Warplane Museum develops the Tuskegee Airmen exhibition | Lifestyles

GENESEO – The National Warplane Museum and the Kiwanis Club of Southwest Rochester will be hosting an 8 am to noon breakfast flight on September 6, Labor Day, at the museum, 3489 Big Tree Lane, off Highway 63. The event will raise money to help fund a new permanent exhibit in honor of Tuskegee Airmen which is slated to open in the fall.

The breakfast menu includes pancakes, eggs, sausage, coffee and juice. The cost is $ 8 for adults, $ 5 for children, and free for children 4 and under.

The exhibition will be dedicated to the memory of Charles Price, member of National Warplane and Kiwanis, and Wallace Higgins, member of the National Warplane Museum. Price and Higgins were both Tuskegee aviators.

Charles Price was a Tuskegee Airmen pilot who flew missions in Italy. He was also Rochester’s first black police officer, reaching the rank of captain. Price died in May.

Price’s daughter, Charlene, is expected to be at the overhead breakfast. His goddaughter, Tina Chapman DaCost, is a professor at the Diversity Theater at the Rochester Institute of Technology and recently filmed a movement at the Warplane Museum about Tuskegee. She is also expected for breakfast.

“Tuskegee Airmen” refers to the men and women, African Americans and Caucasians, who participated in the “Tuskegee Experience,” an Army Air Corps program launched on March 22, 1941, to train African Americans to fly and fly. to maintain combat aircraft. Tuskegee Airmen, who trained as a separate unit at an air base in Tuskegee, Alabama, included pilots, navigators, bombers, maintenance and support personnel, instructors and all personnel who kept the planes in the air.

Tuskegee Airmen have shown that African Americans can fill roles beyond the mess or supply depot. It also helped pave the way for the desegregation of the military, with the airmen standing out in all respects on air combat missions in Europe.

Almost 1,000 men trained as combat pilots and hundreds fought in Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa. They flew thousands of missions, or “sorties,” escorting bombers – with exceptionally few casualties.

The last of Tuskegee’s squadrons was deactivated on July 1, 1949, according to a timeline compiled by Daniel L. Haulman for the Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

Higgins, known to many as “Wally”, was the father of retired Livingston County Superintendent Don Higgins.

Wallace Higgins enlisted in the US Army Air Corps at the age of 18 and was selected to be part of the Tuskegee experience. Higgins spent 11 months at Tuskegee before a slowdown in the war in Europe resulted in a decrease in pilot training at Tuskegee. He was then transferred to the 1909th Engineers Aviation Battalion and served in Saipan and Okinawa before being honorably released in March 1947 as a staff sergeant with F Squadron, 3505th Army Air Force.

“I just saw everyone the same way. It was a shock when I reached Fort Dix and they said, ‘You’re going over there’ … and it was all colored, and even those skin tones were varying, ”he said. -he declares.

About his training at Tuskegee, Higgins said in the interview: “I never thought it was historic, not at all. I knew the fact that we were apart didn’t feel right. We were people in the same department, fighting the same enemy. Why did we have to go our separate ways?

An act of Congress in 2006 won the Congressional Gold Medal for all participants in the Tuskegee experiment from 1941 to 1949. The medal was presented collectively in 2007 at a ceremony at the United States Capitol at which assisted approximately 300 Tuskegee Airmen and their families.

Breakfast ends a busy weekend at the museum, which includes the Museum’s Living History Day on September 4-5. Every day there are historical reenactments, military vehicles, a book sale, thefts and other activities. The event has been offered for several years.

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