MCAS Miramar ceremony honors first black pilots

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MIRAMAR, Calif. – The U.S. military’s first black pilots were honored Friday at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

Tuskegee AirmenMajor Gen. Steven W. Busby, the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing commander, spoke about the Tuskegee Airmen during Friday morning’s colors ceremony, according to 3rd MAW public affairs.

New signs designating a 3-mile stretch of Interstate 15 the “Tuskegee Airmen Highway” were unveiled at a ceremony at Miramar’s Officers Club.

The renaming honored the men “who faithfully served America while fighting the enemy in World War II and segregation at home,” according to a MCAS Miramar statement.

The I-15 stretch runs from Miramar to Mercy roads. Funding for new signage was raised by the Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Jr. Tuskegee Airmen Chapter in San Diego, which successfully lobbied the state legislature to approve the freeway renaming.

Three T- 34 aircraft performed a flyover followed by a WWII-era P-51 Mustang, of the type the Tuskegee Airmen flew in combat.

Sixty-six Tuskegee Airmen were killed in combat and another 33 were shot down and held as prisoners of war. Fourteen of them received the Bronze Star. In 2007, the Tuskegee Airmen were collectively awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.


  • Ron Brewington

    Greetings…I'm Ron Brewington, Tuskegee Airmen Historian…I noted several article errors:

    1. Paragraph 6, sentence 1 – "Sixty-six Tuskegee Airmen were killed in combat and another 33 were shot down and held as prisoners of war." – During their service with both the 12th and 15th Air Force during the period of June, 1943 to May, 1945, 68 Tuskegee Airmen fighter pilots (know as "Red Tails") were either killed in action or missing in action. Another 30 fighter pilots were downed or captured as POWs. Twelve other pilots were killed overseas in training accidents or non-combat related incidents, and four (4) enlisted persons were killed overseas while in the performance of their duties.

    2. Paragraph 6, sentence 2 – "14 of them received the Bronze Star." – Please note that 25 Tuskegee Airmen fighter pilots received the Bronze Star.

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