Tuskegee Airmen's Plane Takes Final Flight | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Tuskegee Airmen's Plane Takes Final Flight

Play associated audio
Capt. Matthew Quay is a former bomber pilot who bought the damaged plane on eBay and restored it over three years with help from his wife.
Armando Trull
Capt. Matthew Quay is a former bomber pilot who bought the damaged plane on eBay and restored it over three years with help from his wife.

Nearly 100 surviving veterans of the Tuskegee Air Corps gathered in Washington to mark their 70th anniversary. The reunion coincides with the donation of an important piece of their history to the Smithsonian museum.

Six years ago Air Force Captain Matthew Quay bought a badly damaged crop duster, on E-bay, never knowing it was a piece of history.

He later learned 1944 biplane was one of the few surviving planes used to train the legendary Tuskegee Airmen; African- American soldiers who broke racial barriers in World War II by becoming the first blacks to fly planes.

"My wife and I sat down and talked about it and we decided to dedicate the airplane in their honor and we thought, well, what should we name the airplane, and Spirit of Tuskegee came up," said Quay.

The restored plane brought back memories for Col. Leo Gray, a Tuskegee airman.

"It was a wonderful experience especially the first time you went up by yourself, my instructor said let me out of this thing, go kill yourself," said Gray.

Quay planned to do a flyover salute down the Potomac over the 80 surviving Tuskegee veterans. He's donated the plane to the Smithsonian museum of African American history.

NPR

Not My Job: Brady Bunch's Florence Henderson Gets Quizzed On Weird Science

For decades, Florence Henderson, who presided over the Brady Bunch, was America's perfect Mom. We'll ask Henderson three questions about the Ig Nobels — awarded for real, if ridiculous, research.
NPR

Tracing A Gin-Soaked Trail In London

Around the world, new gin distilleries are popping up like mushrooms after a rain. NPR traces the boom to its historic roots in London, which once had 250 distilleries within the city limits alone.
NPR

Ranting And Throwing Papers: An Angry Candidate Runs For Congress

State Rep. Mike Bost's rants on the Illinois House floor are the stuff viral dreams are made of. Bost says he has good reason to be upset, and wants voters to share his anger.
NPR

Tech Week: Voice Mail Hang-Ups, Apple Pay And Zuckerberg's Chinese

In this week's roundup, Apple rolls out its mobile payment system but confronts a security test in China, the problem with voice mail messages and Mark Zuckerberg shows off his Mandarin.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.