South St. Paul, Minn. (June 15, 2011) – The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Project has changed its name to the CAF Red Tail Squadron. The change from Project to Squadron reflects the current status and mission of the group as an active volunteer-driven association of the Commemorative Air Force, a non-profit organization. The CAF Red Tail Squadron is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen - America's first black military pilots and their support personnel.
In existence since 1993, the CAF Red Tail Squadron uses a restored World War II P-51C Mustang fighter like those the Tuskegee Airmen flew over Europe as a tool to tell the Airmen's story at air shows across the country. In 2011, the Squadron will bring to fruition the RISE ABOVE traveling exhibit that will be housed in a 53-foot mobile exhibition and share the Airmen's inspirational story.
"Over time the CAF Red Tail Project has evolved into something larger than a 'project'- it has become a group of individuals with a shared vision to tell the story of the Tuskegee Airmen in such a way that it brings to life their struggle against adversity," said CAF President/CEO Stephan Brown. "The CAF Red Tail Squadron RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit and the P-51C Mustang will tour the country sharing the Tuskegee Airmen's achievements through overwhelming adversity to encourage and inspire today's children to Rise Above their own challenges in life."
The CAF Red Tail Squadron RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit will bring public awareness of the Tuskegee Airmen by taking their story off the airport to the young people and exposing them to an immersive educational experience. The exhibit will house a 30-seat movie theater with a 180-degree screen and travel to air shows, schools, youth gatherings and malls where visitors can sit in climate-controlled comfort to enjoy an experience documentary about the Tuskegee Airmen created by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Adam White.
"Our mission has always been focused on educating people about Tuskegee Airmen. They were talented and courageous aviators who were fighting the Nazis in the air and the military's segregationist policies on the ground during World War II,” said Bradford Lang, leader of the CAF Red Tail Squadron. “The Airmen and their crews painted the tails of their fighters red and, as they proved their skill and daring in the skies over Italy and Germany, white bomber pilots stepped back from their own prejudices and began requesting the 'red tail angels.' Adding the word "Squadron" to our name reflects the fact that hundreds of people support our desire to tell the Airmen's story by making donations and volunteering."
The CAF Red Tail Squadron RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit is scheduled to be introduced at AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., July 25-31, 2011.
About the CAF: Collecting, restoring and flying vintage historical aircraft for more than half a century, the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) ranks as one of the largest private air forces in the world. The CAF is dedicated to Honoring American Military Aviation through flight, exhibition and remembrance. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has more than 8,000 members and a fleet of 156 airplanes distributed throughout the country to 74 units located in 27 states for care and operation. For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org or call (432) 563-1000. For more information about the CAF Red Tail Squadron, visit www.redtail.org.