During World War II, from June 1943 through April 1945, they flew 1,578 missions, 15,533 sorties, destroyed 261 aircraft and earned 850 medals. They were the Tuskegee Airmen, African-Americans who were members of the U.S. Army Air Corps, championed by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt yet segregated from the rest of the troops. Trained at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Ala., they were pilots, instructors, navigators and mechanics.
NBAA will bestow its highest award, the Meritorious Service to Aviation Award, to members of the Tuskegee Airmen squadron on October 31 during the NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla. The legendary group of black aviators successfully battled discrimination and adversity as they defended the U.S. in World War II. “We are honored to present this award to these storied aviators, who in a time of great peril defended the U.S. and its principles, even as they faced intolerance at home,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen.
GE Aviation has broken ground on a new jet engine components factory in Auburn, Ala. The 300,000-sq-ft manufacturing plant will produce precision, super-alloy machined parts for GE jet engines that will power future commercial and military aircraft and support the fleet of GE jet engines already in service.