Eh? Red Tail joins Duluth Airshow lineupA restored P-51 Mustang fighter and exhibit on the Tuskegee Airmen have been added to the Duluth Airshow in tribute to Duluth resident Joe Gomer.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
A restored P-51 Mustang fighter and exhibit on the Tuskegee Airmen have been added to the Duluth Airshow in tribute to Duluth resident Joe Gomer.
Gomer was a pilot of the all-black World War II outfit, which helped break racial barriers in the U.S. military.
“A lot of youth don’t know much about World War II, let alone the planes that were flown in it,” Gomer said in a news release announcing the addition to the Sept. 22-23 show. “The P51C was the best plane I and my fellow pilots ever flew, and seeing it always brings back memories of friends, and of keeping our B-24 bombers safe.”
The CAF Red Tail Squadron, a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that is part of the Commemorative Air Force, completed a $1 million restoration of the Mustang, named Tuskegee Airmen, in 2009. The airplane has been on the air-show circuit ever since. The Red Tail name is a reference to the red-painted tails of the planes flown by the Tuskegee Airmen. Bomber crews often called the Tuskegee Airmen “red-tail angels.”
“I have seen many P-51 Mustangs fly over the years, but there is something to be said for the ones with the very distinctive red tail,” said Duluth Airshow President Ryan Kern. “It not only meant safety for many bomber pilots, but it also represented diversity in our armed forces that was hard fought for by the likes of Joe Gomer. He was just as willing to fight for his country as Richard Bong. They are both heroes. The red tail P-51 honors all the pilots who served.”
The red-tailed P-51 and “Rise Above” — a traveling exhibit focusing on what the Tuskegee Airmen had to overcome to fly and fight for their country during WWII — will be on display at no charge during the core hours of the air show.