Tuskegee Airmen and T-1A Jayhawk Showcase Historic Flight Over San Antonio
The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron, America’s tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, attended Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) Air Show and Open House to participate in a flyover of the city to pay tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel. On October 29, spectators were treated to a flyover formation with a red tailed P-51C Mustang and a red tailed T-1A Jayhawk.
The 99th Flying Training Squadron (FTS), currently stationed at JBSA – Randolph, traces its origins back to World War II when it was constituted as the 99th Pursuit Squadron on March 19, 1941. Assigned to the U.S. Army Air Corps, it was the first African American flying unit and the first to enter combat. Today, the 99th FTS operates their T-1A Jayhawk painted with a red tail in homage both to their historic origins and to the P-51 Mustang, the signature aircraft of the Tuskegee Airmen in WWII. The Jayhawk is used in advanced training for students identified to go into airlift or tanker aircraft.
The joint flyover of the two “red tails” has been a work in progress for several years, and finally came to fruition as the CAF Red Tail Squadron and the 99th FTS had their first practice run together as they prepared to fly in formation in the JBSA – Randolph Air Show and Open House. The two aircraft were also featured side by side on static display during the event for up-close viewing.
“This historic flight was an important way for us to showcase and connect the legacy of the past to the present,” said Doug Rozendaal, CAF Red Tail Squadron P-51 Mustang pilot. “It was an exciting and rare opportunity to close a loop on the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen and we are very thankful to our friends with the 99th Flying Training Squadron for helping us to make this happen. We are both proud of and inspired by the Tuskegee Airmen and this was a great way to share that with the people of San Antonio.”
Click HERE for the more photos of this event.
Photos by Glenn Watson of www.MachPointOneAviation.com