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World War II; The Journey to Victory Remembering the Tuskegee Airmen

PUNTA GORDA, FL – The Military Heritage Museum in Punta Gorda will host an event honoring Black History Month, featuring the Tuskegee Airmen. The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of African American military pilots (fighter and bomber) who fought in World War II. All black military pilots, the airmen trained at Moton Field part of Tuskegee Army Airfield and were educated at Tuskegee University, located near Tuskegee, Alabama. The 99th Pursuit Squadron (later, 99th Fighter Squadron) was the first black flying squadron, and the first to deploy overseas (to North Africa in April 1943, and later to Sicily and Italy). When the pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group painted the tails of their P-47s red, the nickname "Red Tails" was coined. The red markings that distinguished the Tuskegee Airmen included red bands on the noses of P-51s as well as a red rudder; the P-51B and D Mustangs flew with similar color schemes, with red propeller spinners, yellow wing bands and all-red tail surfaces.
Free activities:
All day - Special Tuskegee Airmen exhibit in museum Atrium
1 p.m. Guest lecturer – James Abraham Look - up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Yes, a whole squadron of airplanes, the first black fighter group in United States history, flown by the Tuskegee Airmen. Come learn about this storied group and their place in history with "Black Hopes, Blue Skies," an hour-long presentation about the black American military pilots of World War II.
All Access Pass activities*
$10 p/p; $8 for veterans, active duty, and youth ages 5-13. No fee for children under 5. Annual Members - $5
Featured Film: RED TAILS - Gulf Theater showtime: 2 p.m.* (Rated PG-13 Runtime 2h 5m)
During World War II, the Civil Aeronautics Authority selects 13 black cadets to become part of an experimental program at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. The program aims at training "colored personnel" to become fighter pilots. However, discrimination, lack of institutional support and the racist belief that these men lacked the intelligence and aptitude for the job dog their every step. Despite this, the Tuskegee Airmen, as they become known, more than prove their worth.
Flight Simulators* - Iconic P-51 Mustang & P-40 Warhawk
Academy Library* - Tuskegee Airmen collections & Fold 3 research
Google Expedition*- A unique virtual reality experience featuring Artifacts of the Tuskegee Airmen 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
The Military Heritage Museum is located at 900 West Marion Avenue in Punta Gorda. For more information or reservations, please go to the website and sign up at or call 941-575-9002.
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