Special Presentation Honoring
Black History Month
You are invited to a special presentation in honor of Black History Month on Saturday, February 24, 1 pm, at the Delaware Military Museum, First Regiment Road, Wilmington.
“Freedom to Serve”
Did you know that about 5,000 black Americans fought for our country’s freedom during the Revolutionary War? Black service members fought in every conflict that followed. Black Americans have served with distinction, often not acknowledged for their service and sacrifice. Yet, the military remained segregated through WWII. On July 26, 1948, President Truman signed Executive Order 9981 directing the U.S. military to desegregate. It would take years before every branch of the military to fully embrace the order and open the opportunity for black Americans to serve in all specialties. Black service members have served selflessly and with courage with many receiving medals to include 94 Medals of Honor. The Delaware Military Heritage and Education Foundation will salute our comrades with a special presentation on one celebrated black unit, the Tuskegee Airmen.
Andre Swygert, a member of the executive leadership of the John H. Porter, First State Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., will speak about preserving and honoring their accomplishments and perpetuating the history of the men and women who served in and supported the separate black Army Air Force units during World War II.
Andre is an Air Force veteran and retired business development professional who enjoyed a successful career, principally in the aerospace and defense sectors. Andre is an author of non-fiction material on aviation and space subjects. His recent book, Flight Training at The United States Naval Academy, presents the story of the Navy’s almost 50-year program to educate and inspire midshipmen about naval aviation, along with the program’s impact on the development of the country’s naval air forces.
One of Andre’s off-hours activities during his period of full-time employment was working with Smithsonian Air & Space Museum curators in transcribing collections of digitized materials from various contributors, increasing their accessibility by making them more readable and searchable. Transcribing source documents and logging artifacts from several black aviation professionals active in the 1920-1930s were projects that were particularly enjoyable. He is also engaged in similar transcription work for the American Aviation Historical Society.