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

What If You Hadn't Gotten Married? 'Dark Matter' Imagines An Alternate Life

Blake Crouch's new science fiction novel tells the story of Jason Dessen, a father and physics professor who suddenly finds himself in a parallel universe — in which he's unmarried and famous.
NPR

Japan's Lunchbox Trend 'Kyaraben' Takes Lunch Prep To Another Level

It's cute ... but is it too much cultural pressure?
NPR

As VP Nominee, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine Hits The Campaign Trail With Hillary

Hillary Clinton introduced Senator Tim Kaine as her vice presidential running mate at a huge coming-out party event in Miami. She called Kaine "my kind of guy."
NPR

The Reason Your Feed Became An Echo Chamber — And What To Do About It

It often feels as if social media serves less as a bridge than an echo chamber, with algorithms that feed us information we already know and like. So, how do you break that loop? We ask some experts.

Leave a Comment

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