Tuskegee Airmen will be honored Sunday

June 05, 1996|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Maryland Air National Guard will honor World War II's famed Tuskegee Airmen at 3 p.m. Sunday at Martin State Airport, 2701 Eastern Blvd. in Middle River.

The Tuskegee Airmen -- members of the all-black 99th and 302nd Squadrons -- compiled a distinguished combat record in more than 1,500 missions over Europe and North Africa.

Among veterans of the two squadrons at the tribute will be guest speaker Ira O'Neill, one of the original Tuskegee pilots. O'Neill left the service as a first lieutenant at the war's end. He rejoined later and spent 30 years in the Air Force as a noncommissioned officer before retiring at his officer rank.

The Tuskegee Airmen were highly decorated for actions that included shooting down or damaging 409 enemy aircraft and never losing a bomber they were escorting in more than 200 missions -- the only fighter unit to accomplish that.

Pub Date: 6/05/96

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