Troy University joined the City of Troy on Wednesday to honor the Tuskegee Airmen by unveiling a historical marker at the Tuskegee Army Air Field Hangar located at Troy Municipal Airport.
The Tuskegee Airmen, the nation’s first black military pilots, used the hangar, which originally located at Tuskegee Army Air Field.
When the training program ended, the Tuskegee Army Air Field’s three hangars went to municipal airports in Montgomery, Clanton and Troy. The Troy hangar remains largely unchanged from its use during World War II.
“We’re incredibly proud to have discovered this history and be able to mark it today with this ceremony and this marker,” said Walter Givhan, TROY’s Senior Vice Chancellor for Advancement and Economic Development. “The Tuskegee Airmen are true American heroes who forged a path in World War II as the first African-American pilots to fly for the U.S. armed forces. They faced prejudice at home and a formidable enemy in the sky, and they overcame all that adversity.”
Givhan, who also serves as chairman of the Alabama Historical Commission, learned of the hangar’s history from a friend at Air University. After some research, Givhan pushed for the hangar to receive a historical marker.
“This airport is very special, and the opportunity to honor such a historic group and our connection to them is very special, not only to me but to us as a community,” said Troy Mayor Jason Reeves.
Sheron Rose, a member of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce and the daughter of Tuskegee Airman Sherman T. Rose, said the hangar is a reminder of the legacy and sacrifice of the legendary pilots.
“They succeeded not because of, but rather in spite of the adversity and barriers that were placed before them,” she said. “While there are only a few still living, the legacy of the Red Tails is deep and wide.”