As a supporter of the CAF Red Tail Squadron, you’ve seen how our educational outreach program has evolved and grown immensely over the years. We’ve had a tremendous impact because of the hard work we’ve put in together – supporters, volunteers and staff – to honor the Tuskegee Airmen. People of all ages have found the courage to RISE ABOVE their own obstacles because of the lessons of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Our unique program is part of the Commemorative Air Force’s RISE ABOVE educational outreach program that shares the lessons of the Greatest Generation and connects young people to these stories, inspiring them to find the greatness that exists within them and achieve success. And now this program has expanded to include the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) of World War II!

Women Airforce Service Pilot Shirley Kruse with original Tuskegee Airman George Hardy.

Women Airforce Service Pilot Shirley Kruse with original Tuskegee Airman George Hardy at EAA AirVenture 2016.

Like the Tuskegee Airmen, the women who would become the WASP were marginalized and demeaned, regardless of their skill or willingness to serve their country. The circumstances of World War II gave them the chance to fly for their country stateside, but for decades they were left out of history books or even recognized for their service. A scenario all too familiar to the Tuskegee Airmen.

Now, the CAF has set out to educate and inspire young people, especially young women, to find a greater appreciation of their own potential, an awareness of the opportunities that surround them, and a mentorship pathway to accomplish their dreams. RISE ABOVE: WASP will build upon the success of the CAF Red Tail Squadron’s outreach efforts and bring another life-changing message to those ripe for the inspiration.

The CAF launched an ambitious campaign today to get this program off the ground. They will travel to air shows with an AT-6 aircraft of the WASP and send multiple mobile theaters around the country to educate people of all ages and spread the inspirational lessons of the WASP far and wide.

Take a moment to learn more about this new expansion at and pledge your support if you’d like to make your mark on this important endeavor. Share the news with those you think would be interested. The CAF needs our help to get the word out!

There are a lot of parallels between the Tuskegee Airmen and the WASP. They both knew what it was like to be mistreated, passed over and disrespected. They both endured hardships that should never have been acceptable. But they also found a way to RISE ABOVE the obstacles set before them and achieve success. They shouldn’t have had to, but they did, and because of it they will inspire generations to come.


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


More Posts

Betty Jane Williams

Betty Jane “BJ” Williams 1919 – December 8, 2008 Class: 44-W-6 Training Location: Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Tex.) Assigned Bases: Randolph Army Air Base (San Antonio, Tex.) Planes flown: PT-17, BT-13, AT-6, AT-7, PT-19 Since no

Read More »

Kathryn Stark Gunderson

Kathryn Stark Gunderson 1916 – February 12, 2019 Class: 43-W-5 Training Location: Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Tex.) Assigned Bases: Romulus Army Air Base (Mich.) Planes flown: PT-19 and AT-6 Gunderson had a lifelong interest in aviation,

Read More »

Caryl W. Jones Stortz

Caryl W. Jones Stortz January 1, 1918 – February 24, 2009 Class: 43-W-5 Training Location: Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Tex.) Assigned Bases: Camp Davis Army Air Field (N.C.) Planes flown: PT-17, AT-6, A-24, A-20 Caryl “Suds”

Read More »

Betty Jo Streff Reed

Betty Jo Streff Reed June 20, 1923  – June 22, 2013 Class: 44-W-7 Training Location: Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Tex.) Assigned Bases: Columbus Army Air Field (Miss.) Planes flown: PT-17, BT-13, AT-6, AT-1 “Never let go

Read More »

Send Us A Message