Just in time for Black History Month, the Vacaville Museum will host the second installment of its Aviation Forum speaker series, which will discuss the history of the first Black military aviation group.
The presentation on the Tuskegee Airmen will be delivered by local Vietnam War veteran and Tuskegee Airmen expert Aubrey Matthews this Saturday.
The Tuskegee Airmen was a group of primarily Black airmen who served during World War II at a time when the American military was still largely segregated. They were educated at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, often faced discrimination within the military, flew more than 1,800 missions and were awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations. In 2007, they were awarded a Congressional Gold Medal in 2007 by then-President George W. Bush.
Matthews graduated from Vallejo High School in 1966 and served in the Vietnam War as an airframe technician in the Air Force from 1967 to 1971.
“Mr. Matthews (sic) interest in The Tuskegee Airmen began through his own extensive military career, where he fostered a love for not only aviation but history,” museum officials wrote in a news release.
Following his military career, Matthews worked at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Travis Air Force Base and the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. He also served as president, historian and Young Eagles coordinator of both the Lee A. Archer, Jr. chapter of Tuskegee Airmen Inc., at Travis AFB and the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1230 at Nut Tree Airport.
“Aubrey has spent years traveling to exhibits and meeting Tuskegee Airmen, in order to collect information and knowledge about their legacy,” officials wrote. “To celebrate Black History Month, and acknowledge the remarkable contribution that The Tuskegee Airmen made in the fight for equality in the military, as well as honor their service to our Country, Aubrey will be discussing the formation of their unit, as well as how it impacted the air force and US history.”
The event will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Vacaville Museum, 213 Buck Ave. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. The speaker series is being held in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibit, “Solano Skies: A History of Aviation in Solano County.”
For more information, call 447-4513 our email [email protected].
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