Mar 29 2007

Shelby Honors Tuskegee Airmen

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) today joined the U.S. Congress in awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the Tuskegee Airmen. 

“I am proud to join the Congressional Leadership in honoring the brave and selfless contributions the Tuskegee Airmen made during World War II,” said Senator Shelby.  “This recognition is long overdue.  The Tuskegee Airmen have a remarkable military record and their contributions helped bring victory to our nation.  They put their love of country above all else to fight for their nation and the Congressional Gold Medal is a small token of our appreciation for their heroic actions.”

During World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen were credited with destroying 261 aircraft, damaging 148 aircraft, flying 15,553 combat sorties, and 1,578 missions over Italy and North Africa.  They destroyed or damaged over 950 ground transportation vehicles and escorted more than 200 bombing missions.  The Tuskegee Airmen, with nearly 1,000 members, are the largest group to ever receive the award.

The Gold Medal was awarded in the Capitol Rotunda today at 1:00 p.m. in a ceremony attended by Senator Shelby.