Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen Institute Raises Awareness & More
By Deborah A. Culp: Courtesy of Dr. Helen Davis & Co. – Pittsburgh, PA.
Approximately 70 years ago, a historical initiative took place in Tuskegee, Alabama. In 1942, the first graduating class of the Tuskegee Airmen took place and they were the first African-American aviators in the United States military in World War II combat. The Aviators were part of an effort by the War Department to determine if African-Americans had the capabilities to be effective in times of war. The outcome of the U.S. War Department’s effort would impact future opportunities for African-Americans in and outside the military.
The mission of the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is to keep the honor and legacy of Tuskegee Airmen who live in or originated from the Greater Pittsburgh region. The mission of the Daniel B. Matthews Historical Society is to promote, record and preserve the educational history of African-Americans in the Sewickley Valley and the surrounding Southwestern Pennsylvania area. As part of the Tuskegee Airmen’s 70th Anniversary, both of these organizations will host several events and activities during the year.
On June 1, 2012 thru June 3, 2012, at the Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin, PA, we will be hosting the Red Tail Squadron’s the ‘Rise Above’ Traveling Exhibit. The exhibit tells an incredible story of men in war struggling to be the best Americans they can be, as they battle against the prejudices of their countrymen.
The Red Tail Squadron tells the Tuskegee Airmen’s story in a visual, exciting and easily understood way. It consists of two educational initiatives. First is a rare P-51C Mustang plane that the Tuskegee Airmen used against the Nazi’s in WWII and historians will share the history of this plane. And the second educational initiative is a 53’ long customized rig with sides that slide out and house a climaxed control movie theater with a 160 degree screen that features the movie ‘Rise Above’ which tells a story of the Tuskegee Airmen and how they rose above numerous obstacles to achieve their dreams of flying and fighting to preserve freedom during WWII. This movie will also give viewers a feel for what it’s like to pilot a mustang.
The customized rig movie theater will appear at several inner city schools where hundreds of students will 1) view the movie, 2) talk to WWII historians and 3) when possible, speak with the Tuskegee Airmen.
Friend, we are asking for your support in the telling of the story of the Tuskegee Airmen story who so bravely and valiantly fought against the Nazi’s in WWII and for America’s freedom in spite of the hatred and racism they faced at home.
Please review the Sponsorship Opportunity document with options your company can take advantage of. We believe this historical educational initiative will be one of the most exciting and important events to take place in Western PA and we welcome your support.
We look forward to working with you on this project.
** NOTE: Re; Photograph and Credits- Dr. Harry Lanauze, left, a former Tuskegee Fighter Pilot who flew a P40 Warhawk and a P51 Mustang in World War II, shakes hands with U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Retired Timothy McCray, as he is presented with the first “Red Tail” Humanitarian Award for Distinguished Military Service by the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen at the H.J. Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. McCray is the vice chairman of the memorial project and also chairs the organization’s history committee[hot courtesy of AP: Keith Srakocic