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, July 22, 2011

It's Done!

The new CAF Red Tail Squadron RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit is ready to head out  from St. Louis to Oshkosh, Wisconsin where it will be introduced during AirVenture Oshkosh 2011 which runs from July 25th through the 31st.  I'm waiting on "official" pictures but, thanks to MaxHaynes, there are a couple taken in the building where the rig was being outfitted.  I'm particularly anxious to see the inside where the 170-degree movie screen and comfy chairs are located.  Sketches are good, but the real deal will be great!

     The movie that will be shown on that curved screen is called "RISE ABOVE."  It has been described as an "experiential documentary" because of the subject matter and filming techniques that were used.  I understand that the Mustang flight segment is really something.  I'll let you know.
     There are two versions of the movie - short (about 10 minutes) for air show audiences and long (30 minutes) for schools and youth groups.  Adam White, the filmmaker, has put a page about the movie on his website. 
      Adam used actor Michael Dorn again for the narration. (Mr. Dorn's vocal talents were also featured in White's PBS documentary "Red Tail Reborn.")  Mr. Dorn is probably best known for his role as the Klingon who became Starfleet officer Commander Worf in the TV Star Trek franchises.  In his private life, he is an aviation enthusiast and aircraft owner.  Adam shared this great picture taken at one of the recording sessions.  

 From left,  Producer Kara Martinelli, CAF Red Tail Squadron Leader Brad Lang, the actor Michael Dorn, and filmmaker Adam White.

     I leave Sunday morning to drive over to Oshkosh with CAF Red Tail Squadron Marketing Director LaVone Kay.  We'll be getting our exhibit area organized that afternoon and more and more Squadron volunteers will be arriving..  I've been to Oshkosh once before, but only for a day (my Dad went every year for many years and took hundreds of pictures).  Only a few of the Squadron"regulars" have seen the traveling exhibit so we're all anxious to take that first tour.  I'll be blogging and tweeting about the experiences we have at OSH.  If you're going to attend, we sure hope you'll stop by and see us at the ConocoPhillips Plaza..

The Stearman biplane "Spirit of Tuskegee" will also be at Oshkosh (see July 8 blog).   Minnesota native USAF pilot Matt Quy, who restored the biplane, made a stop in the Cities to put the airplane on display at the 90th anniversary celebration of the Minnesota Air National Guard.   Here's a great story about the plane as shown on local NBC affiliate TV station KARE11 on July 15.

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

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