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WWII Tuskegee Airman Colonel Charles McGee Packs Them in at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor and 400 guests paid tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen and the vital role they played during World War II with a special “WWII Tuskegee Airman Hangar Talk” by decorated WWII Tuskegee Airman Pilot Colonel Charles McGee. The event commemorated African American History Month.

Colonel McGee fought in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, and holds a record for one of the highest three-war total of fighter combat missions of any pilot in United States Air Force history. Colonel McGee began his military service as one of the Tuskegee Airmen in the 332nd Fighter Group. The Tuskegee Airmen were pioneers who fought racial prejudices to fly and fight for their country during WWII. His career in the U.S. Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force spanned 30 years and three wars, where he flew 409 aerial combat missions. During his military career, Colonel McGee was awarded the Legion of Merit with Cluster, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star and the Air Medal (25 times).

Also honored at the Hangar Talk was WWII Tuskegee Airman Philip Baham. Baham served as a crew chief for the 337th Composite Group at Tuskegee Army Air Field. Baham is a dedicated volunteer at Pacific Aviation Museum, sharing his story with visitors as a greeter in the lobby of Hangar 37.

The day before, on Friday, February 3, more than 250 Honolulu students in grades 6—12 were invited and attended another Museum presentation geared towards youth entitled, “In His Own Words,” presented by Colonel McGee.

“It was such an honor to have a veteran pilot of Col McGee’s stature and distinction speak with us,” said Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Executive Director Kenneth DeHoff.

Prior to 1940, African Americans were prohibited from flying for the U.S. military. Even in light of extreme racism, African Americans fought to defend their country, which led to the formation of an all African-American pursuit squadron based in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1941. They became known as the Tuskegee Airmen, who overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of WWII. Their dedication to defending the freedom of all Americans and their acts of heroism paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military. Tuskegee Airmen completed more than 1,500 missions.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Hosts WWII Tuskegee Airmen

On February 3 and 4, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor will pay tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen and the vital role they played during World War II with special presentations by decorated WWII Tuskegee Airman Pilot Colonel Charles McGee to Hawaii’s youth and the public.

On Friday, February 3, 10 – 11 am in the theater, teachers are encouraged to bring their students, in grades 6-12, to a presentation geared towards youth entitled, “In His Own Words,” by Colonel McGee. Colonel McGee fought in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, and holds the record for the highest three-war total of fighter combat missions of any pilot in the United States Air Force history. Colonel McGee began his military service as one of the Tuskegee Airmen in the 332nd Fighter Group. The Tuskegee Airmen were pioneers who fought racial prejudices to fly and fight for their country during WWII. Colonel McGee’s career in the U.S. Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force spanned 30 years and 3 wars, where he flew 409 aerial combat missions. During his military career, Colonel McGee was awarded the Legion of Merit with Cluster, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star and the Air Medal (twenty-five times).

Admission is free for this youth presentation, and funding for bus transportation to the Museum will be provided for school groups who register in advance. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly advised. To register, contact 808-445-9137 or email Education@PacificAviationMuseum.org.

On Saturday, February 4, Colonel McGee will once again be the featured speaker at a “Hangar Talk” in the theater, 11am to 12 noon. This event is open to the public.

Also present at the Hangar Talk will be WWII Tuskegee Airman Philip Baham. Baham served as a crew chief for the 337th Composite Group at Tuskegee Army Air Field. Baham is a dedicated volunteer at Pacific Aviation Museum, sharing his story with visitors as a greeter in the lobby of Hangar 37. Access to the Hangar Talk is free with Museum admission, free to Museum Members, and free for Navy League members with I.D. For more information, call 808-441-1007. Discounted tickets are available online at www.PacificAviationMuseum.org.

Prior to 1940, African Americans were prohibited from flying for the U.S. military. Even in light of extreme racism, African Americans fought to defend their country, which led to the formation of an all African-American pursuit squadron based in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1941. They became known as the Tuskegee Airmen, who overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of WWII. Their dedication to defending the freedom of all Americans and their acts of heroism paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military. Tuskegee Airmen completed more than 1,500 missions.

Both events are being held in conjunction with Black History Month.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is located on Historic Ford Island, where bombs fell during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Visitors to the Museum can see remnants from that day of infamy, including the 158-foot tall, red and white iconic Ford Island Field Control Tower, Hangars 37 and 79, and bullet holes in Hangar 79. Through its preservation and restoration of World War II fighter planes and accompanying artifacts in the Museum’s historic hangars, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor shares the story of the vital role aviation played in America’s winning of World War II, and its continuing role in maintaining America’s freedom.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized aviation museum on Historic Ford Island that educates young and old alike, honors aviators and their support personnel who defended freedom in The Pacific Region, and to preserve Pacific aviation history. Contact: 808-441-1000; Marketing@PacificAviationMuseum.org.

