Post Number: 1727
|Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 4:20 pm: || |
According to both papers, a $32 million dollar goal has been set for a museum to honor the Tuskegee Airmen at what has been described as a "rejuvenated" hanger at old City (CAY) Airport.
Wrong amount and wrong location in my book.
Do these men deserve a museum and should they be so honored? YES to both questions.But 32 million for a "rejuvenated" hanger is not feasible, and why out there?
I say erect it at the Yankee Air Museum. It is the natural venue as the YAF museum is also rebuilt following its tragic fire. The YAF has previously honored these men at their open houses. I have had the honor of meeting some of these pilots at airshows not only at the Yankee, but in Penn.,NY and Florida. You are not going to draw the crowds out to CAY that you will get at the Yankee, and I will venture to wager that you will get thousands more people touring a Tuskegee air museum at Yankee in just 4 days (the two open houses and the two day air show )that you will get in a full year at CAY.
These men deserve to be honored not just locally, but regionally, state-wide and nationally, and the Yankee Air Museum draws a national audience each and every year.
I can't think of a worse result than to sink that kind of money into an old hanger at City and end up with a limited attendance. That is no way to honor these pilots. Erect it where it will be appreciated and attended.
This undertaking deserves much more thought and study regardless of the fund-raiser presently set for next month at the Chas.H. Wright museum.
Post Number: 863
|Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 6:25 pm: || |
Does seem odd to have it at DET. Is the only reason for doing it there just because it is an airport? I mean if you had to put it in the city at least set up some sort of museum space in the cultural district, no?
Post Number: 867
|Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 9:24 pm: || |
The $32 million comes from the idea that every African American will donate $8.
Post Number: 127
|Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 9:36 pm: || |
so are there only 4 million African Americans in the country? At 8 bucks a pop, that's the number of people that would have to donate.
Post Number: 151
|Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 9:37 pm: || |
They should put it with the new Willow run museum that is just starting to be rebuilt. Astounding the fact that they never lost a bomber on a mission. Thats incredible!
Post Number: 795
|Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 9:48 pm: || |
Tuskegee Airmen want $32-million museum to land in Detroit
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs .dll/article?AID=/20070427/OPI NION02/704270408
Post Number: 3833
|Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 11:50 pm: || |
Rock, you make a sensible point and as someone who has enjoyed what the YAF has presented I applaud their efforts.
But I could see how others would note there is a major airport from the era named after a Tuskegee Airman, Coleman Young who as we all know went on to great fame. Some argument for Selfridge would be made too.
Add to that I can see how, from the Tuskegee airmens' POV, the lingering sting of 'we weren't welcome back then'. For instance...
quote:With the riot of '43 in the background the 477th was shuttle away from Detroit to KY and then IN. They found the same segregation and discriminations in both locations. Led by Coleman Young in 1945 they demanded their rights and engaged in walk-ins of segregated officer clubs, triggering the so-called Freeman Field Mutiny.
Origin of the 477th Bombardment Group (M)
Continued pressure from African-American civilian leaders led the Army to let blacks train as members of bomber crews, a step that opened many more skilled combat roles to them. On June 1, 1943, the Army created the 477th Bombardment Group Medium (M) to train African-American aviators to operate the B-25J Mitchell twin-engine medium bomber; but it did not activate the unit until January 15, 1944.
Under the command of Colonel Robert R. Selway, Jr., a white officer, the 477th began training at Selfridge Field near Detroit, Michigan. Although the 477th had an authorized strength of 270 officer crew members, only 175 were initially assigned to Selfridge, a circumstance that led many of the black trainees to believe that the Army did not want the unit to advance to full combat readiness. However, it should also be said that all new air groups activated during World War II began with a core cadre of officers around whom the entire group was subsequently built.
The 477th also suffered from morale problems stemming from segregation at Selfridge. Colonel Selway's superior, Major General Frank O’Driscoll Hunter , commander of the First Air Force, insisted on strict social segregation of black and white officers. Although Army Regulation 210-10, Paragraph 19, prohibited any public building on a military installation from being used "for the accommodation of any self-constituted special or exclusive group", thereby requiring officers' clubs be open to all officers regardless of race, the club at Selfridge was closed to black officers, a situation that led to an official War Department reprimand being issued to the Selfridge base commander, Colonel William Boyd.
