Tuskegee Airmen Mark 70th Anniversary

More than 650 people gathered for five days in Washington D.C., to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Tuskegee Airmen at their annual convention. “Gathering at conventions is our way of keeping in touch [with each other], even though our numbers are dropping off,” said retired Col. Charles McGee, one of 67 original Tuskegee Airmen to register for the event. The activities kicked off Aug. 3 with the final flight of an Army 1944 PT-13 Stearman biplane once used to train Tuskegee pilots. Attendees also held a wreath-laying ceremony at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va., and hosted about 400 teenagers to inspire tomorrow’s aviators. “The reality of human behavior is that the further in time we get from an event in history, the further it slips from our memory,” said Gen. Craig McKinley, National Guard Bureau chief, Aug. 5. “I don’t want to see this happen to the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen.” Flying fighter escorts during World War II, this group of black aviators helped to break down racial barriers in the US military. (AFPS report by MSgt. Tracy DeMarco) (AFPS report by Lisa Daniel)