During the past two years, it has been my privilege to work closely with the curatorial staff of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) to locate an aircraft with a lineage tied directly to the Tuskegee Airmen. We were fortunate enough to accomplish the mission that will culminate in the acquisition of a PT-13 Stearman that flew at Moton Field, Alabama, during WW II—the home of the Tuskegee Airmen.
Most remarkable and amazing has been my opportunity to get to know the young couple that has restored the aircraft to flying condition and flown it to dozens of airshows around the country telling the Tuskegee Airmen’s story.
This coming Sunday, 31 July, the pilot-owner Captain Matt “Happy” Quy (USAF) and the NMAAHC team will meet up at historic Moton Field near present day Tuskegee University to begin the final leg of a journey into American history. Matt has asked me to fly with him on this historic last leg of a journey that began for this Stearman way back in the early 1940s. As a retired U.S. Air Force pilot myself, I could not turn down such an adventure. While somewhat limited in “tweeting” skill, I will be sending updates and flight experiences into the tweet-o-sphere throughout the flight that is scheduled to arrive in the greater DC area sometime next Tuesday.
Check out #PT13 to keep pace with Matt and me as we slip some surly bonds of Earth in the skies above the eastern US this weekend.
Dik Daso is a curator in the Aeronautics Division of the National Air and Space Museum.