Red Wing, Minn. – June 13, 2018 –The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron, America’s tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, is proud to announce that Tuskegee Airmen Col. Charles McGee and Lt. Col. George Hardy will join them as special guests at EAA AirVenture July 23-28, 2018 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The group’s RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit mobile movie theater will be a featured attraction at the event’s KidVenture “Future Pilot” activity program to help inspire the next generation of aerospace professionals.
Col. McGee and Lt. Col. Hardy will make daily appearances at the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit to sign autographs, meet guests and give presentations on their experience as Tuskegee Airmen pilots of World War II. Dates and times will be announced soon and available in EAA AirVenture’s daily schedule.
“It is such an honor to enjoy the continued support of Tuskegee Airmen Charles McGee and George Hardy,” said CAF Red Tail Squadron Leader Doug Rozendaal. “For years these gentleman have lent their support to help us create a meaningful educational outreach program to tell the story of perseverance of their fellow Tuskegee Airmen. Having them join us at AirVenture is a privilege and we hope their presence makes a lasting impact on the families that come visit our RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit.”
The RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit is a FREE panoramic movie theater that inspires and educates all ages with the remarkable history of the Tuskegee Airmen. This immersive experience is housed in an air-conditioned 53’ semi trailer with expandable sides and equipped with a ramp and hydraulic lift to ensure access to all. Because of its dynamic 160-degree panoramic screen, the film creates the feeling of being in the cockpit soaring above the clouds in a P-51C Mustang, the iconic signature aircraft of the Tuskegee Airmen.
The Squadron’s rare P-51C Mustang will also be on static display in AirVenture’s Warbird Alley, a rare treat as it is only one of a few like it still airworthy. Come enjoy this museum without walls and be inspired by the Tuskegee Airmen to RISE ABOVE your own challenges.
EAA AirVenture, “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration,” will take place July 23-29. Learn more at eaa.org/en/airventure.
About Col. Charles McGee
While an engineering student at the University of Illinois, Charles McGee was sworn in to the enlisted reserved in October 1942 and earned his wings as a Tuskegee airmen in June 1943. He flew 136 combat missions during World War II, and achieved an aerial victory for downing a German Fw-190. He then became an instructor pilot for the North American B-25 Mitchell bomber for the 477th Bombardment Group – Tuskegee Airmen bomber pilots, navigators and bombardiers that were being prepared for war, but did not deploy due to the armistice with Japan.
McGee remained on active duty 30 years. He became a command pilot with over 6,100 total hours. He flew fighter aircraft combat tours in three major military conflicts, completing 409 missions for the Army Air Forces and the Air Force. He is the only known fighter pilot who has flown 100 or more combat missions in each of the following wars: World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
About Lt. Col. George Hardy
George Hardy graduated as a Tuskegee Airman pilot in September 1944 and flew 21 combat missions during World War II. After the War, he was recalled to service and flew 45 missions in the B-29 during the Korean War. In his career with the Air Force, he served in Strategic Air Command, Special Operations and other critical areas. He also earned a graduate degree in engineering. Lt. Col. Hardy then flew 70 combat missions in Vietnam, before retiring in 1971. For his service, his commendations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with 11 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster.
About the CAF Red Tail Squadron
The CAF Red Tail Squadronis committed to telling the inspirational story of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel. RISE ABOVE: Red Tail, their three-fold outreach program, includes an airworthy P-51C Mustang and the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit mobile theater. These two exciting and entertaining vehicles tour the country year round with stops at airshows, schools, museums and community events. In addition, the group curates and provides extensive educational resourcesfor students, teachers, youth leaders and anyone looking to learn more and be inspired by these remarkable American trailblazers. The CAF Red Tail Squadron is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization part of the Commemorative Air Force(CAF), a non-military group that restores and flies combat aircraft to remember the lessons learned from the defining moments in American military aviation history. Learn more at redtail.org.
Visit www.redtail.org/news-media-kitfor access to photos, footage and materials especially for the media.