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USS Hornet To Honor Tuskegee Airmen

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Join the USS Hornet Museum in honoring two local World War II Tuskegee Airmen veterans at a special presentation followed by a meet-and-greet.

The presentation begins at 1 p.m., Sat., March 15, on board the USS Hornet, 707 W Hornet Ave, Pier 3 in Alameda. The event is part of museum’s recurring feature called, Living Ship Day and includes innumerous activities scheduled throughout the day, beginning at 11 a.m. The museum comes to life as an operating aircraft carrier with flight simulations from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Watch as aircraft are lifted to the flight deck and placed in launch position. Visitors can meet former crew, sit in the cockpit of a fighter jet and enjoy the sights and sounds of naval aviation.

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American pilots to fly for the military during World War II. Officially they were part of the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Forces. But they became known as the Tuskegee Airmen because they were based in Tuskegee, Ala. In spite of encountering racial discrimination both within and outside the military, the Tuskegee Airmen trained and flew with distinction. In recognition of their efforts and bravery, the Tuskegee Airmen were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

The guest speakers include:
• Lt. Burl Smith of Oakland. Mr. Smith who trained in the Fighter Program for P-51.
• Sgt. Clyde Grimes served in the intelligence bureau of the Tuskegee Airmen. He also lives in Oakland.
• Historian Dave Cunningham will lead the panel discussion. His father, John O. Cunningham, was a Tuskegee Airman. Dave received his pilot’s license in Tuskegee in October 2003, almost 60 years after his father completed his flight training. Dave currently serves as the Tuskegee Airmen Chapter President in the Bay Area.

Admission is $16 for adults, $13 for seniors, military personel and student with ID, and $7 for children 5-17. Children under 5 and museum members are free, as is parking. Any other Tuskegee veterans will be given complimentary admission to the Museum that day.

For information, visit www.uss-hornet.org.