Two Tuskegee Airmen to Speak at Community College of Philadelphia's Northwest Regional Center, March 15

PHILADELPHIA, March. 05, 2010 —Eugene J. Richardson Jr. and Roscoe Draper, two Tuskegee Airmen who were the first African-American pilots to fly for the U.S. Army Corps during World War II, will speak at 7 p.m., Monday, March 15 in Room 216 at the College’s Northwest Regional Center, 1300 W. Godfrey Avenue.

The event, which is sponsored by the College and Alvernia University’s Office of Multi-Cultural Initiatives, is by invitation only and is not open to the general public. It will feature Richardson and Draper speaking about fighting two battles – one overseas and one against racism at home in the United States.

The Tuskegee Airmen were part of the 332 Fighter Group. They flew during a period when African-Americans were often limited to non-skilled positions in the military. Their accomplishments continue to be recognized more than six decades later. In March 2007, the airmen were collectively awarded the Congressional Gold Medal – the most prestigious medal Congress has to offer.

During the award ceremony in Washington, D.C., President Bush saluted the airmen. "These men in our presence felt a special sense of urgency. They were fighting two wars. One was in Europe and the other took place in the hearts and minds of our citizens," Bush said during a ceremony in which he joined some 300 airmen, widows and other relatives at the Capitol Rotunda.