Mt. Vernon Register-News

January 16, 2014

History of Tuskegee Airmen to be presented


---- — MT. VERNON — A historical perspective of what it was like being an airman in World War II will be given Sunday at the Mt. Vernon Airport.

Dr. David Styles, an aviation-automotive historian and former member of the Royal Air Force, will be the featured speaker. The program will be held at 2:30 p.m. in the lobby at Koziara Terminal.

Styles will be providing a presentation of his book, “The Tuskegee Airmen and Beyond: The Road to Equality.” Styles has authored 21 books and won more than 30 international awards.

“The Hall of Honor and the museum guys are always trying to find ways

to be more educational, and one of the members Don Davis had met some of the Chicago DODO chapter Tuskegee airmen at Oshkosh. He found Dr. David Styles. He’s going to be in the area seeing relatives and so Don was able to put all this together, kind of like a speaker series for the Hall of Honor and museum,” said Airport Manager Chris Collins.

“He’s going to be talking about the Tuskegee airmen and what those guys went through in World War II. When I glanced through the book, he talked about those guys serving in the 1950’s and even into present day,” Collins said.

Davis, vice chairman of the Jefferson County Veterans Museum and Hall of Honor, said over a number of years he was able to meet some Tuskegee Airmen at Oshkosh. Davis also met Styles at a presentation he hosted in Centralia.

“Styles called me from California. He has relatives in the area and he was going to be here for three days,” said Davis. “I’ve seen his presentations before and came away very impressed. He is a true historian.”

Davis added, “We’ve got a beautiful museum and Hall of Honor here and he thought it would be a good venue for his presentation. I knew several of these airmen from Oshkosh, and if everything works out, four of them will be here Sunday.”

“I think this is a great opportunity for people to get a great lesson in history that they don’t get in high school or college textbooks.” Collins added.