Article By: www.aero-news.net
Four Of The Unit's Original Members Head Back To The Site Of Moton Field
|As part of a special trip sponsored by a non-profit organization, Wish of a Lifetime and the Dallas chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., the men have been given the opportunity to visit the Tuskegee Airman National Historic Site at Moton Field. The group and their friends and loved ones will be given a private tour by the National Parks Services on Saturday morning.
Later, the men will take part in a public seminar to share the history and legacy of the airmen at the auditorium in the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Tuskegee University. The seminar, “An Evening with the Red Tails,” is being hosted by retired Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis, president of the Tuskegee chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.
Retired Staff Sgt. Homer Hogues (pictured, top left) was drafted into the military after he completed high school. After basic training, his orders were to go to Japan for clean-up duties. Upon the advice of a fellow airman and friend, his orders were changed and further testing resulted in Hogues’ assignment to the Tuskegee Airmen. At Lockbourne Air Force Base in Columbus, Ohio, Hogues was assigned to the famous 99th Fighter Squadron 332nd Fighter Group. He was a mechanic on airplanes with pilots such as Daniel “Chappie” James, who helped win World War II.
Retired Flight Officer Robert Tennerson McDaniel (pictured, top right) entered the military in 1943 and was accepted into the Aviation Cadet Training Program at Tuskegee Institute. He flew the TB-25J serving his country as a flight officer with the 477th Bombardier Group. McDaniel suffered an unjust court-martial and was put under house arrest because of his courageous resistance against racism and segregation. The charges were eventually cleared and he was honorably restored.
Retired Capt. Claude R. Platte (pictured, bottom left) served as a primary flight instructor, training over 300 blacks to solo and fly PT -13s, PT-17s and PT-19s. He was assigned to the 301st Fighter Squadron and the first black officer to be trained and commissioned in the newly reopened Air Force Pilot Training Program at Randolph Field Air Force Base, Texas the "West Point of the Air."
Retired Lt. Calvin Spann (pictured, bottom right) went into the Army Air Corps to start aviation cadet training in 1943. He was sent to Tuskegee, Ala. for training. Spann received his wings at Tuskegee. At the completion of training in 1944, Lt. Spann was sent to Italy and became a member of the 100th Fighter Squadron, a part of the 332nd Fighter Group under the command of Col. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Lt. Spann flew 26 combat missions before the end of the war in Europe.
(Image credit: www.aero-news.net)