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Icons of American History in Dothan: 4 Original Tuskegee Airmen

By: Rachel Yonkunas Email
By: Rachel Yonkunas Email
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Four historical figures visited Dothan on Friday evening. They were original members of Tuskegee Airmen—the group that formed the first fighter pilots in the United States Military during World War II.

The Wiregrass Affair Banquet recognized 11 honorees from the area, but all eyes were on the men who changed history.

“Their influence is astronomical. These are the people who integrated the United States' military, and also the first black aviators so how cool is that,” said Arit Essien, the Public Relations Officer for Tuskegee Airmen Atlanta Chapter.

The iconic men reminisced about World War two.

"We had a bomber capacity at that time and we were training for that. Pf course the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended that combat operation for us. So we continued on to the Korean conflict,” remembered Val Archer, an original Tuskegee Airmen.

“The first day I saw a plane, it was a wonderful feeling. There was a feeling of accomplishment,” said Hillard “Hill” Pouncy, Jr., an original Tuskegee Airmen.

Now, they are changing lives. Their summer camp opened aviation opportunities for children who have never been on an airplane.

“We taught them how to fly. So we put them in airplanes, we got them up in the sky; we gave them tours of delta airlines,” said Essien.

These men will continue to influence others and remain icons of American History.

There are a little less than 300 original Tuskegee Airmen still living.

To learn more about the Tuskegee Airmen's Atlanta Chapter's summer camp visit the link below.


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