“Tuskegee Airmen” Hangar Talk Scheduled for Saturday, February 8 During Black History Month

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor will welcome Hawaii’s own Tuskegee Airman Philip Baham, Dr. Dorothy Goldsborough, and a panel of Black History experts, as they discuss the stories and the legacy of the first African-American military aviators who served during WWII. The Hangar Talk, “Tuskegee Airmen Then and Now” is Saturday, February 8, 2014, 2 to 4pm in the Museum Theater.

Members of the Tuskegee Airmen (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Members of the Tuskegee Airmen (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

The panel discussion will begin at 2pm, followed by an audience question and answer session. A Meet and Greet with the panelists will follow at 3pm. The event is free with regular Museum admission and free to Museum Members.

One of the original WWII Tuskegee Airmen, Philip Baham was drafted into the Army Air Corps at 21 years of age and served as crew chief assigned to the 377th Composite Group at Tuskegee Field. Despite facing the racial injustice prevalent throughout his career, Mr. Baham continued to serve his country, achieving the rank of TSgt in the newly formed United States Air Force. Mr. Baham received a number of medals and commendations for his service. He is a founding member of Hawaii’s Artis-Baham-Goldsborough Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen and is a volunteer docent at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.

Dr. Dorothy Goldsborough is a Professor Emerita at Chaminade University and a lecturer at University of Hawaii Manoa. She is the wife of the late Romaine Goldsborough, another documented original Tuskegee Airman who served in the 332nd Fighter Group during World War II.

For more information, call (808) 441-1007, email Education@PacificAviationMuseum.org or visit online www.PacificAviationMuseum.org.

“The Tuskegee Airmen” Symposium at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

Honoring the African-American aviators of WWII, The Tuskegee Airmen Symposium will be held at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor from 2 to 4pm Sunday, January 15, 2012, in the Museum’s Theater. The event is free to Museum members and included in the price of regular admission for non-members. General admission tickets may be purchased online at PacificAviationMuseum.org. For more information call 808-441-1007.

One of the aircraft the Tuskegee Airmen flew, with their recognizable red paint on the tail.

The Red Tail documentary film will be shown. Keynote speakers will be Dr. Dorothy Goldsborough, University of Hawaii professor and wife of a Tuskegee Airman, and former Tuskegee Airman Phillip Baham. MSgt Chandra Mark, president of the newly formed TIA Hawaii organization will give updates on the Hawaii chapter, the Artis-Baham-Goldsborough Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.

A panel discussion will follow, with Dr. Goldsborough, Mr. Baham, and LtCol Brian Hill, the Commander of the 99th Air Refueling Squadron at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American pilots who fought in World War II, were the first African American military aviators in the United States military. Initially equipped with Curtiss P-40 Warhawks, the group also flew Bell P-39 Airacobras, Republic P-47 Thunderbolts, and North American P-51 Mustangs.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is open 9am to 5pm daily and is accessed by air-conditioned shuttle buses from the Arizona Memorial/Pearl Harbor Visitor Center parking area. For general information, phone 808-441-1000 or visit www.PacificAviationMuseum.org for tickets, information, and to download a coupon for a free combat simulator flight.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization which is dependent on its members, volunteers, and donors for support.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor To Welcome Tuskegee Airman Norman Artis Monday, February 7

Media Release:

Visiting Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor on Monday, Feb. 7, 11am, will be Norman Artis, a late-generation Tuskegee Airman (stationed in Turkey during the Cuban Missile Crisis), who served in the aftermath of the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the swearing in of Lyndon Johnson. He was also a special guest of President Barack Obama, when the Tuskegee Airmen were invited to the inauguration. The Airmen’s presence at the ceremony was significant, he said, “because we have to keep the legacy going.”

Members of the Tuskegee Airmen (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Previously, while in Hawaii on vacation, Artis realized there was no Hawaii chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, so, he’s back to establish one. The Tuskegee Airmen were the young men who enlisted to become America’s first black military airmen, at a time when there were many people who thought that black men lacked intelligence, skill, courage and patriotism.  Their heroism is now legendary.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is open 9am to 5pm daily and is accessed by air-conditioned shuttle buses from the Arizona Memorial parking area. Daily, visitors from all over the world view the vintage and jet aircraft, enjoy hands on technology experiences including combat flight simulators, hear moving stories told by docents, and see “a date which will live In infamy” through historic films and audio. The museum gift shop and restaurant are unique in their offerings and their authentic 1940s ambiance. Phone (808) 441-1000 or visit www.PacificAviationMuseum.org for tickets, information, and to download a coupon for a free combat simulator flight. Purchase tickets online to avoid the lines at the Arizona Memorial/Pearl Harbor Visitor Center ticketing windows.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization which is dependent on its members, volunteers, and donors for support.