Tuskegee Airmen stories to take flight at Quincy airport

The Tuskegee Airmen exhibit will be at Quincy Regional Airport in October.
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 9:20 PM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - Tri-State residents soon will have another chance to learn about World War II next month—this time in Quincy.

That’s when an exhibit about our country’s first black military pilots will rise above the Gem City.

Stories from the Tuskegee Airmen will soon take flight at Quincy Regional Airport.

Their bravery and determination still inspire people today, almost 80 years later. That’s why one of Quincy’s new elementary schools was named after one of those airmen.

Now the Quincy Masonic High Twelve Club hopes a new generation will learn skills to last a lifetime.

“He who does not know his history is doomed to repeat it, are condemned to repeat it,” Quincy Masonic High Twelve Club member Orville Jones said. “I think it’s very important for us to know where we’ve come from and what is taken for us to have the freedoms that we enjoy today.”

However, that’s not the only reason why you’ll find a traveling Tuskegee Museum at Quincy Regional Airport next month.

“The students who are coming to view the museum,” Jones explained. “They’re coming from the Colonel George Iles Elementary School in Quincy. Colonel George Iles was a Tuskegee Airmen born here in the Quincy area. I think it’s wonderful that we’re able to bring the kids to let them see a little bit about what he would have done.”

Organizers said the airmen’s stories can not only inspire all age groups, but are also applicable today.

“I think more than anything that I would like to see is all the adversity that Tuskegee Airmen went through just to be able to fly,” Quincy Masonic High Twelve Club member Clif Weisinger said. “Because back then, people thought black people couldn’t learn how to fly, and they were proved wrong.”

“I’d like to see people come away with a greater understanding of not only what they went through but what they were able to accomplish,” Jones said. “The Tuskegee Airmen were put down because they were thought to be inferior. For most of the pilots, when they saw the enemy come in, they ran. Tuskegee Airmen stayed and fought. I would like for attendees to come away with a greater respect for what the Tuskegee Airmen were able to accomplish.”

The exhibit will be at Quincy Regional Airport from Oct. 4 to Oct. 7 and open to the public on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

It will feature a 53-foot theater and aircraft flown during WWII.

Everyone is welcome. Free-will donations will be accepted.

For more information on the CAF Rise Above Organization, visit cafriseabove.org.

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