Minneapolis, Minn. – November 4, 2015 – The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron, America’s tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, attended Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) Air Show and Open House to participate in a flyover of the city to pay tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel. On October 29, spectators were treated to a flyover formation with a red tailed P-51C Mustang and a red tailed T-1A Jayhawk.
The 99th Flying Training Squadron (FTS), currently stationed at JBSA – Randolph, traces its origins back to World War II when it was constituted as the 99th Pursuit Squadron on March 19, 1941. Assigned to the U.S. Army Air Corps, it was the first African American flying unit and the first to enter combat. Today, the 99th FTS operates their T-1A Jayhawk painted with a red tail in homage both to their historic origins and to the P-51 Mustang, the signature aircraft of the Tuskegee Airmen in WWII. The Jayhawk is used in advanced training for students identified to go into airlift or tanker aircraft.
The joint flyover of the two “red tails” has been a work in progress for several years, and finally came to fruition as the CAF Red Tail Squadron and the 99th FTS had their first practice run together as they prepared to fly in formation in the JBSA – Randolph Air Show and Open House. The two aircraft were also featured side by side on static display during the event for up-close viewing.
“This historic flight was an important way for us to showcase and connect the legacy of the past to the present,” said Doug Rozendaal, CAF Red Tail Squadron P-51 Mustang pilot. “It was an exciting and rare opportunity to close a loop on the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen and we are very thankful to our friends with the 99th Flying Training Squadron for helping us to make this happen. We are both proud of and inspired by the Tuskegee Airmen and this was a great way to share that with the people of San Antonio.”
About the CAF Red Tail Squadron
The CAF Red Tail Squadron is a volunteer-driven 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to educating audiences across the country about the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel. Their three-fold outreach program includes an authentic, fully restored WWII-era P-51C Mustang, the signature aircraft of the Tuskegee Airmen; the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit 53’ mobile theater featuring the original panoramic film “Rise Above”; and educational materials and programs for teachers and youth leaders. The CAF Red Tail Squadron is part of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). To learn more about the organization, it’s mission or to become a donor, visit www.redtail.org or follow the Squadron on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cafredtailsquadron.
About the Commemorative Air Force
Collecting and flying warbirds for over half a century, the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is the largest flying museum in the world. The CAF is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to honoring American military aviation history through flight, exhibition and remembrance. The organization feels this is best accomplished by keeping the aircraft flying. The CAF has more than 12,000 members and a fleet of over 164 airplanes assigned to 70 units across the country. These units, comprised of CAF volunteer members, restore and operate the planes, which are viewed by more than 10 million spectators annually. Visit www.commemorativeairforce.org or call (877) 767-7175 for more information.
CAF Red Tail Squadron
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