Dedication Plaque

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The Tuskegee Airmen’s Training Room at Tuskegee Army Air Field (TAAF) in Tuskegee, AL offered unique training situations for the cadets. The cadets knew that they had to work together to complete their mission of obtaining dignity as ‘black men’ that was not being experienced or addressed in America. Their TAAF Training Room experiences, preparations and focus to earn their pilot wings resulted in highly skilled and successful combat missions overseas. Their positive combat records, led President Harry S. Truman on 26 July 1948 to issue Executive Order 9981, which eventually eliminated segregation in every military branch. The President’s policy was that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin. When the pilots returned home at the end of WWII, they joined with their fellow support personnel to overcome segregation on their home fronts. Which, sadly, still exists today.

On Memorial Day, 27 May 2019, as a way of honoring and acknowledging their service to our country during a time of war – for all individuals referred to as Tuskegee Airmen – the Deer Park-Silverton Joint Fire District located in Silverton OH, chose to dedicate their Training Room to The Greater Cincinnati Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. (GCCTAI). The Training Room re-naming was done to also honor their dedication to the principle of equality for all people in this nation. The motto of the Tuskegee Airmen “Enriched by Our Past – Prepared for Our Future” is an ideal that we strive for at the Fire District. Now knowing of the history and struggles of the Tuskegee Airmen, we have improved our Fire District by making a concerted effort to become more diverse and to provide equal opportunities for individuals to succeed in the Fire Service.

The group picture above from Monday’s Dedication of the Firehouse Training Room features some members of The Greater Cincinnati Chapter of Cincinnati, Inc. (GCCTAI) as follows:
• Back Row, 3rd from left is Jacqueline Covington.
• Back Row, 5th from left is Current GCCTAI President, Darryl Shirley.
• Seated on Left: Sgt Leslie Edwards, Jr. – DOTA B-25 Medium Bomber Mechanic.
• Seated on Right: 1st Lt Herbert M. Heilbrun – B-17 Bomber Pilot whose life was saved twice by deceased Cincinnati DOTA 1st Lt John H. Leahr.