Tuskegee Airmen To Receive Honorary Degrees Today

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Sixty-three of America's first African-American fighter pilots will receive honorary degrees from Tuskegee University today, as part of the Sixth Annual Tuskegee Airmen Convocation. The event recognizes the Tuskegee Airmen's exemplary combat performance during World War II, which included the destruction of 260 enemy aircraft while not losing a single bomber to enemy fire in more than 200 combat missions, a record unmatched by any other fighter group. The Tuskegee Airmen comprised about 1,000 pilots who trained at Tuskegee in segregated units from 1940 to 1946. Sixty-six airmen were killed in action, 32 were taken prisoner, and 850 medals were awarded to members of the group. Following today's convocation, the National Park Service, Tuskegee University and the Tuskegee Airmen will host a groundbreaking ceremony at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site at historic Moton Field airport, where the airmen trained.