America has just celebrated Veterans Day, remembering and honoring those who have served in various capacities in all branches of the Armed Forces, from the American Revolution until today.
In recognition of a special group that fought during World War II, that reminds us of the evolution of American culture where all men and women of different racial backgrounds are created equal – the Tuskegee Airmen.
The story of one man’s efforts to restore a Stearman training airplane used by the Tuskegee Airmen, showing honor to these men by donating the vessel for display at the Smithsonian Museum.
The final voyage of a World War II biplane evokes the exploits of the legendary fighting force
Parked on the tarmac at Lincoln, California’s municipal airport, the open-cockpit biplane looked as if it had just rolled off the assembly line, circa 1944. This past July, the World War II-era two-seater’s pilot and owner, Air Force Capt. Matt Quy (pronounced Kwai), took off from Lincoln in the PT-13D U.S. Army Air Corps Stearman, bound for Washington, D.C. and, ultimately, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), whose new home is slated to open in 2015.
And an interview with a man that served in the Tuskegee Airmen, speaking of his experiences in the fighting forces, his family and country. Offered by the BBC.
Lieutenant Colonel John I. Mulzac joined the United States military in 1942, at the age of 19. He trained with the Tuskegee Airmen, in Tuskegee, Alabama – the first US Army programme for African-American pilots at a time when the United States south was still legally segregated.
The Tuskegee Airmen went on to gain acclaim not only as an historic first for African Americans, but also as a group of remarkably skilled pilots during the Second World War.
In spite of adversity and limited opportunities, African Americans have played a significant role in U.S. military history over the past 300 years. They were denied military leadership roles and skilled training because many believed they lacked qualifications for combat duty. Before 1940, African Americans were barred from flying for the U.S. military. Civil rights organizations and the black press exerted pressure that resulted in the formation of an all African-American pursuit squadron based in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1941. They became known as the Tuskegee Airmen.
Read more at the National Park Service Museum, Tuskegee Airmen
Learn more about the Tuskegee Airmen:Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.
Honoring the accomplishments and perpetuating the history of African-Americans who participated in air crew, ground crew and operations support training in the Army Air Corps during WWII.
On Freedoms Wings, The Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen – Part 1