November 21, 2013
Tuskegee Airmen Honored with Engen Trophy at D.C. Aero Club Event
WASHINGTON—Today, Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) First Vice President Capt. Sean Cassidy assisted with the presentation of the 2013 Donald D. Engen Aero Club of Washington Trophy for Aviation Excellence to the Tuskegee Airmen at the Capitol Hilton in Washington, D.C.
Upon introducing members of the Tuskegee Airmen, Colonel Charles McGee, Dr. Ivan Ware and William Fauntroy, Jr., D.C. Aero Club President Dave Castelveter said, “The Tuskegee Airmen overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of World War II. They proved conclusively that African-Americans could fly and maintain sophisticated combat aircraft. The Tuskegee Airmen's achievements, together with those of the men and women who supported them, paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military.”
ALPA First Vice President Capt. Sean Cassidy praised the Tuskegee Airmen’s “acts of extraordinary courage, professionalism, skill and intelligence”, adding that “the Tuskegee Airmen flew and fought in North Africa and Sicily and provided aerial combat support for Allied bomber missions over Europe. They received three Distinguished Unit Citations for their combat performance. Undoubtedly these notable accomplishments have helped to define a generation.”
While accepting the award, Col. McGee took a
moment to describe the years 1941-1946, when 992 African-American pilots were
trained; 450 were deployed overseas; and 150 died.
The Engen Trophy—named in honor of former Federal Aviation Administrator and U.S. Navy Admiral Donald D. Engen—is awarded annually to recognize lifetime achievements in aviation that have made a resounding difference.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing nearly 50,000 pilots at 32 airlines in the United States and Canada.
CONTACT: ALPA Media, (703) 481-4440, Media@alpa.org