FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jeff Stanford, 407.514.2145 (office), 407.421.8988 (mobile),
Mark Schaub, 407.514.2027 (office), 407.900.6275 (mobile),
Monument Groundbreaking Salutes Red Tail Pilots of the
Tuskegee Airmen on Anniversary of Last Mission
Three Central Florida Red Tail Pilots also
to be recognized
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, District 3 City
Commissioner Robert F. Stuart and representatives of Vision of Flight
and Orlando Science Center will honor the Red Tail pilots of the
Tuskegee Airman with a monument groundbreaking event on Tuesday, May 7
at 2 p.m. at Orlando Science Center.
The event honors the dedicated service of the Red Tail pilots on the
anniversary of their last mission. Three surviving Red Tail pilots who
call Central Florida home will be in attendance at the groundbreaking
and recognized at the event for their service: Lt. Col. Leo Gray, Lt.
Col. George Hardy and Lt. Col. Hiram Mann.
The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American military aviators in
the United States armed forces. There were 932 pilots trained at
Tuskegee, Ala., of whom 356 airmen were considered an elite group of
fighter pilots that were sent to various bases in Europe. Flying escort
for heavy bombers, the pilots earned an impressive combat record. The
Allies called these airmen "Red Tails" or "Red-Tail Angels" because of
the distinctive crimson paint predominantly applied on the tail section
of the unit's aircraft.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
District 3 City Commissioner Robert F. Stuart
Vision of Flight Executive Director Mike McKenzie
Orlando Science Center President and CEO JoAnn Newman
Red Tail Pilot Lt. Col. Leo Gray
Red Tail Pilot Lt. Col. George Hardy
Red Tail Pilot Lt. Col. Hiram Mann
Tuesday, May 7 | 2 p.m.
Orlando Science Center | 777 E. Princeton St., Orlando, FL 32803
During World War II, African Americans in many U.S. states were
still subject to the Jim Crow laws. The Tuskegee Airmen were subjected
to racial discrimination, both within and outside the army. Despite
these adversities, they trained and flew with distinction. The monument
to be announced on Tuesday will ultimately honor the legacy of the
Tuskegee Airmen and serve as an inspiration for future generations.
By honoring the past, we celebrate the future. The monument will offer
our community a symbol of courage and triumph over adversity that will
inspire them in their pursuit of academic success and careers in STEM
fields, such as aviation.