From WILL - Focus -

Chanute Air Force Base’s Tuskegee Connections

Did you know the Tuskegee Airmen, the first all-black group of fighter pilots to see combat in the US military, started their training in Rantoul, Illinois? This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about Chanute Air Force Base’s connections to the Tuskegee Airmen and will learn more about the Commemorative Air Force’s Red Tail Squadron, who will be giving an air show in the area this weekend.

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(Duration: 52:01)

the restored Mustang fighter plane

the restored Mustang fighter plane

This hour on Focus, we’ll take a look back at East Central Illinois’ connections to the first all-black group of United States fighter pilots with Jim Eldridge, former education director at the Octave Chanute Air Museum in Rantoul. Brad Lang, a professional pilot who volunteers with the Commemorative Air Force’s Red Tail Squadron also joins us. His dad, Donald, served with the Tuskegee airmen in WWII.

Host Jim Meadows also talks with Doug Rozendaal who’s been involved with the CAF Red Tail Squadron since its inception, and has overseen two restorations of a Mustang plane that he'll fly into Chanute on Friday. Tragically, the second restoration of the plane was inspired by the Tuskegee Airmen’s story in more ways than one. We’ll talk with both pilots about flying a vintage plane and about why they volunteer so much of their time to keep the memory and story of the Tuskegee Airmen alive.

Do you have questions about Chanute’s connections to the Tuskegee airmen? Maybe their story inspires you...we’d love to hear from you this hour on Focus!

Categories: History