New England Air Museum Expands Tuskegee Airmen Exhibit Spring 2023 – NBC Connecticut

Soon, inside the New England Air Museum, “The Tuskegee Airmen: Their Untold Stories” will be on full display.

Black fighter and bomber pilots were among the heroes of World War II, choosing to go to war to defend American interests, when their own nation did not grant them the rights and freedoms declared by their ancestors.

The fullness of their experience and sacrifice will be shown here when the exhibition launches in the spring.

“You will discover the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, who were they? They were amazing to begin with. They have been extraordinarily accomplished. What do we mean by that they fought two wars: one against the Germans at that time. The other against racism,” said Stephanie Abrams, president and CEO of the New England Air Museum.


NBC Connecticut

Abrams is among museum officials and supporters raising funds to help make the exhibit a reality next spring. Once opened, it will be the largest and most expensive exhibit in the history of the museum, which already has around 100 aircraft in its collection. Among the supporters was Bill Costen, board member and first black hot air balloon master pilot, who counts Tuskegee aviator Lemuel Custis among his friends.

The museum said the exhibit will be immersive, featuring videos, theater, uniforms and other artifacts. Already on display is a Boeing Stearman PT-17, which was the original aircraft the Airmen first trained in.

“Painted and restored exactly as it would have been when it served at Tuskegee Airfield. It’s a story one almost has to try to tell the public. To let them know there was a group called the Tuskegee Airmen and what they did and what they faced,” said Nick Hurley, the museum’s curator.



NBC Connecticut

As they support the exhibit, they interview and record surviving Airmen and their children.

“By highlighting these extraordinary accomplishments of these African American success stories and World War II giants, it really helps to uphold not only the injustice they faced, but the talent that is there when ‘given a chance, excellence will shine,’ said John W. Rogers Jr, chairman of Ariel Investments and son of aviator John W. Rogers.

To support the museum’s fundraising effort for “The Tuskegee Airmen: Their Untold Stories”, Click here.

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