SPENCER, NC – The N.C. Transportation Museum will honor Black History Month this February with a special program on the Tuskegee Airmen. Historian Leonard Hunter will speak about the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black military fighter pilots. The program was originally set for Feb. 6, but due to the threat of wintry weather, it has been rescheduled to Feb. 13.
Hunter is a member of North Carolina’s Wilson V. Eagleson Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc. This chapter is part of the national Tuskegee Airmen Inc., a group formed to honor the accomplishments and history of African Americans who participated in the Army Air Corps in WWII.
Hunter will tell the story of the nearly 1,000 pilots who graduated flight training at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama between 1941 and 1946. The airmen were segregated on army bases and in the air, flying P-51’s with the tail painted vermillion. Their successes in the air, however, led other pilots to nickname the Tuskegee Airmen the “red-tailed angels.”
Nearly half of those pilots saw action overseas, earning an outstanding record of service, while breaking down barriers of ignorance. It was said that the Tuskegee Airmen faced two battles, the war overseas and the battle against racism in Europe and at home.
Leonard Hunter’s program will take place Feb. 13 in the Bob Julian Roundhouse Orientation Room at 1 p.m. The program is free, but space is limited; for reservations call 704-636-2889 ext. 232.
The N.C. Transportation Museum is located in historic Spencer Shops; the former Southern Railway repair facility is located just five minutes off I-85 at Exit 79 in Spencer, about an hour from Charlotte, Greensboro or Winston-Salem. The museum is part of the Division of Historic Sites within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Visit www.nctrans.org for more information about the museum. For information on the Department of Cultural Resources, visit www.ncculture.com.
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