The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron, America’s tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, is teaming up with the CAF Florida Wing to bring its RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit mobile theater and WWII P-51C Mustang aircraft to DeLand March 17 - 22. The exhibit is a unique FREE opportunity for all ages to experience the inspiring story of the Tuskegee Airmen – America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel. Three days will be dedicated for a special showing at a local school, with an open house scheduled Saturday March 21 and Sunday March 22 for the general public at the CAF Florida Wing hangar.
In addition, the CAF Red Tail Squadron’s P-51C Mustang will be on static display along with several other vintage warbirds from the CAF Florida Wing. It is a rare treat for attendees as it is one of only a few like it still flying. The aircraft are part of a fleet of 162 warbirds collected and flown by the CAF, the largest “flying museum” in the world.
“As a fomer aircraft commander and Naval officer, I know the role education plays in making good citizens,” says Woodie Sprouse, Wing Leader of the CAF Florida Wing. “I saw the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit at an air show and I knew I had to find a way to bring this experience to DeLand. There are kids who need to hear this message, and we are bringing the inspiration straight to them.”
The RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit will spend three days of the event exclusively at Southwestern Middle School in DeLand. Students will learn about the CAF Red Tail Squadron’s guiding Six Principles – Aim High, Believe In Yourself, Use Your Brain, Be Ready To Go, Never Quit, Expect to Win – and how they can be applied to their own lives.
The exciting RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit is a fully functional movie theater featuring the original short film “Rise Above,” designed to take the audience on a journey through time – and then through the air. Visitors get an intimate look at the struggles and challenges faced by the Tuskegee Airmen, who showed extraordinary courage and strength of character as they fought for their right to serve our country during WWII. The theater’s dynamic 160-degree panoramic screen creates the sensation of being in the cockpit soaring above the clouds in the P-51C Mustang, experiencing the excitement and thrill of flying breath-taking aerobatic maneuvers. It’s much more than a history lesson; the Tuskegee Airmen’s ability to triumph over adversity serves as a means to inspire others to RISE ABOVE obstacles in their own lives and achieve their goals.
“The Red Tails were my kind of guys. They went through all sorts of adversity and they were my heroes,” said Harry Van Iderstine of New Smyrna Beach, a US Army veteran of the Korean War and longtime supporter of the CAF Red Tail Squadron. “I’m looking forward to this event. What the Red Tail Squadron is doing is great and I hope they get the opportunity to change lives with their message.”
The CAF Florida Wing hangar is located at 1570 Old NDB Road in DeLand. Entrance to the mobile theater is FREE!
About the CAF Red Tail Squadron
The CAF Red Tail Squadron is a volunteer-driven 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to educating audiences across the country about the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel. Their three-fold outreach program includes an authentic, fully restored WWII-era P51C Mustang, the signature aircraft of the Tuskegee Airmen; the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit 53’ mobile theater featuring the original panoramic film “Rise Above”; and educational materials and programs for teachers and youth leaders. The CAF Red Tail Squadron is part of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). To learn more about the organization, it’s mission or to become a donor, visit www.redtail.org or follow the Squadron on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cafredtailsquadron.
About the CAF Florida Wing
The CAF Florida Wing is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization part of the Commemorative Air Force. Their mission is to educate current and future generations of Americans to value and support the contributions of military aviation in assuring our nation's freedom. Their hangar, located in DeLand, Fla., houses the groups restored Beechcraft T-34A, a vintage military training aircraft. Learn more at www.caffl.org.
About the Commemorative Air Force
Collecting and flying warbirds for over half a century, the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is the largest flying museum in the world. The CAF is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to honoring American military aviation history through flight, exhibition and remembrance. The organization feels this is best accomplished by keeping the aircraft flying. The CAF has approximately 11,000 members and a fleet of over 160 airplanes assigned to 70 units across the country. These units, comprised of CAF volunteer members, restore and operate the planes, which are viewed by more than 10 million spectators annually. Visit www.commemorativeairforce.org or call (877) 767-7175 for more information.