Will Be Donated To Red Tail Project For Fundraiser
The Red Tail Project tells ANN noted aviation artist and
enthusiast Sam Lyons has created, and will donate, an original
painting of the red-tailed P-51C Mustang "Tuskegee Airmen" as it
might have appeared during World War II. The picture, entitled "Red
Tail By Request" shows the fighter being piloted by a Tuskegee
Airman protecting five B-24s over Italy.
Lyons is noted for his attention to detail and historical
accuracy, and this effort is no exception. A painting of this size
-- two feet by four feet -- typically takes him about five weeks to
complete and a full two weeks of that time is spent researching the
picture's elements for accuracy.
"For this picture, along with recreating the Red Tail Project's
Mustang correctly, I wanted to be sure I had the markings on the
B-24s right," Lyons says. "I did quite a bit of research about
B-24s that would have flown missions that were protected by the
Tuskegee Airmen over Italy."
This is Lyons' second painting featuring a Tuskegee
Airmen-related aircraft. In 2007, he created a picture of Tuskegee
ace Lee Archer's P-51 "Ina - Macon Belle," but this is the first
picture he's painted that will help serve as a fundraiser for the
Red Tail Project.
"I think it's important to maintain awareness of what the
Tuskegee Airmen did during the war," he says. "Those black pilots
fought for a country that denied them basic rights; they protected
white pilots during a time when racist attitudes were the norm.
That's why the ‘By Request' aspect of this picture is so
important. The bomber pilots quickly realized that the black
fighter pilots were outstanding and began requesting them as
escorts on bombing runs."
The Red Tail Project, part of the Commemorative Air Force, is
raising money to restore a rare P-51C Mustang named "Tuskegee
Airmen" such as the Airmen flew, build a traveling museum, and
develop educational resources. The project's overall goal is to
raise $2.7 million; to date they have raised more than
"The Red Tail Project is all about educating people about the
life-lessons the Tuskegee Airmen can teach about overcoming
obstacles, reaching goals and exceeding expectations," says Sam's
wife, Mindy. " Their use of the airplane as a tool to get people
interested is unique."
The painting will unveiled during a ceremony Monday afternoon at
1:30 pm at AirVenture 2008. The plane is expected to be flying
again in spring of 2009.