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Tuskegee Airmen to visit Newton

COVINGTON -- Members of The Atlanta Chapter Tuskegee Airmen are coming to Newton County to tell the story of the first black military aviators in the U.S. armed forces.

Good Hope Baptist Church, located at 1142 Ga. Highway 162 in Covington, and its pastor, E.J. Tomlinson, will welcome members of The Atlanta Chapter Tuskegee Airmen at noon April 10.

"They will talk about the history and the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen as a whole and about the chapter and our current initiatives," said Travon Dennis, public relations officer for the Atlanta chapter.

At least one of the original airmen, who served in World War II, will be present to give a firsthand account of his struggles and triumphs, Dennis said. There are 12 original airmen living in the Atlanta area, ranging in age from 82 to 90, he said. Other members of the chapter include prior military, civilians and students committed to promoting the airmen's legacy.

The presentation is free and open to the public, though a love offering will be requested.

"We like to do community events and thought this would be an educational and once in a lifetime opportunity. There are not many opportunities that you get to talk to a legend," said Jacquelyn McKenzie, pastor's aid and secretary at Good Hope.

"They have a real good presentation, for youth especially, telling them the many opportunities available in the aircraft line (of work), like being a pilot, machinist and mechanic ... so they give you other things to think about," McKenzie added.

The chapter also has a scholarship fund and summer camp for youth that will be discussed at the presentation.

The Tuskegee Airmen were America's first black military airmen at time when many people thought black men lacked skill, courage and patriotism.

They were trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Tuskegee, Ala. The first aviation cadet class began in July 1941. From 1941 through 1946, 994 pilots graduated.

The Atlanta Chapter Tuskegee Airmen was incorporated in Atlanta in 1976 as an education and community service organization dedicated to maintaining the traditions and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen.By Crystal Tatum

Staff Reporter

crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com

COVINGTON -- Members of The Atlanta Chapter Tuskegee Airmen are coming to Newton County to tell the story of the first black military aviators in the U.S. armed forces.

Good Hope Baptist Church, located at 1142 Ga. Highway 162 in Covington, and its pastor, E.J. Tomlinson, will welcome members of The Atlanta Chapter Tuskegee Airmen at noon April 10.

"They will talk about the history and the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen as a whole and about the chapter and our current initiatives," said Travon Dennis, public relations officer for the Atlanta chapter.

At least one of the original airmen, who served in World War II, will be present to give a firsthand account of his struggles and triumphs, Dennis said. There are 12 original airmen living in the Atlanta area, ranging in age from 82 to 90, he said. Other members of the chapter include prior military, civilians and students committed to promoting the airmen's legacy.

The presentation is free and open to the public, though a love offering will be requested.

"We like to do community events and thought this would be an educational and once in a lifetime opportunity. There are not many opportunities that you get to talk to a legend," said Jacquelyn McKenzie, pastor's aid and secretary at Good Hope.

"They have a real good presentation, for youth especially, telling them the many opportunities available in the aircraft line (of work), like being a pilot, machinist and mechanic ... so they give you other things to think about," McKenzie added.

The chapter also has a scholarship fund and summer camp for youth that will be discussed at the presentation.

The Tuskegee Airmen were America's first black military airmen at time when many people thought black men lacked skill, courage and patriotism.

They were trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Tuskegee, Ala. The first aviation cadet class began in July 1941. From 1941 through 1946, 994 pilots graduated.

The Atlanta Chapter Tuskegee Airmen was incorporated in Atlanta in 1976 as an education and community service organization dedicated to maintaining the traditions and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen.

For more information, visit www.atlantachaptertuskegeeairmen.com.

For more information, visit www.atlantachaptertuskegeeairmen.com.