XCOR to Fly Tuskegee Airman to Edge Of Space

Tuskegee Airman To Fly To Edge Of Space
Aero-News.net

In recognition of African American contributions to equal rights and aviation, Mojave, CA-based XCOR Aerospace presented Tuskegee Airman Le Roy Gillead, of San Francisco, with a ticket for a ride to the edge of space. The presentation took place during the University of California Riverside’s 5th annual celebration of the Tuskegee Airmen, titled, “Voices of the Tuskegee Airmen and Airwomen.”

“XCOR’s efforts to make space flight affordable are made possible only because we have inherited a tradition of freedom and aviation excellence,” XCOR CEO and founder, Jeff Greason said at the ceremony. “We established the Legacy Flight program to thank those persons and groups that have helped build this heritage.

“Our first award goes to the Tuskegee Airmen who volunteered to defend our nation even though they were treated as second-class citizens at home. Their outstanding performance in combat paved the way for the 1948 order by President Harry Truman to desegregate the nation’s armed services and this in turn was an important step forward for civil rights within the United States.”

Greason presented the Legacy Flight ticket to Le Roy Gillead, who was one of the 401 original Tuskegee Airmen. Gillead served as a triple-rated navigator, bombardier, and aerial gunner and was assigned to the 477th Bombardment Group, which flew the B-25 Mitchell medium bomber. He was involved in the Freeman Field Mutiny, in which black officers faced court martial for attending a segregated white officers’ club.

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