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Air Force Academy to pay tribute to Tuskegee Airmen May 1

Tuskegee Airmen

A flight instructor speaks to members of the first pilot class at the advanced flying school in 1942, Tuskegee, Alabama. (U.S. Air Force Historian's Office photo)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – The Air Force Academy will pay tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen with a wreath-laying ceremony, May 1, in Arnold Hall.

The tribute recognizes a major historical milestone for diversity in the Air Force, honoring the first African-American aviators who began serving during World War II.

“Tuskegee Airmen” refers to all who were involved in the Army Air Corps program to train African-Americans to fly and maintain combat aircraft. At a time of racial segregation in the military, the Tuskegee Airmen answered the call to arms.They flew fighters on ground attack and bomber escort missions over North Africa and Europe. Approximately 150 Tuskegee Airmen lost their lives while training or on combat flights.

This year marks the 78th anniversary of the Tuskegee Airmen. On March 29, 2007, the Tuskegee Airmen received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award which may be bestowed by the United States Congress. 

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