Profile - The CAF Red Tail Project

My photo
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, March 1, 2013

The Beginning - Training At Tuskegee: Part 1

     After writing for the CAF Red Tail Squadron for six years, I considered myself to be fairly well-versed in the story of the Tuskegee Airmen.  When Mike and I visited the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Tuskegee, Alabama on Wednesday, that presumption went out the window.  To my surprise, I also had an emotional reaction to being at the place that literally launched the pilots and most of the support crew into the war in Europe.
      Today is our first day on the road (again).  This time, we're driving from Florida to California, hauling a 28-foot travel trailer that we bought in Florida last December in anticipation of this very trip. The visit to Tuskegee was the highlight of what we hope is our last drive to Florida for a while after just three days at home in Minnesota after the last trip up from Florida. To say it's been a crazy schedule is an understatement.  To say I'm tired doesn't quite cover it. 
     As a result of my personal stars aligning as they have, I'll ask your indulgence with today's blog.  There will be no pictures until next week because wi-fi coverage has been hit-or-miss (mostly the latter) and downloading the dozens of photos I took will take time.  There will be no lengthy descriptions of what the Site and Museum have to offer because the pictures are really needed to add depth to the descriptions.  What I can do is throw some things out for you to look forward to in this series about the Tuskegee Airmen NHS:
  • The person who taught parachute rigging to the pilot trainees and others was a woman
  • The Site's museum is housed in Hangar 1 at Moton Field, which is still a working airport
  • Fire was a constant danger at Tuskegee Army Air Field (TAAF)
  • There was a tea room at TAAF
  • By design, the pilot cadets were taught more than how to fly
   That's not a lot of information, but I hope you'll find it intriguing enough to look forward to next week's blog entry. I was completely entranced by what I saw and heard on our visit to the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site and will do everything I can to creatively share that information with you over the next three (or so) blogs.

Where's the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit these days?
     The Traveling Exhibit is finishing up a week at the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina today and tomorrow.  The Museum is waiving its admission fee for those 18 and younger while the Traveling Exhibit is there.  Click here for more information.
     Next Tuesday through Thursday, the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit will be at the Southern Museum of Flight in Birmingham, Alabama.  Hours are 9:30 to 4:30 each day and the Museum is waiving admission for everyone on those days (donations are still welcome!).  Click here to learn more.

The CAF Red Tail Squadron is volunteer-driven 501c3 organization that operates as part of the Commemorative Air Force. For more information about the Squadron and its educational mission, visit www.redtail.0rg.



No comments:

Post a Comment