HARRISBURG – A bill sponsored by Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) that would designate March 29 of each year as “Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day” in Pennsylvania passed unanimously in the House of Representatives on Monday. House Bill 2586
will next be considered by the Senate.
“These brave pilots not only fought air battles abroad, but also the battle of prejudice in the military and in our country itself,” said Boback during her floor remarks relating to the bill. “Many of these men resided in the Commonwealth either before or after the war, thus I find it especially important that Pennsylvania honors both their accomplishments and legacy with a special day of recognition.”
The Tuskegee Airmen were the first group of African-American military aviators, fighting with exemplary courage and distinction during World War II. Despite facing rigid racial barriers and constant segregation, these airmen were among the most accomplished and effective pilots of the entire war. Upwards of 900 pilots who graduated from Tuskegee Airfield flew 1,578 missions and 15,533 sorties, destroying 261 enemy aircraft and earning themselves more than 850 medals, collectively.
Boback noted that March 29 is a special day for the Tuskegee Airman. On that day in 2007, President George W. Bush presented the group with the Congressional Gold Medal. March is also the month when the first squadron of airmen was activated.
During her floor remarks relating to the bill, Boback acknowledged her two co-prime sponsors of the legislation, Reps. Carol Hill-Evans (D-York) and Dan Williams (D-Chester).
Boback serves as majority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.
Representative Karen Boback
117th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs