On Saturday, February 24, 2024 the American Airpower Museum (AAM) at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, New York, United States will celebrate Black History Month by honoring the memory of the Tuskegee Airmen and the men of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, US Army also known as the “Triple Nickels.” On February 18th, 1944, 16 soldiers from the 555th graduated training to become the first black paratroopers. On February 24th the AAM will dedicate a new exhibit honoring the “Triple Nickels” when, at 11:00 a.m., AAM volunteer and Airborne Living Historian Nick Casseus will give a talk about the unit and unveil the Museum’s new exhibit, a life-like mannequin of a “Triple Nickel” Smoke Jumper. In 1944 the “Triple Nickels” became the first line of firefighting, parachuting from C-47s to attack blazes in the Pacific Northwest started by Japanese incendiary balloons.
In addition to honoring the first black paratroopers of WWII, the museum will also honor the Tuskegee Airmen of the 332nd Fighter Group, USAAF by hosting two free screenings of the 2012 movie Red Tails starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard. Admission includes reserved seating. The first screening will be at 11:30 a.m. and the second screening at 1:45 p.m, with refreshments and snacks available for both. The Tuskegee Airmen were skilled African American pilots, whose success in their Mustang fighters while defending B-17s against the Luftwaffe’s fighters, persuaded U.S. President Harry S. Truman to desegregate the nation’s military after World War II. Reynard Burns, PR Officer for the Claude B. Govan Tri-State Tuskegee Airmen Chapter, will give a presentation about the Airmen and answer audience questions.
On January 11, 2001, the AAM dedicated one of the first ever permanent exhibits honoring the Tuskegee Airmen’s 332nd Fighter Group. Former NYS Governor George Pataki and a dozen surviving Tuskegee Airmen, including Roscoe Brown, Lee Archer and William Wheeler, gathered under a full-size replica of Archer’s P-51D Mustang Fighter for the dedication. This replica is still suspended from the museum’s Hangar 3 to this day. The AAM also operates a flying P-51D Mustang named Jaqueline. The P-51 Jaqueline flies regularly at the museum, and can be seen at airshows and events across the northeastern U.S.
What: American Airpower Museum Celebrates Black History Month
Where: American Airpower Museum, 1230 New Highway, Republic Airport, Farmingdale, NY
When: Saturday, February 24, 2024, 11:00 a.m.
Why: AAM’s Mission is to honor ALL men and women who served in the U.S. Military
How: Regular admission Adults $15 | Seniors/Veterans $12 | Children Ages 5-13 $10
The American Airpower Museum is an aviation museum located on the landmarked former site of Republic Aviation at Republic Airport, Farmingdale, NY. The Museum maintains a collection of aviation artifacts and an array of operational aircraft spanning the many years of the aircraft factory’s history.
The Museum is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Educational Foundation Chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. More info at: www.americanairpowermuseum.com