April 14, 2024
The Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr. animatronic subsequent to the Crimson Tail P51. Credit score: San Diego Air & Area Museum

The San Diego Air & Area Museum Friday opened its new everlasting exhibit “Breaking Boundaries,” honoring pioneering Black American aviators and astronauts all through historical past.

“The brand new ‘Breaking Boundaries’ exhibit is a pure everlasting extension of our longstanding salute to the Tuskegee Airmen by our P-51 Mustang, which is painted with their well-known distinctive Crimson Tail Squadron design, in addition to by the Black American innovating aviators we honor within the Corridor of Fame on show at our museum each day,” mentioned Jim Kidrick, president and CEO of the museum.

The centerpiece of the exhibit is an animatronic that includes the likeness of Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr. exploring the historical past of pioneering Black American aviators and astronauts, in response to the museum.

Davis grew to become the primary Black American brigadier common in the US Air Pressure throughout World Conflict II and was “instrumental in integrating the Air Pressure,” a museum assertion learn.

Whereas working on the Pentagon, Davis created the Air Pressure Demonstration Squadron, referred to as the Thunderbirds in 1953. Davis was inducted into the celebrated Worldwide Air & Area Corridor of Fame on the San Diego Air & Area Museum in 1996.

Along with Brigadier Common Davis, the women and men featured within the “Breaking Boundaries” exhibit embrace:

  • Vernice Armour: The primary Black American girl naval aviator and first feminine fight aviator in the US Marine Corps
  • James Herman Banning and his mechanic, Thomas Cox Allen: The primary Black People to fly throughout the US on Oct. 9, 1932
  • Guion Stewart Bluford Jr.: The primary Black American to journey to house on Aug. 30, 1983
  • Janet Harmon Bragg: The primary Black American girl to earn a business pilot’s license in 1942
  • Willa Beatrice Brown: The primary Black American girl to earn a pilot’s license inside the US and the primary Black American officer within the Civil Air Patrol
  • Eugene Jacques “James” Bullard: Flew for France throughout World Conflict I as the primary Black American army pilot
  • Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman: The primary Black American girl and first Indigenous American to obtain a pilot’s license on June 15, 1921
  • Mae Carol Jemison: The primary Black American girl to journey into house on Sept. 12, 1992
  • Lloyd W. “Fig” Newton: The primary Black American pilot in the US Air Pressure Demonstration Squadron referred to as the Thunderbirds
  • William Jenifer Powell: A pioneering advocate of Black aviation in the US

The exhibit and animatronic of Davis are positioned within the museum’s World Conflict II Gallery, which proudly shows a P-51 Mustang painted within the Tuskegee Airmen’s distinctive “Crimson Tail” Squadron design to honor the US Air Pressure’s first all-Black American squadron.

Metropolis Information Service contributed to this text.