I am really proud of our graduates, current mentors and all our former participants of the General Daniel Chappie James Flight Academy. Pictured above are former students, academy director along with the son of General Chappie James Mr. Claude Spud James, his daughter Brittney James and son Ryan James. The night was filled with history, special guests and supporters. This is such a special community and I am honored to be from this great City. The board of directors would like to congratulate the Chappie James Museum on a fantastic opening and will support their efforts to make this city proud.
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.