John W. Rogers Sr. Dies

January 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

By Vince Saunders

Bessie Coleman Collage As we gathered under a tent at Chicago’s Lincoln Cemetery to pay tribute to legendary pilots Bessie Coleman, drugs Willa B. Brown and Janet Harmon, visit this the blue sky was slightly overcast with high scattered clouds that promised a small chance of afternoon rain.  Organized by chapter pilot Rufus Hunt; on Saturday, page May 1st, the Chicago Chapter of TAI conducted its 31st Annual Salute to these pioneering female aviators.  Fortunately, the late rain limited to a sprinkle, only dampened the grass rather than our mood.  It turned out to be a good day and our spirits were brighter than the sky.

The program was initiated by Civil Air Patrol Cadets from Thornwood High School. Commanded by recent graduate, 1st Lt. Harding who marched the cadets ¼ mile from Lincoln’s administration building to the program site, posted the colors, then withdrew to join the other program attendees under the tent.  The Invocation was delivered by Chapter Member Alcus Cromartie followed by an excellent program introduction from our Mistress of Ceremonies, Ms. Aida Abraha.  Ms. Abraha also provided recognition of our OTAs in attendance, Mr. Bev Dunjill and Milton Williams.  The program was also attended by descendants of Georgia Coleman (Dean Stallworth, Jr., et al), Bessie Coleman’s youngest sister.

We were then given a gracious welcome by Ms. Diane Nowak, General Manager of Lincoln Cemetery, representing our organizational partner and host.  Ms. Nowak discussed essays on Bessie Coleman and other pioneering aviators prepared by students

from the Kipling elementary school.  Their essays focused on why the program is so important to the youth of our community in that it helps ensure that the legacy of these aviatrix is never lost.  Ms. Nowak reminded us that both Bessie and Willa Brown are interred at Lincoln and noted that a memorial to Janet Harmon, who is buried in Arizona; will be provided for next year’s ceremony.

Lewis Addison representing the Bessis Coleman Branch of the Chicago Public Library system; read a resolution from Congressman Danny K. Davis, who noted the legacy of these famous aviators and their pioneering contributions to the field of aviation.  Tributes were then provided by Ms. Stacy Letton on the legacy of Willa Brown and Ms. Sandra Campbell, on the legacy of Bessie Coleman.

Ms. Letton presented to us how through the combined efforts of Willa Beatrice Brown and  Cornelius R. Coffey, they contributed to the pre-WWII training of approximately 200 of the some 2000 aviation students who went on to become Tuskegee Airmen pilots.  Ms. Letton also discussed how Chicago became the nucleus of Black Aviation during the 1920s and 30s.

Influenced by the aviatrix Bessie Coleman, Willa Brown started taking flying lessons in 1934 and in 1937 she became the first African-American woman to get a commercial pilot’s license. After relocating to Chicago from Gary, IN, she became a member of the Challenger Aviation Club, the Air Pilot’s Association, and the Chicago Girls Flight Club.  Also in 1937 she purchased her own airplane and co-founded the National Airmen’s Association of America (NAAA) with her husband, Cornelius Coffey. The Association’s goal was to promote African-American aviation.

Ms. Letton also told us that Willa was instrumental in establishing the Coffey School of Aeronautics. And in doing so, she fulfilled Bessie Coleman’s long standing dream of a black owned private flight  school. As the president of the Chicago branch of the NAAA, Willa led a successful fight to integrate African Americans into the U.S. Army Corps.

Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, Willa became the first African American officer in the Civil Air Patrol. She was a member of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Women’s Advisory Board and became the first African American woman to earn a commercial pilot’s license. Willa added still another first to her prestigious career when in 1946 she became the first African American woman to run for Congress.

In 1941, she became a training coordinator for the Civil Aeronautics Administration and a teacher in the Civilian Pilot Training Program.  At the outset of WWII, Ms. Brown was the first black woman to hold a commission in the U.S. Civil Air Patrol.

The following year, she became the first African-American member of the Civil Air Patrol. She also promoted aviation on the radio and taught it in high schools. In 1972, Brown became a member of the Women’s Advisory Committee on Aviation in the Federal Aviation Agency.