Post Number: 515
|Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2007 - 6:49 am: || |
I am not a member of the Tuskegee Airman (you don't have to be Black to be a member), but I've know several of them including General Lucius Theus. The Detroit Historical Society held its annual ball several years agoin the hangar the Tuskegee Airmen lease at Coleman A. Young Municipal Airport (former City Airport).
My guess is one reason for chosing City Airport may be due to the flying program they have for youngsters with several modern trainers housed at CAY Municipal. The new Yankee Air Force Museum is too far away from their demographic center, which is the inner city.
And, they want to be able to exhibit the aircraft they flew. To do so at the Yankee Air Museum they would be just a small part of a large collection.
Who in this thread can tell us more about the present day Tuskegee Airmen organization - unlike the Grand Army of the Republic they accept new members and should not die out.
Post Number: 1730
|Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2007 - 6:10 pm: || |
I can see the logic expressed by others and have respect for their opinions as to location of the proposed Museum. The connection to CAY airport and the late mayor is quite understandable, as is concern as to the location of the YAF museum, a tad far to the West of the "inner city".
I just look on this undertaking as more than a "Detroit project", as these men should be honored by all colors and at all locations across the nation.
I will support their endeavor wherever the final venue is determined, and it looks like CAY is the choice.
Post Number: 103
|Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2007 - 10:39 pm: || |
Don't they already have a museum on the Fort Wayne property, or is the first building on the right inside the entrance to the Fort not that and something else? Why not incorporate it into the grounds of the Fort, where they can display static aircraft in an existing military setting? I agree that they weren't very welcome then, but this is 2007-get over it already and accept the fact that people are trying to honor them, even if it is too late!
To locate it anywhere but in the inner city is a mistake in my opinion, as most of those that did serve their ranks did come from the city-not the burbs. Most were initially trained at Selfridge, too, so why not a museum there?
It is also a myth that "they never lost a bomber to enemy fire".
This is a direct quote from Wikipedia:
"While it had long been said that the Redtails were the only fighter group who never lost a bomber to enemy fighters, suggestions to the contrary, combined with Air Force records and eyewitness accounts indicating that at least a few bombers were lost to enemy fire, resulted in the Air Force conducting a reassessment of the history of this famed unit in the fall of 2006."
I have additionally read this in other historic accounts of actual battle debriefings, but I will say that they were indeed brave and overtly courageous men who did what no one else could have done despite constant harassment and ridicule. To say anything less would be a discredit to their service and sacrifices.
Here is a link to their official website-
Hitler and Goering both feared them so, they gave them a special title-the ""Schwarze Vogelmenschen," or "Black Birdmen." They were the pride of almost all bomber escort services provided by the U.S. Army Air Corp, and were the most often requested escort group of all.
The museum should be where the people who honored and accepted them the most actually live.
With the advent of the restoration of Fort Wayne at hand, why not put it there? There is plenty of space to park their aircraft for static display west of the current NCO/Officer's row, as they flew P-40 Warhawks first, followed by P-47 Thunderbolts and finally P51 Mustangs. They are all small aircraft that can easily be contained in that area or when the hospital building is finally torn-down later this year, they could go adjacent to their current Museum building right at the entrance to the Fort, where everyone could enjoy them.
Post Number: 2070
|Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 2:44 am: || |
quote:It is incredible - it's not true. Records show they lost at least 25 bombers.
Astounding the fact that they never lost a bomber on a mission. Thats incredible!
Post Number: 95
|Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 7:21 pm: || |
Good luck getting that money raised anytime soon.
I think getting current kids saved in the city should be a higher priority.
Post Number: 516
|Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 10:50 pm: || |
Plymouthres asked why not keep just keep the museum at Historic Fort Wayne - the reason is an aviation musuem is much more meaningful with flying aircraft ala the Confederate and Yankee Air Forces, plus the Detroit Tuskegee Airmen have a flight training program for junior members.