Tuskegee Airmen

Essential Pittsburgh
3:36 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Remembering Wendell Freeland

A fighter plane, that was used by the Tuskegee Airmen during their efforts in World War II. Wendell Freeland was a bombardier for the Airmen.
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh attorney and pioneering civil rights leader Wendell Freeland died Friday, January 24 at age 88. Mr. Freeland was one of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen.

Essential Pittsburgh spoke with him in 2012 about his experiences in the segregated services during World War II and whether he questioned why he was fighting for a country where he was treated like a second-class citizen.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:04 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Tuskegee Airmen Honored with a New Pittsburgh Monument

One of the famous "Red Tail" planes, flown by the Tuskegee Airmen in WWII
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

This week marks the opening of the Tuskegee Airmen Exhibit at the Pittsburgh airport as well as the installment of a memorial at Sewickley Cemetary, commemorating those who served during World War II in the all black branches of the Army Air Corps. More than 100 members of the 332nd fighter group and 477th bombardment group came from the Western Pennsylvania region.

Wendell Freeland, one of the four surviving local Airmen, considered his fellow soldiers “the best and brightest.” And despite their completion of intensive military training, along with racial discrimination, the 477th bombardiers never saw combat.

“We were very disappointed. In fact, the whole group was almost completely demoralized because we were looking forward to helping our country overseas. When that bomb dropped, it killed our chances,” says former bomber pilot Edward Harris, referring to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

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History
3:30 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Tuskegee Airmen Get 'Overdue' Memorial Near Pittsburgh

An artist's rendering of the memorial to be unveiled Sunday at the Sewickley Cemetery.
Credit Tuskegee Airmen Memorial of Greater Pittsburgh Region, Inc.

They were officially known as the 332nd Fighter group and the 477th Bombardment group, but the world remembers them as the Tuskegee Airmen.

The memory of the first black military pilots is being honored throughout the region this week. On Thursday a new semi-permanent display honoring the corps was unveiled at Pittsburgh International Airport by county executive Rich Fitzgerald.

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