(Los Angeles, CA – January 13, 2016) — Continuing a legacy of courage and commitment to issues of social justice and equality, the Tuskegee Airmen in 1978 created a fund aimed at providing scholarships for deserving students, the financially challenged, as well as the children of servicemen. These undergraduate scholarships serve to supplement the heavy financial burden of freshmen students entering college and are offered without regard to race. Applicants are required to be graduating high school seniors with a grade point average of 3.0 and above and must meet application guidelines.
The Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation (TASF) has granted over 1,300 scholarships totaling more than $1.7 million to help needy and deserving students pay for college. Each year the Foundation presents $1,500 scholarship awards to 40 students nationwide who instill the ideals, leadership and commitment as exemplified by the Tuskegee Airmen. In addition, the Foundation provides the Della H. Raney Nursing $2,000 scholarship named after the first chief nurse assigned to the Tuskegee Air Field and the Levarn Adger Air Force Junior ROTC scholarship named after an Aerospace Science instructor in Columbia, South Carolina.
The Foundation places particular emphasis on students who will pursue careers in aviation, aerospace, and science technology, which honor the living and deceased members of the Tuskegee Airmen who gallantly served their country. The deadline for 2016 applications is January 26th. Scholarship information and support for the Foundation’s work can be processed by visiting www.taisf.org or by calling their office at 213.742.9541.
Tuskegee Airmen boilerplate – During World War II a group of courageous, talented and patriotic Black men did something that many proclaimed they lacked the intelligence to do —they became the first Black pilots to serve in the U.S. Army Corps. Labeled the Tuskegee Airmen, these brave men had to overcome racism and prejudice that for years had kept them out of the vital role of protecting coveted air and ground territories.
In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the Army Air Corps to form an all Black-flying unit. The Air Corps opened a new training base at Tuskegee Institute in central Alabama in order to train the African American pilots needed for the new squadron. As a result the 99th Pursuit Squadron was created. Captain Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. became the first African American to solo an aircraft as an U.S. Army Air Corps officer on September 2, 1941.
The number of Tuskegee Airmen eventually grew to encompass over 996 airmen with some 16,000 support personnel including nurses, mechanics, ground crew, air traffic controllers, meteorologist, stenographers, armorers and other support personnel. These young men and women served to establish the first Black combat aviation unit trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field and other locations. The Tuskegee Airmen became one of the most recognized military units serving in World War II.
The original documented Tuskegee Airmen, many now in their nineties, will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Tuskegee Experience, marking the occasion on March 22, 2016. A yearlong celebration is planned with special events occurring across the city of Los Angeles. Commemorative donations in recognition of the Tuskegee Airmen’s Scholarship Foundation are being accepted through the organization’s website www.taisf.org or by calling their office at 213-742-9541
Watch The 33-minute Tuskegee documentary on the Tuskegee Experiment directly below.
For additional information:
Edward Grice, Executive Director
Tuskegee Airmen Foundation