The Class of 2019 visited Tuskegee University and the historic Moton Field in Tuskegee Alabama this year during our summer program. The day will filled with history teaching moments as the students learned more about the journey of the Tuskegee Airmen and General Daniel Chappie James Jr. The class picture is underneath the F-4 fighter Jet flown by General Chappie James. The students also toured the Tuskegee Airmen National Park at Moton Field where the story of the famed airmen is told through video with personal accounts from some of the surviving airmen themselves. We would like to thank the Pensacola Police Department and the Pensacola Tuskegee Alumni Club for sponsoring this trip for the students. They had a wonderful experience as well as the staff.
The Pensacola Chapter of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge honored the Chappie James Flight Academy with the Liberty Bell award. The event took place on March 5th at the Pensacola Yacht Club. Board members Mike Griffin, Mike Fowlkes and staff member Miles Wright were on hand to receive the award. While we do not look for recognition this award is a reflection of all the hard work of our team members, supporters and volunteers who believe in this program. We accept this award on behalf of all of you. Thank you to the Pensacola Chapter of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge for recognizing our contributions to the Pensacola community.
Pensacola has a rich history of African American aviators. Most of them served or are serving in the military sevices as pilots. Most of us have heard of General Daniel Chappie James Jr. and his story but most have never heard of Lt James Polkinghorne Jr. Lt Polkinghorne is a graduate of Washington High school. Lt Polkinghorne was attending Florida A&M University when he joined the Army Air Corps and became part of the famed Tuskegee Airman class of aviators. He served as a fighter pilot and was part of the famous 332 fighter group. Unfortunately Lt Polkinghorne disappeared and lost his life during a combat mission over Italy on May 5th 1944. The Chappie James flight academy would like to salute and thank Lt. James Polkinghorne for his service and personal sacrifice. He is part of Pensacola African American aviation history. His story is told is a new book called Lost in Heaven by Leo Murphy.