Profile - The CAF Red Tail Project

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South St. Paul, MN, United States
The mission of the Commemorative Air Force's (CAF) Red Tail Squadron is to preserve and share the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America's first black military pilots. The Airmen served with distinction during WWII (and beyond). They overcame racism on the ground to fight fascism in the air, fighting for a country that turned a blind eye to policies and a large population that discriminated against these men and their families because of the color of their skin. The CAF Red Tail Squadron restored and flies a red-tailed P-51C Mustang such as the Airmen flew during WWII. The airplane appears at air shows in North America and at each stop her crew tells the story of the Airmen and how through persistence and courage they overcame huge obstacles in order to serve in the military. In 2011, the CAF Red Tail Squadron developed a traveling exhibit called "RISE ABOVE" to educate people - especially young people - about the Airmen and how they demonstrated the importance of setting goals and overcoming obstacles in order to succeed.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Revamped Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Exhibit Is A "Must-See"

     On November 19, the Pioneers of Aviation exhibit reopened at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. The original exhibit had been open since 1976 and was due for an update.  Reports are that the curators have done an excellent job putting together a thrilling history of aviation starting at about the 1920s and running through the end of the 20th century. 
     The exhibit is sponsored by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and features many full-sized airplanes such as Amelia Earhart's bright red Lockheed Vega.  It also has many educational displays and activities that are geared for children's hands-on interaction.  One of the more sophisticated activities, meant for older kids, is "flying a mission with the Tuskegee Airmen."  Younger kids can participate in story time and specialized play areas; 3-8 year-olds can design an airplane.
     Like all Smithsonian-based museums, admission to the exhibit and the rest of the museum is free. 
     The CAF Red Tail Project's traveling RISE ABOVE exhibit will also feature hands-on activities and interesting displays.  While it will not be nearly the size of the Air and Space Museum's exhibit and will be more tightly focused on one segment of aviation history - the story of the Tuskegee Airmen - it will have one huge advantage: the Project's exhibit will travel to its audience instead of waiting for people to come to it!  It's easy to imagine a middle school student getting excited about history and aviation when all she has to do is take a few steps from her school's door to enter the RISE ABOVE exhibit for some hands-on educational play and interesting, easy-to-understand displays.
     As the end of the year approaches, please consider making a fully tax-deductible donationto the CAF Red Tail Project's RISE ABOVE initiative.  Be part of our mission to inspire kids to be the best they can be by following the six guiding principles of the Tuskegee Airmen:
  1. Aim High
  2. Believe In Yourself
  3. Use Your Brain
  4. Be Ready To Go
  5. Never Quit
  6. Expect To Win
Thank you!

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