Tomorrow in Mesa, the Tuskegee Airmen will be recognized for their remarkable accomplishments. The Commemorative Air Force Arizona Wing will take the time to praise at least six of those who still survive.
As the Airmen’s own organization describes them:
“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.”
As a news story explains, the Saturday event at Falcon Field in Mesa “will include an overview of the history of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group that included 450 pilots and more than 14,000 members of air crews and ground-support units, as well as doctors, nurses and other personnel in the then-segregated U.S. Army Air Corps.”
Also featured will be a documentary, narrated by Cuba Gooding, Jr., titled “Double Victory.” It was made to accompany the January 20 release of the George Lucas film “Red Tails,” which celebrates the Airmen and their contributions.
Lawyer Herb Zinn has been involved with the Commemorative Air Force Arizona Wing Aviation Museum for years, and he was quoted in the news story.
“When ‘Red Tails’ was announced, we thought it would be a moment for us to celebrate these guys in a compelling setting,” said Herb Zinn of the museum, which has a working B-17 bomber and working P-51 Mustang cq fighters like those featured in the film. “These guys were giants, by what they did, aside from their bravery in combat.”
As Zinn explains, the Airmen’s contributions helped pave the way for desegregation, in the military and the nation as a whole.
Click here to purchase tickets to the event.
Have a great weekend. I’ll be back Tuesday, after the MLK Holiday.Follow @azatty