AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) – Seven members of the Tuskegee Airmen are visiting the Air Force Academy at the same time a World War II trainer airplane stops there on a trip to one of the Smithsonian museums.

The seven airmen will be at the academy on Tuesday. They were members of the pioneering all-black 99th Fighter Squadron in World War II.

The Boeing-Stearman PT-13D trainer was decommissioned in 1946 and used as a crop duster for several decades.

In 2005, an Air Force captain bought the plane and restored it to flying condition. It’s now called “The Spirit of Tuskegee” and has appeared at air shows and used to publicize the Tuskegee Airmen’s legacy.

The plane will be among the inaugural exhibitions at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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