This week we feature a guest post from CAF Red Tail Squadron volunteer Ken Mist. He recently embarked on a cross-country journey to meet up with the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit in Florida. He shares with us his perspective from his visit to the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site at Moton Field in Tuskegee, Ala.
You travel down a narrow road until you reach a brick entrance. Stepping through this portal of sorts takes you back in time. Moton Field in Tuskegee Alabama is a National Historical Site that preserves the original hangars and buildings that housed the men and machines that would meld together to become the Tuskegee Airmen.
A self-guided tour through the beautifully preserved Hangar 1 tells the story of segregation and the battles that were fought to allow young black pilot candidates to realize their dreams to fly and serve their country, following their introduction to flight. Original artifacts and detailed displays take you back to walk in their steps while a gorgeous PT-17 Stearman provides the centerpiece. Offices and briefing rooms are powerful in their simplicity with recorded audio explanations provided.
A short walk across the tarmac takes you to Hangar 2 with its iconic tower. This hangar is dominated by a large theatre showing a movie every hour, along with a P-51D suspended from the ceiling. Numerous displays tell the stories of the squadron, its members and the legacy they left that continues to this day to encourage and motivate.
Your visit ends as you walk up a hill that provides a panoramic view of the entire facility. Close your eyes and you can hear the growl of radial engines as they race down the runway and leap into the sky.
Join the CAF Red Tail Squadron team of volunteers and help ensure the history and legacy of these great Americans is not forgotten. Learn more at redtail.org/support-the-mission/volunteer/.
The CAF Red Tail Squadron is a volunteer-driven organization dedicated to educating audiences across the country about the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel. Learn more at www.redtail.org.