CAF Red Tail Squadron P-51C Mustang pilot Bill Shepard with original Tuskegee Airman pilot George Hardy at the 2016 Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. national convention.

Our friends at Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. (TAI) are gearing up for their annual convention August 2-5 in Orlando. The CAF Red Tail Squadron’s P-51C Mustang pilot Bill Shepard will once again be attending this great event that honors documented original Tuskegee Airmen and works to keep their legacy strong.

“I wear a lot of hats,” jokes Shepard. Not only does he fly our P-51C Mustang, he is a pilot for the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association and numerous other warbird aircraft, is a member of the Detroit chapter of TAI and serves as the Vice President of Education for the Commemorative Air Force.

“All of my roles overlap in some fashion or another, and where those points meet a lot of good knowledge sharing and cooperation takes place. We all share some common goals, and anything I can do to honor the Tuskegee Airmen and help others be inspired by their story is on the top of my priorities. It’s such a privilege.”

This year marks the group’s 46th national convention. The theme of the event is, “Tuskegee Airmen – Helping Youth Fulfill Their Promise.” It is sponsored in part by American Airlines, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Southwest Airlines and the Department of Defense. The event will mark the 75th anniversary of the Tuskegee Experience, and the 70th anniversary of the United States Air Force.

Shepard with president of the Detroit chapter of TAI, Migel Thornton at the 2016 event.

TAI has organized an array of workshops, presentations, forums and special events for attendees to learn first hand from aviation pioneers and to learn from their values that enabled their success.

TAI is a non-political, non-military, non-profit 501c(3) organization that originated from an informal annual reunion of Tuskegee Airmen in 1972. Membership in TAI is now spread across the nation in 55 chapters with members participating in dozens of professional, technical and aviation programs, and community service initiatives.

 

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.

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