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Red Tail Squadron Exhibit to Visit Bowling Green

The board of Aviation Heritage Park is excited to announce we have contracted to bring an educational and uplifting exhibit to Bowling Green—the CAF Red Tail Squadron—June 6th through June 9th.  The South Central Kentucky community has been so supportive of AHP we feel this is a way for us to give something back. The Red Tail Squadron, which consists of a P-51C Mustang, Tuskegee Airmen, and the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit.

The rare P-51C Mustang is one of only four like it still flying.  It has a bright red tail and it is a key part of an educational mission.  That mission is to help people—particularly young people—understand and appreciate the history and legacy of a special group of black pilots who flew airplanes sporting bright red tails as they
fought the Nazis during WWII—the Tuskegee Airmen.

The RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit—Housed in a 53’ long semi-rig, contains a 30-seat temperature-controlled movie theater with a 160-degree screen.  Every 45 minutes, it will run a 30-minute movie that highlights who the Tuskegee Airmen are, and how they overcame obstacles to be allowed to train and fight as U.S. Army Air Corps pilots, how more than 10,000 other black men and women also trained hard to support the pilots, and what the courage and determination they exhibited then still means to all Americans today.  The movie will also give viewers a feel for what it’s like to pilot a Mustang!

The AHP board recognizes and appreciates the tremendous support we have received from individuals, organizations, and businesses in Bowling Green and the surrounding area, and sponsoring this exhibit is our way of giving back to the community.

The RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit will arrive on Tuesday, June 5th, and will be set up at the Greenwood Mall Sears Wing Parking Lot.  The entire exhibit will be free to the public through noon on June 9th.  The Mustang will arrive at the Bowling Green/Warren County Airport on June 7th or 8th, depending on pilot availability, and will be on static display through noon on June 9th.  The P-51C Mustang is flown by pilots who are also airline pilots, and their schedules are not firm at this point.

Aviation Heritage Park’s annual hangar party will be held this year on Saturday, June 9th at the airport, and our theme will be The Tuskegee Airmen.  The RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit and the Mustang will be part of the displays for the hangar party, which begins at 5:00 PM.

The CAF Red Tail Squadron, a volunteer-driven organization that is part of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), completed a $1 million restoration of the P-51C Mustang—named Tuskegee Airmen—in 2009 and the airplane has been on the air show circuit ever since. At each stop, its pilots and crew take every opportunity to tell audiences the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first black fighter pilots to serve in the U.S. Air Corps (now U.S. Air Force) and the thousands of other black men and women who supported them.  Audiences are spellbound as they hear how, after training at the segregated base in Tuskegee, Alabama, the black pilots and their crews were deployed first to Africa and then to Italy where they distinguished themselves as American military aviators.  With determination and skill, they proved that black men had the courage and intelligence to fly and fight effectively against the Axis powers, particularly the Germans.  The Tuskegee Airmen painted the tails of their fighters red, and bomber pilots began requesting the “red tail angels” as escorts to protect their “big heavies” from the German fighters sent to disrupt their missions.  The Tuskegee Airmen flew more than 15,000 combat sorties and earned hundreds of medals and designations, including the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007 in honor of their war service to the United States.

The Aviation Heritage Park board is proud to have this opportunity to bring such a historic, educational and encouraging exhibit to Bowling Green and encourage you to put this on your calendar and we would love to have you join us at this year’s AHP Hangar Party… our yearly fundraiser that allows us to find, restore and display aircraft that tell significant South Central Kentucky aviation stories.

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