When we got to the Tukegee Airmen National Historic site, here is what we found, 3 portable class rooms.Inside we found less information than you are going to get in this post.
We did find out that beyond that tall grass and trees was the old original hanger and that is where the official site was going to be.
Ok now, let me see if I have all of this right. In 1998 the U.S. Congress authorized $29 million to develop the TUSKEGEE AIRMAN NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE, here it is November of 2006 and this is it. I am told ,you are correct, the official site won't open until 2008.
Something about this just dont set well with me. Here we have over 1000 Black men ,who didnt have the right to vote or set at the counter at woolworth, volunteering to fight for the U.S. and we can't get a memorial put together between 1945 and 2006. Not to mention that 66 died in combat.
The facts below were provided by Tuskegee AIRMEN INC. AND TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY.
- The Tuskegee Airmen were dedicated, determined young men who volunteered to become America's first Black military airmen
- Those who possessed the physical and mental qualifications and were accepted for aviation cadet training were trained initially to be pilots, and later to be either pilots, navigators, or bombardiers.
- Tuskegee University was awarded the U.S. Army Air Corps contract to help train America's first Black military aviators because it had already invested in the development of an airfield, had a proven civilian pilot training program and its graduates performed highest on flight aptitude exams.
- Moton Field is named for Tuskegee University's second President, Dr. Robert R. Moton who served with distinction from 1915-1935. The Airmen were delpoyed during the presidential administration of Dr. Frederick Douglas Patterson (1935-1953).
- The all-Black, 332nd Fighter Group consisted originally of four fighter squadrons, the 99th, the 100th, the 301st and the 302nd.
- From 1940-1946, some 1,000 Black pilots were trained at Tuskegee.
- The Airmen's success during World War II – not losing a single bomber to enemy fire in more than 200 combat missions – is a record unmatched by any other fighter group.
- The 99th Squadron distinguished itself by being awarded two Presidential Unit Citations (June-July 1943 and May 1944) for outstanding tactical air support and aerial combat in the 12th Air Force in Italy, before joining the 332nd Fighter Group.
- The 332nd Fighter Group was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for its longest bomber escort mission to Berlin, Germany, March 24, 1945. It destroyed three German ME-262 Jet fighters and damaged five additional jet fighters without losing any of the bombers or any of its own fighter aircraft to enemy fighters.
- The 332nd Fighter Group had also distinguished itself in June 1944 when two of its pilots flying P-47 Thunderbolts discovered a German destroyer in the harbor of Trieste, Italy.
- The tenacious bomber escort cover provided by the 332nd "Red Tail" fighters often discouraged enemy fighter pilots from attacking bombers escorted by the 332nd Fighter Group.
- C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson earned his pilot's license in 1929 and became the first Black American to receive a commercial pilot's certificate in 1932, and, subsequently, to make a transcontinental flight.
- Anderson is also well known as the pilot who flew Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of then-U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, convincing her to encourage her husband to authorize military flight training at Tuskegee.
- In 1948, President Harry Truman enacted Executive Order No. 9981 - directing equality of treatment and opportunity in all of the United States Armed Forces, which in time led to the end of racial segregation in the U.S. military forces.
The TUSKEGEE AIRMAN NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE OFFICIALLY OPEN ON OCTOBER 10,2008
I plan to have a great day, I hope you will join me