|Posted:||April 8, 2022 12:48 PM|
|From:||Representative Karen Boback and Rep. Dan K. Williams, Rep. Carol Hill-Evans|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Commemorating Tuskegee Airman Commemoration Day|
|The Tuskegee Airmen were the first group of African-American military aviators, fighting with exemplary courage and distinction during World War II. Despite facing rigid racial barriers and constant segregation, these airmen were among the most accomplished and effective pilots of the entire war. Upwards of 900 pilots who graduated from Tuskegee Airfield flew 1,578 missions and 15,533 sorties destroying 261 enemy aircraft and earning themselves more than 850 medals, collectively.
These pioneering airmen comprised the 332nd Fighter Group and 477th Bombardment group seeing action in North Africa, Italy and Germany. The 332nd’s excellent combat record and distinguishing red markings painted on the tails of their P-47 Mustangs famously earned them the title “Red-Tail Angels.” For their extraordinary heroism, they were awarded three distinguished unit citations, one Silver Star, 96 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 14 Bronze Stars, 744 Air Medals and 8 Purple Hearts. The “Red-Tails” were known for their utmost effectiveness in defending the lives of their fellow servicemen and exemplary service to their nation.
Nearly 100 Tuskegee Airmen came from Western Pennsylvania, more than any other region in the nation. Thus, the Tuskegee Airmen Memorial of Greater Pittsburgh was erected in Pittsburg in 2013 to commemorate their immense service to the United States, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
To further commemorate and illuminate their service, I plan on introducing legislation in the near future which would commemorate March 29 of each year as Tuskegee Airman Commemoration Day in Pennsylvania. States like Alabama and Maryland have already recognized similar days to honor the outstanding service of Tuskegee Airmen from their states.
It should be noted that March is a special month for the Tuskegee Airmen as it is when the first aviation cadets completed pilot training, the first aircraft maintenance crews began training, the first squadron of airmen was activated, and when President George W. Bush presented the Tuskegee Airmen with the Congressional Gold Medal on March 29, 2007.
It is crucial that we both remember and honor this group of outstanding Pennsylvanians who put their lives on the line for their nation and Commonwealth, all while in the face of racial adversity. Please join me in sponsoring legislation which will commemorate this group of groundbreaking veterans.
Introduced as HB2586