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Wed, Feb 03, 2010

Aero-TV: Red Tail Project Update – Taking the Mission to the People

The Red Tail Project Continues Effort Towards ‘Rise Above Program’

The Red Tail Project is a true example of this unbreakable spirit. In 2004, the project experienced a tragic setback when leader Don Hinz lost his life after the organizations P-51C Mustang suffered a catastrophic engine failure. The Red Tail Project quickly set forth an ambitious mission to restore the airplane and continue Don Hinz’s remarkable vision, to inspire youth and tell the story of the Tuskegee Airmen across the country.

The Red Tails, nicknamed for the red-painted tails that Tuskegee Airmen used to identify themselves, deployed to Europe, the Mediterranean, and North Africa. Forced to operate as segregated units, the 992 pilots were neither allowed to train, nor fight beside their white counterparts. Through their incredible dedication and skill, however, the Tuskegee Airmen quickly became one of the most requested fighter escorts, flying over 15,000 sorties in more than 1,500 missions. Their extraordinary combat achievements, vision, and dedication helped break the barriers of discrimination, despite all challenges.

Five years later, through the tireless efforts of its volunteers, the Red Tail Project unveiled the restored aircraft, Tuskegee Airmen, at EAA AirVenture 2009. With the plane flying once again, the organization turned its focus towards their next challenge, a program entitled “Rise Above.”  This traveling educational museum will allow the Red Tail Project to travel not just to air shows, but also to schools and malls. The message remains: aim high, believe in yourself, use your brain, be ready to go, expect to win, and never quit. The Red Tail Project has certainly exemplified that message over these last years.

NOTE:  Aero-TV would like to extend our condolences to the family of retired Air Force Lt. Colonel Lee A. Archer.  Archer, a Tuskegee Airman, was widely recognized as the only black U.S. Air Force Pilot/Ace.  He passed away on January 27th at the age of 90.  His courage will be remembered.



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