"A Segment In History That Needs To Be Told"
Aero-News has learned
Naval Station Pearl Harbor hosted a ceremony March 2 at Naval
Station Pearl Harbor's base Theater, honoring three Tuskegee
"Blacks in aviation is a segment in history that needs to be
told," said Retired Air Force Lt. Col. William "Bill" Hollowman, a
Tuskegee Airman. "That’s why we come to events like this at
different venues around the nation. We want to broaden
people’s understanding. There are so many contributions in
time of war to this nation by African Americans. Dorie Miller, the
Buffalo Soldiers, and on and on."
"People need to understand that African Americans have a rich
heritage in the United States military," said Hollowman. "The
opportunities for African Americans have greatly improved, but
there is always room for more."
For service members in attendance, the occasion to meet and
speak with the airmen who paved the way for racial equality within
the military was a moving experience.
"This means so much to me," said Storekeeper 1st Class (SW/AW)
Capreece Dunklin, assigned to Naval Station Pearl Harbor. "It
really allows you to reflect on our history in the military and if
you want to know where you’re going, you need to know where
you’ve been. The opportunity to meet some of the men who have
helped me have a fair and equal opportunity is an honor. I’m
inspired. They’ve made me feel that anything is
The training program for the Tuskegee Airmen, the first
African-American fighter pilots during WWII, began July 19,
More than 966 African-American military aviators were trained at
an isolated training complex near the town of Tuskegee, AL and at
Tuskegee Institute, now known as Tuskegee University. Four hundred
and fifty black fighter pilots under the command of Col. Benjamin
O. Davis Jr. -- who later became the US Air Force's first
black general -- fought in the aerial war over North Africa, Sicily
and Europe piloting P-40, P-39, P-47, and P-51 type aircraft.
The Airmen flew 15,553 sorties and completed 1,578 missions with
the 12th Tactical US Army Air Force and the 15th Strategic US Army
(Aero-News salutes Journalist 2nd Class Devin Wright,
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs)