASE CLICK ON HYPERLINK ABOVE TO VIEW FULL ARTICLE)

CSAF: Legacy of Tuskegee Airmen lives on in today’s Airmen

July 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

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8/2/2010 – SAN ANTONIO (AFNS) — The red jackets of the Tuskegee Airmen remain as distinctive today as the red tail markings on the aircraft they flew during World War II. And their legacy — the influence they’ve had on Air Force operations, see past and present — leaves an even more indelible mark. This was the message from the Air Force’s top uniformed officer when he addressed the 39th annual Tuskegee Airmen Convention here July 31. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz spoke at the convention’s National Presidential Awards and Grand Gala event and noted that the legacy of the famed African-American flying unit in the U.S. Army Air Corps lives on in the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. This is a unit, he said, that is “very proud to be a descendant of the 332nd Fighter Group led by Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Jr.”

“Like the Tuskegee Airmen they honor, the men and women of the 332nd today serve with distinction in hostile skies, operating a variety of weapons systems,” General Schwartz said. “They have been the mainstay of fulfilling full-spectrum airpower in Operation Iraqi Freedom from day one. By all measures, they represent the legacy you lived.”

General Schwartz also assisted in presenting awards for service to the organization, including two awards to original Tuskegee Airmen James Pryde for his military service that began during World War II, and the late Chauncey Spencer. Mr. Spencer’s son, Chauncey Spencer II, accepted the award for his father, an aviation pioneer whose work helped lead to the establishment of the Tuskegee aviation program.

The general acknowledged the Tuskegee Airmen in the audience, who were also easily identifiable by their red and blue coats, as among “the most storied on the roster of revered and unforgettable Americans, achieving remarkable feats despite challenging and unfavorable circumstances.” These Americans were the nation’s first African-American military Airmen. These pioneers, which included ground crews as well as traditional aircrews, helped lay the foundation for equality and integration in Armed Forces.

“The Airmen whose courage and sacrifice helped preserve the freedoms that we enjoy today and the youth who will soon inherit the mantle of leadership for our nation embody the theme of this year’s convention, ‘A Cut Above,'” General Schwartz said. “Without a doubt, the awe-inspiring story of the Tuskegee Airmen proves for all time their standing as a cut above.”

The general also praised the national organization that sponsors the annual convention for its efforts to preserve the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen while also motivating young Americans to pursue excellence and service to their nation.

General Schwartz said this outreach to the next generation of service members is another way in which the Tuskegee Airmen’s legacy continues to influence the success of Airmen. And, in keeping with the professional Air Force which the Tuskegee Airmen have helped forge, the general pledged the Air Force would “continue to seek those who are a cut above and to demand from them impeccable character, unwavering excellence, selfless service and unmistakable, unshakable optimism.” “Your Air Force will continue to be a place where talent, dedication and a bit of fortune can take one a long way, irrespective of one’s original station,” he said.


Other award recipients included Marv Abrams, of the San Antonio chapter, who received the Brig. Gen. Noel F. Parrish Award, the organization’s most prestigious award. General Parrish was commander of Tuskegee Army Air Field from 1942 to 1946. His widow, Florence T. Parrish-St. John, personally presents the award each year. This year, she herself was one of four recipients of the Gen. Daniel James Jr. Distinguished Service/Achievement/Leadership Award. Other recipients were Dr. Alan Gropman for his role as historian and advocate of the Tuskegee Experience.

Regional awards were also presented to James Coleman (western region), Maurice Ripley and Vince Saunders (central region) and John Earls (eastern region).

Source: The Official US Air Force website: http://www.af.mil

Chicago Chapter Attends Multi-Purpose Program at New Gary Armory

July 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

On February 23, about it 2006, Remembered for their valor and bravery, 72 of the nation’s first African-American military aviators were recognized during the Sixth Annual Tuskegee Airmen Convocation at Tuskegee University.

Bob Martin

The convocation, which was held at 11 a.m., in the General Daniel Chappie James Center for Aerospace Science and Health Education, recognized the Tuskegee Airmens exemplary combat performance during World War II and their important contribution to Tuskegee’s distinctive educational mission.

University President Benjamin F. Payton noted that the African-American pilots began flight training at the University’s Moton Field in 1941 and gained international fame during World War II. “The Airmen’s achievement is an integral part of Tuskegee University’s past and present legacy of academic excellence and public service,” Dr. Payton said.

It was under the leadership of Tuskegee President Frederick D. Patterson, that the school was awarded the U.S. Army Air Corp’s contract to host, help and train America’s first African American fighter pilots. Tuskegee won that contract in open competition with other universities. “Tuskegee University submitted a proposal in response to the Army Air Corp’s request for proposals to train Black pilots. We had already collaborated with leading African American civil rights groups and the Black press to exert pressure on the federal administration to provide the opportunity for Blacks to train as pilots,” Dr. Payton said.

George Taylor

At the time Tuskegee University had already invested in the development of an air field, had a proven civilian pilot training program, and its graduates performed highest on flight aptitude exams. Between 1941 and 1945, nearly 1,000 African-Americans were trained as fighter pilots at Tuskegee . Program participants were graduates of Tuskegee University, as well as graduates of other universities across the nation.

The Tuskegee Airmen had a distinguished record of combat performance, including but not limited to:

“The destruction of 260 enemy aircraft their never having lost a single bomber to enemy fire in more than 200 combat missions as air escorts; an achievement unmatched by any other fighter group, the collective earning of 850 medals Their distinguished combat performance helped persuade then-President Harry S. Truman in 1948 to issue Executive Order 9981, which desegregated the U.S. Military,” Dr. Payton said.


