American Airpower Museum Celebrates Black History Month
American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport in Farmingdale will celebrate Black History Month by honoring the memory of the Tuskegee Airmen and the men of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, also known as the “Triple Nickels.” On February 18, 1944, 16 soldiers from the 555th graduated training to become the first Black paratroopers. On February 24th, AAM will dedicate a new exhibit honoring the “Triple Nickels.”
At 11:00 a.m., AAM volunteer and Airborne Living Historian Nick Casseus, will give a talk about the Triple Nickels. He will unveil the Museum’s new exhibit, a life-like mannequin of a Triple Nickel “Smoke Jumper.” In 1944, the Triple Nickels became the first line of firefighting, parachuting from C-47s to attack blazes in the Pacific Northwest started by Japanese Incendiary Balloons.
The Tuskegee Airmen were skilled African American pilots, whose success in their Mustang fighters, defending B-17’s against Nazi Luftwaffe Messerschmitt’s, persuaded President Harry S. Truman to desegregate the military after World War II. Reynard Burns, PR Officer for the Claude B. Govan Tri-State Tuskegee Airmen Chapter, will give a presentation about the Airmen and answer audience questions.
In honor of the Tuskegee Airmen 332nd Fighter Group, AAM will have two free screenings of the 2012 movie “Red Tails” with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrance Howard. Admission includes reserved seating. First screening is at 11:30 a.m., the second at 1:45 p.m. Refreshments and snacks are available.