Tuskegee Airmen to Visit JCC Friday

The Tuskegee Airmen – an elite group of African-American aviators during World War II – will be giving a presentation this Friday, February 8, at 10:30 a.m.

Nearly 1,000 fighter pilots trained as a segregated unit at an air base in Tuskegee, Alabama. Not allowed to practice or fight with their white counterparts, the Tuskegee Airmen distinguished themselves in combat throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, and North Africa, escorting bomber aircraft on missions and protecting them from the enemy. Dozens died in the fighting; others were held as prisoners of war. Despite this, not a single bomber was lost while under their escort.

“The presentation by the Tuskegee Airmen, taking place during Black History Month, also reminds us that Jews were proud to walk beside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on the Civil Rights March from Selma to Montgomery in 1965,” said Debbie Vinocur, JCC New Horizons Program Director.

“As Rabbi Avraham Heschel, who marched beside Dr. King, said, ‘All it takes is one person… and another… and another… and another… to start a movement.’ It is in this spirit that we invite everyone in the community to attend the presentation,” she said.

Today, the mission of the Tuskegee Airmen is to honor the accomplishments and perpetuate the history of African-Americans who participated in air crew, ground crew and operations support training in the Army Air Corps during WWII. They introduce young people across the nation to the world of aviation and science through local and national programs and provide educational assistance to students and awards to deserving individuals, groups and corporations whose deeds lend support to TAI’s goals. TAI also supports the Tuskegee Airmen Award presented to deserving cadets in the Air Force’s Jr. ROTC Program.

For more information, please contact Debbie Vinocur at (614) 559-6214 or dvinocur@columbusjcc.org.