Dr. Eugene J. Richardson, Jr.’s presentation on the Tuskegee Airmen

The distinguished Dr. Eugene J. Richardson, Jr., who is wearing his Congressional Medal, speaks about the Tuskegee Airmen to a full house at the 25th AirFest air show at Naval Station Wildwood Aviation Museum, September 5, 2021. In addition to being a Tuskegee pilot, Dr. Richardson was a science teacher and a principal who mentored and inspired students.

Eugene Richardson on the Tuskegee Airmen

Their stories dramatized in George Lucas’ current film, Red Tails, the Tuskegee Airmen were an all African American pursuit squadron formed in 1941 and based in Tuskegee, Ala. Before 1940, African Americans were barred from flying for the U.S. military, but pressure exerted by civil rights leaders and the black press resulted in the Army choosing Tuskegee Institute, a black college founded in Alabama in 1881 by Booker T. Washington, to train African American pilots. Eugene Richardson was one of those pioneers and he shared his story at Vanderbilt Jan. 30.