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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 24 May 2006

Lt. Col. William Holloman III, USAF (Ret.)

Visitors to the Museum of Flight over Memorial Day weekend, May 27 through 29, will have the rare opportunity to view a Boeing B-17 bomber up close and meet local members of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen of World War II — the contingent of African American aviators who won wide acclaim during the war.

The event is free with museum admission. On Memorial Day, May 29, veterans and current U.S. military personnel will receive free museum admission.

Throughout the weekend, visitors can meet local Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. William Holloman III, USAF (Ret.) and Lt. Col. Leroy Roberts, USAF (Ret.); as well as four visiting Tuskegee Airmen: Lt. Col. William Ashby, USAF (Ret.); Lt. Col. Howard Baugh, USAF (Ret.); and Capt. Claude Platte, USAF (Ret.), who will share their experiences in a panel discussions at 2 p.m. May 27 and 28. Following the discussions, the speakers will sign autographs.

On Monday, May 29, visitors can participate in a formal Memorial Day ceremony featuring remarks by Tuskegee Airmen. During the ceremony, veterans will read the names of Washingtonians who have fallen while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In addition to the panel discussions and Memorial Day ceremony, the weekend's activities will include a fly-in by a visiting World War II Boeing B-17G bomber, hands-on family workshops, an honor guard from the Civil Air Patrol Overlake Squadron and special music performances.

The Tuskegee pilots achieved the unparalled distinction of never losing to enemy fighters a single bomber they were tasked with escorting. While the struggle to end discrimination and segregation in the U.S. military was a protracted one, the achievements of the Tuskegee Airmen stand as one of the most significant landmarks on the road to equality.

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