Tuskegee Airmen Honored

Montgomery, AL (WSFA) Seventy-five years ago, the Tuskegee Experience began. The pilots and support personnel who established the first black combat aviation unit during World War II were honored and celebrated at a Montgomery, Alabama gala Tuesday evening.

The brave airmen fought our enemies in the skies and racism back home. Not only did the 16,000 men and women help win WWII, they opened the door for diversity in the armed forces. It’s been 75 years since the Tuskegee Airmen broke down the walls of segregation to fight for our country.

"I don’t judge a man based on the color of his skin because when you shoot a man on the battlefield, blood is red," says original Tuskegee Airmen James Shipley.

For George Hardy, the milestone is bittersweet.

"Not too many of us that actually flew overseas in 1945 are here. I may be the only one. I don’t know," said the retired USAF Lt. Col.

Time hasn’t diminished the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen and what they fought for, as Hardy points out. It’s still relevant today.

"Because we still have racial problems and kids are still trying to find their way in the world to get ahead, and we had to fight for what we wanted and prove to the country that we could fly," Hardy explained.

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