Bessie Coleman_1921 French Pilot's License

Bessie Coleman 1921 French Pilot’s License

Sandra Campbell, who is a member of the Heart of America chapter of TAI, provided a superb presentation which she calls, “Follow Your Dreams”, based on the life of Queen Bess.  The audience was enraptured by her historical depiction of the life of the legendary aviatrix. The metaphors she used, such as her passion for “purple jelly beans”, provided good lessons on life skills, so important for the many young people in attendance.  “Success” she told them, “develops when preparation meets opportunity.”  Speaking as Bessie, she recalled how with help from Robert Abbott Sengstake who encouraged her to go to night school to learn how to speak French, told her “you can do it Bess.”  And so with financial support from Sengstake and the money she earned as a hairdresser in 1920 Chicago, she traveled to France where in 1921, she became the first African American woman to earn her pilot’s license.Relying also on the wisdom   learned from her Native American father who told her, “don’t take no for an answer”; because “remember Bess, every no you encounter only brings you closer to a yes”.  Her father, discouraged by racism in early twentieth century Texas, left the family when Bessie was still a youth to find a better home for them among his own people.  He told them that Jim Crow didn’t live in Indian Territory; his last words to young Bessie were, “follow your dreams.”

Ms. Campbell has been telling the “Bessie Coleman Story” around the country since 1995.  She says that she is in the Aviatrix Willa Brown in flight suit_1938process of training and mentoring her successor and looking forward to retiring from

her public speaking career in the near future. If you haven’t seen one of her presentations, look for a video clip of “follow your dreams” on the chapter website (taichicago.org), by the end of June.

Following the presentation by Ms. Campbell, pilots from the Chicago and Detroit Chapters of Tuskegee Airmen, made several in-formation flyovers of the event.  At about 500 feet and buffeted by a 20 knot wind, a flower drop over the gravesite of Bessie Coleman was made by Chicago pilot Rufus Hunt.  The two 3-ship formation included Chief Pilot Ken Rapier flying a Piper Cherokee, Victor Croswell also flying a Piper Cherokee, Marvin Williams flying a Piper Warrior, Juan Haygood (Detroit), flying a Gruman Tiger and Robert Bejna and Rufus Hunt, both flying Cessna 150s.

The cost of the event was offset in part, thanks to the efforts of chapter members Sheila Chears-Webber, Sonjia Hall and Patricia Allen, who managed our merchandise sales operation.

JRogersThen

John W. Rogers Sr. Dies;

 Tuskegee Airman, information pills
judge

JRogersNow

BY MAUREEN O’DONNELL AND LYNN SWEET Chicago Sun Times Staff Reporters January 22, ask
2014 11:41PM

It was one of those proud, full-circle moments when former Tuskegee Airman John W. Rogers Sr. was invited to the White House for a screening of “Red Tails,” a film about the pioneering African-American aviators who served their country with courage and daring despite racism in the military and at home.

He’d grown up in Knoxville, Tenn., in a time of segregated water fountains and Jim Crow rules that barred people who looked like him from using whites-only restaurants or drinking fountains.

Mr. Rogers returned from flying 120 often-dangerous missions for his country to be turned down for admission to the University of Chicago Law School, relatives said. Instead of taking no for an answer, he returned the next day decked out in his captain’s uniform and offered to take any test to get in.

Not only did he gain entry, he became a respected judge and friend to Barack Obama years before Obama became president.

So when “Jack” Rogers was invited to Washington for the 2012 screening of “Red Tails,” he couldn’t stop beaming.

“I will never forget the look on Jack’s face when he walked into the room, because Jack knows the president long before he was president,” said White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett.

“As you could imagine, coming here with your colleagues with whom you served at a time [the military] was still racially segregated, and you are invited to the White House by President Obama to watch a movie in tribute to your service, well, it does not get better than that,” Jarrett said.

“Jack was so excited, he was brimming with smiles,” she said. “The president went over to give him a hug.”

Mr. Rogers, 95, died Tuesday at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

He met the man who would one day be president back when Barack Obama was Michelle Robinson’s boyfriend. Mr. Rogers’ son, John W. Rogers Jr., was the captain of Princeton’s basketball team, and he recruited Craig Robinson, the brother of first lady Michelle, for Princeton.

Mr. Rogers lived in Knoxville until he was 12, when his father, a barber and minister, died of kidney problems. He lost his mother to pneumonia when he was only 4.

He and his three sisters moved to Chicago to live with his mother’s brother, Henry Turner. He was a kind uncle, and the children found it a happy home, said Mr. Rogers’ wife, Gwen.

After graduating from Tilden High School, Mr. Rogers attended community college and earned a teaching certificate from Chicago Teachers College. He taught in the Chicago Public Schools until war broke out, then he volunteered, his wife said.

“He always wanted to be a pilot, from when he was a little boy,” she said. “He used to make little airplanes from matchboxes.”

As a member of the 99th Pursuit Squadron, he was one of the first Tuskegee Airmen to go overseas, said Mark Hanson, curator of the Chanute Air Museum in Rantoul, where the 99th Squadron was activated. Based in North Africa, members of the 99th flew over Italy, he said, performing bomb missions and escorting white pilots.

