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Tuskegee Airmen and Airwomen Honored

UC Riverside Honors Legacy of Tuskegee Airmen

Celebrated pilot Col. Charles McGee will speak at the Nov. 6 event.

(October 29, 2010)

Col. Charles McGee

Col. Charles McGee

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Col. Charles McGee, who holds the record for the highest three-war total of fighter combat missions of any pilot in U.S. Air Force history, will deliver the keynote address when UC Riverside holds its sixth annual celebration honoring the Tuskegee Airmen on Saturday, Nov. 6, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. The event will be held in the rotunda of the Raymond L. Orbach Science Library.

The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required due to limited seating. For reservations, contact Carole Meyer-Reith at (951) 827-3221 by Nov. 1. Parking is $5.

The annual event honors men and women who were a part of the famed Tuskegee Experience at Moton Field, Tuskegee, Ala. The graduates of the program, which trained the first African-American pilots between 1943 and 1945, established an enviable record during World War II. The story of the airmen, recounted in the HBO film “The Tuskegee Airmen” (released in 1995 starring Laurence Fishburne), is being made into a film by “Star Wars” creator George Lucas.

UC Riverside established an archive to document the history of the airmen and airwomen in 2005 and has held an annual program since that time to recall and celebrate their history and accomplishments.

Col. McGee earned the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star and the Air Medal (25 times). Dr. Nancy Leftenant-Colon, the first black nurse in the Regular Army Nurse Corps, will also attend the event for the first time.

A reception will follow the program featuring an opportunity to meet Documented Original Tuskegee Airmen.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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