Unique traveling exhibit honoring Tuskegee Airmen coming to St. Cloud

The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron will welcome visitors at its free “Rise Above Traveling Exhibit” in St. Cloud, Tuesday – Saturday, Sept. 11 – 15, from noon – 7 p.m. each day. It will be set up at the St. Cloud City Hall, 400 Second St. S., St. Cloud.

The Rise Above Traveling Exhibit is a customized 53-foot trailer with expandable sides that houses a 160-degree panoramic curved movie screen and seating for 35 in climate-controlled comfort. It shows a short original movie called “Rise Above” that focuses on what the Tuskegee Airmen — America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel — had to overcome to be allowed to fly and fight for their country during World War II.

The visit is sponsored by Youth Initiative Mentoring Academies with assistance from the city of St. Cloud and St. Cloud State University.

The CAF Red Tail Squadron uses the exhibit, along with a restored P51-C Mustang fighter, to create interest in the inspiring story of how the young black men who would become known as the Tuskegee Airmen faced numerous obstacles as they worked toward their goal of becoming U.S. Army Air Corps pilots in the early 1940s. The colorful graphics on the outside of the Rise Above Traveling Exhibit show the airplane and the movie shown inside features it as well.

The traveling exhibit reflects the CAF Red Tail Squadron’s educational mission of showing people, especially young people, how it is possible to set a goal and succeed even when the odds are against you — just like the Tuskegee Airmen did.

The squadron has distilled the Airmen’s experiences into six guiding Rise Above principles to help with this mission: Aim high; believe in yourself; use your brain; never quit; be ready to go and expect to win.

Since there is a seating capacity limit for the movie showings, groups are strongly encouraged to call or e-mail to schedule a time for their visit. Contact Mamie Singleton by phone at (651) 270-7266 or e-mail her at mamiesingleton302@gmail.com

Collecting, restoring and flying vintage historical aircraft for more than half a century, the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) ranks as one of the largest private air forces in the world. The CAF, based in Midland, Texas, is dedicated to Honoring American Military Aviation through flight, exhibition and remembrance. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has more than 8,000 members and a fleet of 156 airplanes distributed throughout the country to 74 units located in 27 states for care and operation. For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org or call (432) 563-1000.

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