With keen eyesight and steady nerves, Mr. Rogers had a reputation for meticulous preparation and precision. “He was one of the best dive-bomber pilots in that squadron,” Hanson said. Others said, “He could drop a 500-pound bomb through the window of a building.”

He viewed “Red Tails” a few times. His granddaugher, Victoria Rogers, remembers that when he watched, he moved his hands like he was still flying. “He said he could remember the tension,” she said.

After the war, Mr. Rogers practiced law, eventually partnering with attorney and future judge Earl Strayhorn, as well as Mr. Rogers’ first wife, the former Jewel Stradford, the first African-American woman to graduate from the University of Chicago Law School. He later shared office space with prominent attorney Earl Langdon Neal, and he was a trustee of what would become the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, his wife said. He then served 21 years as a juvenile court judge, Gwen Rogers said. He rose to become a supervising judge.

A number of the youths who appeared before him later wrote him letters thanking him for giving them a second chance, his wife said. One straightened out and formed a church, she said.

Mr. Rogers and his first wife divorced when John Jr. was about 3 years old.

When their son was about 12, “instead of giving him a toy, they invested in some stock for him,” said Chief Judge Timothy Evans of Cook County Circuit Court. Their son later founded Ariel Investments.

“I used to thank Judge Rogers for giving him the stock. I would tell him he gave birth to Ariel, which created an opportunity for me,” said Ariel President Mellody Hobson, who last summer married filmmaker George Lucas, executive producer of “Red Tails.”

Mr. Rogers was active with the NAACP, the Urban League, and he sponsored scholarships for law students. In 2007, he and other Tuskegee Airmen were honored at the Capitol and awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. “He was a wonderful, wonderful role model,” Evans said, “moving forward, while giving back, every step of the way.”

“From his service as a Tuskegee Airman to his appointment as a distinguished judge, he was a leader,” said Michael H. Schill, dean of the University of Chicago Law School.“He was so honest,” his wife said. “He was so dependable. He was so generous.”

He stressed punctuality, dependability and aiming high. And he wasn’t above telling family members “You’re a Rogers” as he exhorted them to excellence.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/obituaries/25122120-418/john-w-rogers-sr-dies-tuskegee-airman-judge.html

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

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

Tuskegee museum gets rare World War II plane

October 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF  “THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN EXPERIENCE”

In 1984, buy television news anchor Tom Brokaw went to France to make a documentary commemorating the 40th anniversary of  the Invasion of Normandy (D-Day) during WWII.  Enraptured, pills fifteen years later and following hundreds of personal letters and interviews, Brokaw wrote The Greatest Generation, a representative cross-section of the stories he came across. This collection however, is more than a mere chronicle of a tumultuous time, it’s history made personal by a cast of everyday people transformed by extraordinary circumstances: the first women to break the homemaker mold, minorities suffering countless indignities to boldly fight for their country, infantrymen who went on to become some of the most distinguished leaders in the world, small-town kids who became corporate magnates.  It was from this era as representives this “Greatest Generation” that the Tuskegee Airmen have established themselves firmly in the history of American Military Aviation as pioneers and heroes. History records that the Military Air Command considered the training and utilization of “Negro” personnel for military aviation in World War II as a sociological ” military training experiment”. The Air Force did not want to accept Blacks into the Army Air Corps at that time because they, along with a large segment of the White population, believed that Blacks were inherently inferior and lacked the mental aptitude to fly fighter aircraft as well as the courage to fight in combat. It was only through political pressure brought on by the relentless effort of the Black community, with the support of a few sympathetic Whites, that the program to train Black aviators was established at Tuskegee Alabama, in 1941. Despite the burden of discrimination in training and combat, the Tuskegee Airmen achieved an outstanding combat record. They destroyed or damaged over 400 German aircraft and over a thousand ground and sea targets. The most renowned accomplishments were the sinking of a destroyer with only machine gun fire and that the Tuskegee Airmen also had an outstanding bomber escort record. Please see the the bulletin on this subject which may be accessed from our Home Page

 Click the photo or the name for bios

William Loving Willa Brown Welton Taylor Virgil Poole
Shelby Westbrook Sammy Rayner Roy Chappell Robert Martin
Richard Highbaugh Quintin Smith Price Rice O Lawton Wilkerson
Milt Williams Lawrence Clark Laverne Shelton John Rogers
John Lyle Janet Waterford James Warren James Kennedy
Julius Echols Hollis Cornelious Henry Hervey Harold Hurd
Hannibal Cox George Taylor Felix Kilpatrick Earl Strayhorn
Cornelius Coffy Bev Dunjill Bessie Coleman William Thompson
Andrew Perez

 

 

Micki Steele / The Detroit News

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