HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force Academy names airfield in honor of Tuskegee hero

Airfield Naming

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein (far right), Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett (second from right), relatives of Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Jr., Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright (far left), Jay B. Silveria, U.S. Air Force Academy superintendent and other staff members unveil a mock-up of the Academy's new airfield sign Nov. 1, 2019. The Academy officially named its airfield in honor of Gen. Davis, an original Tuskegee Airman. (U.S. Air Force photo by Trevor Cokely)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AFNS) --

Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Jr., the first African American general in the Air Force, once said, “I could have been a teacher. I could have been a doctor or a lawyer, if I wanted to, but I didn’t – I wanted to be a pilot.”

His journey, marked by excellence and overcoming institutionalized racial barriers, was celebrated at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Nov. 1, during a ceremony to name its airfield in his honor.

A mock-up of the new airfield sign was unveiled in front of an audience that included Davis’ extended family, documented original Tuskegee Airmen and high-ranking military members, civil servants and cadets.

“His story and legacy of indomitable spirit will forever be enshrined on this airfield and is going to serve as an inspiration for generations of cadets,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein.

Davis is most widely known for commanding the 332nd Fighter Group and the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, earning a reputation for their skill while protecting American bombers. Prior to the war, Davis and his father were the only African American line officers in the Army. Neither were allowed to command or lead white service members.

His service, and the service of the Tuskegee Airmen, are linked to President Harry Truman’s decision to desegregate the armed forces.

Davis’ nephew, L. Scott Melville, said his famous uncle realized early in his career that protesting the system wouldn’t get him far, so he took a rather radical approach to the era’s rampant discrimination.

“His strategy would be to lead by example and eventually the others would follow,” Melville said. “It was a strategy that required a lot of determination and patience (but it worked).”

Melville said Davis adopted the strategy while still a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, where he finished in the top 15% of his class despite being ostracized by other cadets. He carried it with him throughout his 30-year career. 

One guest speaker, Gen. Charles Brown, Pacific Air Forces commander, said his career success is the direct result of Davis’ achievements.

“I would not be standing here today if not for Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Jr. and the Tuskegee Airmen,” Brown said.
 

Engage

Twitter
RT @grandslamwing: #ICYMI Members from the 816th EAS and 379th ELRS certified training on the ABFDS, which allows the mission to continue f…
Twitter
“The #AirForce is really trying to look beyond traditional technologies and vendors in how we are satisfying our ba… https://t.co/Lt2dIO1zoi
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Sentry Savannah brings together pilots and Airmen from across the nation for a unique fighter integration training experi…
Twitter
“This Pave Hawk represents the hard work and accomplishments of the men and women of the 55th Special Operations Sq… https://t.co/vb5f7qKaUH
Twitter
The @USAFReserve and the @AFThunderbirds recently flew @ForrestGriffin, a former @UFC champion and member of the UF… https://t.co/xgkO2ILOEq
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: The @386thAEW is using Virtual Reality to create a fully immersive, simulated training experience for our defenders. This f…
Twitter
The pods help the MQ-9 play an increased, more prominent role in the command and control arena of the battlefield.… https://t.co/wW0LE4Uupf
Twitter
The purpose of the #F15EX’s participation in Northern Edge is to allow for immediate deep-end testing in a complex… https://t.co/xm3X2EpTiy
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Great visit to @US_CYBERCOM today. I appreciate the discussion with @CYBERCOM_DIRNSA & the teams that work in defense of…
Twitter
RT @US_TRANSCOM: #DYK, amid the ongoing #CovidPandemic, @AirMobilityCmd Airmen have employed the Transport Isolation System(TIS) and Negati…
Twitter
Invisible Wounds: Risk, Impact, and Available Resources Everyone is susceptible to invisible wounds. Its impact ca… https://t.co/yauTW2OU94
Twitter
Arthur Tien Chin was one of the first U.S. volunteer combat aviators, who traveled to China to battle in the Second… https://t.co/3xD2t3ZAEw
Twitter
RT @AFSpecOpsCmd: Service. Strength. Sacrifice.🇺🇸 #TillValhalla In honor of fallen @usairforce @SpecialTactics_ officer, Capt. Matthew Rola…
Twitter
What would happen if personnel needed to be rapidly deployed to a location where nothing was on the ground except a… https://t.co/dZT3YFYNG1
Twitter
“I have always been interested in global and international security, language, and adventure,” said A1C Jessica Ram… https://t.co/acayRIMWqb
Twitter
Happy Mother's Day! Today we honor our Airmen and Spouses who fill the role of mom. Your dedication and sacrifices… https://t.co/SBsHXqjw6N
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: The 609th Air Operations Center made history this week when it became the first AOC to operationally utilize the Kessel Run A…
Twitter
Airmen from the 34th Fighter Squadron prepare to launch F-35A Lightning lls at Mt. Home Air Force Base, Idaho, duri… https://t.co/t41oTbPGNq
Twitter
“The #AirForceReserve is a cost-effective, accessible and ready force,” said Lt Gen Richard Scobee. “We provide str… https://t.co/mrPt6Xq5Vn
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,347,798
Follow Us