Tuskegee Airman Hold Last Reunion

evangilder

"Shooter"
19,051
203
Sep 17, 2004
Moorpark, CA
www.vg-photo.com
They never missed a rendezvous with bombers over war-torn Europe but the Tuskegee Airmen say they've had their last formal reunion. Members of the famed Red Tail squadron, unfortunately known as much for their heritage as their skill in the air, are getting too old to stage the annual event, which this year drew dozens of the P-51 fighter pilots, support crew and friends to Orlando. Of the original 992 African American aviators who made up the 99th, 100th, 301st and 302nd Fighter Groups, only about 200 are still alive and they're in their 80s. About 50 died in the past year. The remaining members will still get to meet each year but they'll do so in conjunction with another group of younger black aviators. The Tuskegee Airmen was founded in 1972 as a way to encourage young black people to become pilots. It grew to 45 chapters throughout the country and membership was opened to include other military people, relatives of squadron members and associate members with no affiliation who shared the same goals.

:salute:
 

Glider

Captain
8,190
3,218
Apr 23, 2005
Lincolnshire
They were remarkable people. Hollywood couldn't have written the script and they achieved a massive amount. What always impressed me was their dignity whenever they have appeared in interviews. No bravado or dramatics, just pride, quiet confidence and dignity.
 

Nonskimmer

Captain
8,620
9
Nov 11, 2004
Halifax, Nova Scotia
They endured quite a lot to achieve quite a record. Racism from their own side and bullets from the enemy. Were any of them ever captured? I've seen Hart's War, where two of them are shot down and captured by the Germans, but what about real life?

They're an inspiration, not only for young black people. Well done fellas. :salute:
 

Erich

the old Sage
12,382
61
May 20, 2004
Platonic Sphere
Eric I believe there are something like 5-6 surviving pilots of this great group in California am I correct ? When I visited Chino last I was hoping that 1-2 were going to attend when they pulled the Me 262 out for the show. Alas ........... nil

E ~
 

evangilder

"Shooter"
19,051
203
Sep 17, 2004
Moorpark, CA
www.vg-photo.com
I'm not sure how many are out here now. That was about 5 years ago and there were 2 or 3 at the show. They were well received and many folks went to talk to them and shake their hands. I was working the gates at the show that year a briefly got to speak to one as he was leaving.
 

Holmes

Airman
32
0
Sep 4, 2005
Salute to those great pilots!
There were a movie about "Tuskegee Airmen". Anybody remeber the title? "Black Squadron" IMO.
 

Holmes

Airman
32
0
Sep 4, 2005
Ok, I found the movie: "The Tuskegee Airmen" (from 1995). In Poland it was showed as "The black squadron" - thats why I missed the correct title.
 

syscom3

Pacific Historian
14,323
8,071
Jun 4, 2005
Orange County, CA
I met several of them at the Hawthorne airshow they had around 1992. They were always happy to answer peoples questions. Very friendly bunch of people.

When they were up next to the P40 or P51 that flew in for the show, you could see their pride!
 

J. W. MILLER

Recruit
2
0
Mar 29, 2006
so. cal
PALM SPRINGS CALIFORNIA AIR MUSEUM IS HOSTING A PRESENTATION BY SOME TUSKEGEE AIRMEN 4/22/06.
THE EXPLOITS OF THIS GROUP OF BRAVE AFRICAN-AMERICAN AIRMEN ARE LEGEND AND THIER SUCCESS NOTHING SHORT OF PHENOMENAL. FEW ARE STILL ALIVE TODAY, BUT SOME WILL BE HERE TO PASS ON THEIR STORIES. A FLIGHT DEMO WILL FOLLOW.
 

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