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

Opulent And Apolitical: The Art Of The Met's Islamic Galleries

Navina Haidar, an Islamic art curator at the Met, says she isn't interested in ideology: "The only place where we allow ourselves any passion is in the artistic joy ... of something that's beautiful."
NPR

How New Jersey Tamed The Wild Blueberry For Global Production

In the past 10 years, the global blueberry crop has tripled. Yet the big, round commercial blueberry is a fairly recent innovation. It was created by breeders exactly 100 years ago, in New Jersey.
WAMU 88.5

Fannie Lou Hamer and the Fight for Voting Rights

Kojo explores the life and legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer, a poor Mississippi sharecropper who became an outspoken voice in the civil rights movement and the fight for voting rights.

WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys and Gal

Chrysler recalls cars to boost their cybersecurity. Microsoft debuts its new Windows 10 operating system. And navigation tech could bring us robotic lawn mowers. The Computer Guys and Gal explain.

Leave a Comment

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