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Tuskegee Airmen Remembered at Seymour Johnson

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Three Original Tuskeegee Airmen
SEYMOUR JOHNSON AFB — More than 50 years after theirinitial flight, the Air Force honored thefirst ever African-American pilot squadron and their leader MajorBenjamin Davis.

A special ceremony at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Saturdaysaluted the men who became known as The TuskegeeAirmen.

Airman Norris Washington believes it's important for the younger people toknow about where history has been, and especially the black youth becausethey need to know their heritage.

These fighter pilots have another distinction. They never lost anaircraft during battle. And the importance of these legendary aviatorswasn't lost even on the youngest of fans.

The main role of the Tuskegee Airmen was to escort bombers during WorldWar II. But it's their role in history that has changed the face of thearmed forces.

Captain Earl Odom says that the Tuskegee Airmen have been veryinfluential on him as an aviator on the F-15E. He hopes that the youngpeople adopt these kinds of men as heroes.

Other people attending Saturday's gathering at Seymour Johnson felt it anhonor to meet the gentlemen who contributed so much to Air Force historyand aviation-- a contribution that reaches beyond the history books andcould make today's children tomorrow's heroes.

Julia Lewis reporting

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