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, May 20, 2011

Three Minute Egg Club

     We at the CAF Red Tail Project are always looking for photos about the Airmen to hold in our archives, to be used as the occasion warrants.  We recently came across a wonderful photo showing three Tuskegee Airmen members of "The Three Minute Egg Club." 
     This "club" was evidently the brainchild of pilots in the 15th Air Force during World War II.  Although we don't (yet) have permission to use it as part of our educational mission, it is OK to share via a link so here it is, along with a description of who got to belong to that exclusive club.
     As I conduct research for the writing I do for the CAF Red Tail, I have a tendency to be sidetracked by individual stories of the Airmen when I run across them. They are so interesting! For example, here's a bit about the Airman in the middle of the picture -  Lt. Wilson V. Eagleson, II from Bloomington, IN. 
     He attended Civilian Pilot Training School while he was a student at West Virginia State College.  He joined the Army in 1942 and graduated from Tuskegee in April, 1943.  During World War II, he flew many missions in P-40s and P-51s, and was injured twice.  After the war, he helped close down the flight training program at Tuskegee and left the military, only to reenlist in time to serve in the Korean and Vietnam wars. 
     During his military career, Eagleson was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Red Star of Yugoslavia, an Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters and a Purple Heart with an oak leaf cluster. He retired from the Air Force in 1972 and spent time raising horses and dogs.  He also traveled to speak to groups about the Tuskegee Airmen.  Eagleson died in 2006; the Goldsboro (NC) chapter of Tuskegee Airmen Inc. is named for him.
     So few words but such an important life as an American citizen who was part of a groundbreaking group of pilots.

The CAF Red Tail Project is a volunteer-driven 501c3 non-profit organization that operates under the auspices of the Commemorative Air Force. For more information, please visit redtail.org.



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