Laverne Shelton

Tuskegee University played an integral role in creating the Tuskegee Airmen legacy, and for that reason, honorary doctorates in public service were bestowed upon these remaining legendary African-American military aviators. “We are conferring these degrees as part of Tuskegee’s 125th celebration because these aviators have contributed mightily to American, African-American and to Tuskegee University’s history,” Dr. Payton said. It should be also be noted that the Tuskegee Airmen’s legacy provides the inspiration for Tuskegee’s current aerospace scienceengineering program, the only historically black college or university program to offer an accredited degree in aerospace science engineering. Since 1983 more Black aerospace science engineers have graduated from the program than any other in this country.

Source Credit – Tuskegee University website at: http://www.tuskegee.edu

On Friday, pills February 27, what is ed
2010, fifty-eight Chicago Chapter members and guests attended a multi-purpose program at the new Indiana National Guard Armory at the Gary International Airport. Thanks to the hard work of Alcus Cromartie, thirty-one of us met at Martin Temple at 11:00 a.m. to travel by bus in anticipation of a secure and non-publicized meeting one of our nation’s great military leaders, General Colon Powell.

When we arrived, we were received by a large crowd and received copies of the official program. The program introduced Webb House, Inc. in Gary, Indiana, Tammy Duckworth, Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs and concluded with a Purple Heart Ceremony for SGT. Ted Uzelac.

Webb House, Inc. is a future home for northwest Indiana Veterans. It will be located on the abandoned site of a senior citizens home on the 1900 block of Clark Road. Inaugurated in October 2009 and with the assistance of government funds, the facility will be remodeled to house veterans as well as other categories of challenged individuals using a continuum of care model. Residents of Webb House, Inc. will receive job readiness training. In addition, Veterans will receive skills-based training to build and supply windmills supporting the green economy of northwest Indiana.

Although General Colon Powell could not attend, Tammy Duckworth was inspirational. She addressed the crowd of Veterans as war buddies who survive and thrive on the mutual admiration and support of one another. Recalling the Iraq engagement that disabled her legs and the helicopter she piloted, the Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs recalled the bonds established during basic training that remain throughout a soldier’s life. She spoke with humility and honor about the courage, strength and endurance that leads soldiers to sacrifice life and limb to serve their country and save the lives of others.

Sixth Annual Tuskegee Airmen Convocation at Tuskegee University

July 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 


On February 23, this 2006, ampoule Remembered for their valor and bravery, buy more about 72 of the nation’s first African-American military aviators were recognized during the Sixth Annual Tuskegee Airmen Convocation at Tuskegee University.

Sixth Annual Tuskegee Airmen Convocation at Tuskegee UniversityBob Martin

The convocation, which was held at 11 a.m., in the General Daniel Chappie James Center for Aerospace Science and Health Education, recognized the Tuskegee Airmens exemplary combat performance during World War II and their important contribution to Tuskegee’s distinctive educational mission.

University President Benjamin F. Payton noted that the African-American pilots began flight training at the University’s Moton Field in 1941 and gained international fame during World War II. “The Airmen’s achievement is an integral part of Tuskegee University’s past and present legacy of academic excellence and public service,” Dr. Payton said.

It was under the leadership of Tuskegee President Frederick D. Patterson, that the school was awarded the U.S. Army Air Corp’s contract to host, help and train America’s first African American fighter pilots. Tuskegee won that contract in open competition with other universities. “Tuskegee University submitted a proposal in response to the Army Air Corp’s request for proposals to train Black pilots. We had already collaborated with leading African American civil rights groups and the Black press to exert pressure on the federal administration to provide the opportunity for Blacks to train as pilots,” Dr. Payton said.

Sixth Annual Tuskegee Airmen Convocation at Tuskegee University

George Taylor

At the time Tuskegee University had already invested in the development of an air field, had a proven civilian pilot training program, and its graduates performed highest on flight aptitude exams. Between 1941 and 1945, nearly 1,000 African-Americans were trained as fighter pilots at Tuskegee . Program participants were graduates of Tuskegee University, as well as graduates of other universities across the nation.

The Tuskegee Airmen had a distinguished record of combat performance, including but not limited to:

“The destruction of 260 enemy aircraft their never having lost a single bomber to enemy fire in more than 200 combat missions as air escorts; an achievement unmatched by any other fighter group, the collective earning of 850 medals Their distinguished combat performance helped persuade then-President Harry S. Truman in 1948 to issue Executive Order 9981, which desegregated the U.S. Military,” Dr. Payton said.

Sixth Annual Tuskegee Airmen Convocation at Tuskegee University
Laverne Shelton

Tuskegee University played an integral role in creating the Tuskegee Airmen legacy, and for that reason, honorary doctorates in public service were bestowed upon these remaining legendary African-American military aviators. “We are conferring these degrees as part of Tuskegee’s 125th celebration because these aviators have contributed mightily to American, African-American and to Tuskegee University’s history,” Dr. Payton said. It should be also be noted that the Tuskegee Airmen’s legacy provides the inspiration for Tuskegee’s current aerospace scienceengineering program, the only historically black college or university program to offer an accredited degree in aerospace science engineering. Since 1983 more Black aerospace science engineers have graduated from the program than any other in this country.

Source Credit – Tuskegee University website at: http://www.tuskegee.edu

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