What A Time!
If you missed it you missed an opportunity to celebrate one of the most courageous, patriotic and unsung heroic events in American History and to meet three of the original historical Tuskegee Airmen.
Hosted by “Our Story, Inc” and the Nevada Air National Guard with assistance from Cinemark, and sponsored by Northern Neveda International Center, this event started on January 19, 2012 with an up-close reception attended by the Tuskegee Airmen and students participating in the Historic Black Colleges and Universities program.
On January 20, 2012 the celebration continued with a well received presentation by the Tuskegee Airmen, Nevada Air National Guard, Our Story. Inc. and Washoe County School District at Pine Middle School at 9am that morning.
After a brief break our historic guest were tranported to the Nevada Air National Guard facility to be welcomed by many eager history seekers from the Northern Nevada community. This big day was topped off with the viewing of the premier of “Red Tails” at the Cinimark Theater near the intersection of Plumb Lane and Virginia. If you desire to learn more details about this event please contact Our Story, Inc. at 775.741.4869 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Once again Our Story, Inc. would like to extend a heart felt “Thank You” to all that participated in this wonderful event!
Tuskegee Airmen Biographies
Learn More About The Tuskegee Airmen
Learn More About The Filming Of Red Tails
What A Time! What A Time! What A Time! The Tuskegee Airmen Appreciation In Pictures
Mrs. Gloria Taylor TSgt. Boyd Taylor, USAF CMSgt. Lenard Lebaron Yates, USAF SMSgt. George W. Porter, USAF SMSgt. Walter M. Suggs, USAF
“Community, community, community!” SMSgt Torry Thompson
“I have never seen a crowd of such military or diversity here before”. Brg Gen Wm.Burk
The outpouring of love and respect by the Northern Nevada community over the two day visit of the Tuskegee Airman on January 19 and 20, 2012, was heart warming and historic. Over 400 people turned out at the public program at the Air National Guard and about 500 attended the first screening of “Red Tails” at Cinimark Theater on South Virginia and Plumb Lane. Approximately 60 Pine Middle School eighth graders,20 HBCU tour students, parents, educators, community officials, military families and history seekers all enjoyed the essence of the airmen who, in turn, were enchanted with Our Story, Inc., Nevada Air Guard, Washoe County School District and the City of Reno. What a time of sharing, caring and understanding it was.
A special thanks go out to Nevada National Guard: Brigadier General Robert Fitch, Brigadier Gen William Burks, Colonel Ondra Berry SMSgt. Torry Thompson, Major April Conway, TSgt Garcia, TSgt Gilliam and Jewell- DV Escort. A special thanks also goes out to all those men and women who hosted so graciously: Cinemark Corporation, Donna Bradford (TX); Colleen Batchelor and Rick Martinez (Century Park Lane 16), Plaza on the River and staff, Washoe County School District, Sue Davis, Brad Boudreau, Shyl Irigoin and all the social studies faculty.
The youngest (born 1925), CMSgt. Lenard Yateswas certificated in Inventory Management, Inventory Management Supervision, Civilian Air Mechanic Training (working on P47’s and P51’s), and the Engineering, Science and Management War Training Course, Lenard also received pilot training and a Pilots License in 1944 . Released from his duties as Airplane Mechanic at Tuskegee Institute November 20, 1945, Lenard enlisted in Army Air Corp and from December,1945 – 1975, was assigned to different Air Bases where his primary specialty was USAF Supply Specialist . On August 31, 1975, he retired from active duty and Reserves after 30 years. At Northrop Aircraft Corporation (Hawthorne, CA) in 1976 he coordinated and provided training to Royal Saudi Air Force personnel as Inventory Management Specialist. Q5 McDonnell Douglas Services, Inc. (St. Louis, Missouri) as Maintenance Material Control Supervisor, Foreign, he coordinated all phases of training for Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) trainees.
The eldest, TSgt. Boyd Taylor (born 1918), was drafted in July, 1942, into U.S. Army Air Corpsgoing through basic training at Fort Bennings, Georgia, and assigned to Hendricks Field, Florida, where he attended Air and Engine School. On August 2, 1946 Boyd was assigned to 318th Army Air Force Base Unit, Lockbourne Army Air Base, Columbus, Ohio, and then to 477th Composite Group at Lockbourne, performing as Airplane Maintenance Technician and Airplane Power Plant Mechanic. Later he served with the 332nd Fighter Group (Lockbourne) until October 1949. On April 12, 1951, upon promotion to Technical Sergeant, he received assignment to Hamilton Air Force Base (California) where he was placed in flying status as Aerial Engineer on B29’s and C47’s, participating in regular and frequent flights as a crew member on flights monitoring radar operations from Canada to Mexico. After over 20 years of service Boyd retired October 2, 1963, from military service and began a second career as Mobile Equipment Metal Mechanic at the Presidio Army Base, San Francisco, retiring in July 1983 after a total of 37 years of Military and Civil service.
SMSgt George Porter, born 1921, entered basic training at Fort Francis E. Warren in Wyoming; he was selected to be a Tuskegee Airman in December of 1942, serving as an airplane and engine mechanic at Lincoln Army Air Field (NE). In June of 1943 he returned to Tuskegee as the Crew Chief on the P-40 and AT-10 as well as the Squadron Inspector on the AT-6, P-40, P-39 and AT-10 aircraft. Next, mastering the B-25, he became the Test Flight Engineer and Maintenance Inspector with the 477th Bombardment Group. He did not see combat; having ranked 50th in a field of 780 mechanics, he was retained stateside to train other airman. Post-war he volunteered as part of the “after war clean-up team” in Guam. As a member of the GAMA Inspection team, responsibilities included inspection of bomb storage areas, aircraft and equipment waste for corrosion defects. Duty included Tinian, the island where the atomic bomb was assembled and placed on a B-29 “for delivery”. Stateside, Sgt Porter served at bases in Texas and Mississippi and then in civilian dress as an inspector in Vietnam.
The airmen were accompanied by SMSgt Walter M. Suggs, Chapter President of the George S. “Spanky” Roberts Chapter, Tuskegee Airmen Inc., Sacramento CA.