The Tuskegee Airmen are a unique group of veterans who overcame racial discrimination and segregation within the US Armed Forces, and who became one of the most successful aviation groups in Europe during WWII. It was the Wish of a Lifetime for four Airmen from Dallas TX: Lieutenant Calvin S., Captain Claude P., Staff Sergeant Homer H., and Flight Officer Robert M. to return to Moton Field in Tuskegee, AL where their military training began. Ronnie D., Vice President of the Dallas Chapter, came to Wish of a Lifetime will this Wish for the 4 amazing airmen and without his help this amazing trip would have never happened.
These four Airmen have not had the opportunity to return to Moton Field since they concluded their service after WWII. Until the formation of the Tuskegee Airmen there were no African-American military aviators. Jim Crow laws still plagued many states making it difficult for African-American men to enlist and serve the USA during WWII. Moton Field in Tuskegee, Alabama is where their journey from recruits – of a program designed to fail – to decorated airmen first began. They have heard the emotional stories of other airmen who had the privilege to visit Moton Field, now a national historic site, and hope to one day follow in their footsteps. In doing so they seek to commemorate the service and sacrifice of all their fellow Airmen. Each of the four Airmen has a unique service record.
Flight Officer Robert M. was member of the 447th Bombardment Group and was involved in “The Freeman Field Officer Club Incident” which eventually led to the integration of all officer’s clubs and other military facilities previously off-limits to Black officers.
Captain Claude P. was a primary flight instructor of some of the most decorated Tuskegee Airman and who trained over 300 pilots to fly PT-13’s, PT-17’s and PT-19’s. He was the first Black officer to be trained and commissioned at the Air Force Pilot Training Program at Randolph Air Force Base.
Staff Sergeant Homer H. worked as a Mechanic earning military badges in Airplane and Engine Mechanics. He was invited to participate in the Presidential Inaugural Parade of President Harry S. Truman.
Lieutenant Calvin S. was a P-47 pilot, he was a member of the 100th Fighter Squadron and flew 26 combat missions directly under the command of the legendary Benjamin O. Davis, before completing his tour in Italy. There is no better way to commemorate that service than by sending them back to where it all began.
On Friday September 14th, 2012, Wish of a Lifetime sent out all 4 Airmen along with family and friends to Tuskegee, AL. The reception the Airmen received at Montgomery Airport was unlike anything we had done before in large part because of Ronnie’s involvement. Ronnie contacted Maxwell Air Force Base who sent over 100 Maxwell personnel and honor guard to greet the veterans, the Montgomery Fire Department saluted the Airmen’s plane with an arch of water from their hoses, the mayor was on hand to personally thank each Airmen for his service, students from Tuskegee University were on hand, and to top it all off a Tuskegee Airmen Motorcyle club provided a motorcade for the Airmen’s bus to their hotel. On Saturday September 15th the Airmen went back to Moton Field Historical Site where they enjoyed a private tour of the facilities. Again Ronnie’s involvement made the tour that much more exciting. The President of Tuskegee University was in attendance as well as local CNN reporters. It was a trip these 4 amazing men will never forget and it was only made possible with the overwhelming help from Ronnie D. who knew these gentlemen and wanted to make their Wish of a lifetime a reality.