Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Tuskegee Airmen Monument in Walterboro South Carolina

Tuskegee Airmen Monument sits across from what is now the Low County Regional Airport in Walterboro, South Carolina.  It is where some of the pilots of the famous 332nd completed their final training before going overseas to participate in World War II.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an order in 1941 to the War Department to start to train black pilots. The Army Air Corp did so reluctantly but only on a segregated basis. Read more about how Eleanor Roosevelt played a role in that decision and Eleanor's first hand experience with flight instructor, Charles A. Anderson at the website.

 Tuskegee Airmen were the first black servicemen to serve as aviators in the the United States military. Their initial training occurred at Tuskegee, Alabama.

The Tuskegee Airmen were awarded three Presidential Unit Citations, 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses and Legions of Merit, along with The Red Star of Yugoslavia, 9 Purple Hearts, 14 Bronze Stars and more than 700 Air medals and clusters. It goes without question that the Tuskegee Airmen are deserving of the Congressional Gold Medal.  Read more at the THOMAS website.

The Tuskegee Airmen aka Redtail Angels had red paint on the tails and spinners of their airplanes to identify them.

Most of the photographs on the signage are credited to Lt. Col. Hiram Mann. The street where the memorial is located is also named after Lt. Colonel Mann. Mann flew forty-eight missions over Europe as a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, 332nd Fighter Group.

The "Beacon" (Aircraft Guiding Light) has been saved and preserved for future generations to appreciate.

On July 2, 1943 Captain Charles B. Hall was the first Tuskegee pilot to down an enemy aircraft in aerial combat, a FW-190. Hall was rewarded for his prowess with a Coca-Cola.

Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. was the first African-American in the 20th century to graduate from the Military Academy at West Point, New York.

There is one thing to read about these heroic men, but it is a remarkable treat to heard someone tell the story. Check it out. YouTube link to Tuskegee Airman Lt. Calvin J. Spann speaking at The Allen Public Library in 2011. It is invaluable to heard him speak or any of these American heroes.  According to the link, Lt. Calvin J. Spann just passed on September 6, 2015.  Thank you for your service sir, and sharing your story.

Tuskegee Airmen Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony photographs at March 2007.

Montford Point Marines also made a significant mark in history to promote the skills and pride that the black soldiers contributed to the reform in our military to end segregation.

This photograph was taken at the Welcome Home Parade in Media April 28 2012 participating was a Tuskegee Airmen. Unfortunately, I do not have this gentleman's name to properly identify and honor him, but how lucky we were to have him in our Delaware County Parade. Look for more local heroes in the Parade today at 11 a.m. on State Street in Media, PA. They (both male and female) could be marching along in the parade, riding in a car and waving or silently sitting along the parade route in the crowd. Remember to thank them all for their service and significant contribution they have made to our country. If you have never come to this parade and you can make the time, come out and honor our veterans. There is a lot of pride in the air and the weather is suppose to be nice.

The Tuskegee Airmen National Museum is located in Detroit, Michigan
The Tuskegee Institute now known as Tuskegee University and Moton Field where the pilots initially rained are located in Alabama.

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