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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesTuskegee Airmen at Sunny Isle Sunday

Tuskegee Airmen at Sunny Isle Sunday

Documented, original members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen will meet the public from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday in the Sunny Isle Amphitheater, giving autographs and posing for photos, according to the Virgin Islands Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.

"Many of the surviving Tuskegee Airmen are in their late eighties and early nineties," VICTAI Public Relations Officer Cenita Heywood said of the famed African American World War II fighter pilots. "The time is now to continue to honor them, tell their stories, and hear of their experiences from them personally. We are honored and privileged in having some of these military living legends to share in this special occasion."

The airmen will be guests of honor Saturday evening at an invitation-only reception at Government House in Christiansted. At the event, VICTAI will hold its installation ceremony.

The idea of establishing a local chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. was first considered in 2006 to honor the memories of the two native Virgin Islanders, Herbert H. Heywood and Henry E. Rohlsen, who were part of the Tuskegee experience, according to the group’s news release. An invitation was extended to the community in 2007 to gather and formally create the V.I. chapter of the group.

In 2009 it received its charter and joined the other fifty five national chapters in perpetuating the legacy of the 992 African American pilots and 10,000 male and female support personnel who pioneered nationwide efforts to gain the rights of black men to become pilots in the U.S. military, and put an end to racial segregation in the U.S. armed forces, according to the group.

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