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March 1, 2006

Pryce Votes to Honor the Legacy
of the Tuskegee Airmen

Congress Awards Gold Medal to Airmen Once Stationed at Lockbourne AAB

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Deborah Pryce (R-Upper Arlington) voted to commemorate the achievements and courage of the Tuskegee Airmen by authorizing the President to award the Airmen a Gold Medal, Congress’s highest and most distinguished honor.

“The Tuskegee Airmen’s professionalism and courage helped liberalize institutionalized racism within the military,” said Pryce. “While our nation was still decades away from passing federal protections against discrimination in the workplace, the Tuskegee Airmen overcame systemic bigotry and seemingly insurmountable obstacles within the military to serve our nation with honor and distinction. I am I humbled to be associated with the Tuskegee Airmen by helping to honor their history today.” 

The Tuskegee Airmen were stationed at Lockbourne AAB – present day Rickenbacker – following World War II as part of the 447 th Composite Group. The Airmen later merged with the 332 nd Fighter wing to become one of the first all-black flying units in the newly created United States Air Force.

For the past two centuries, the Gold Medal has been reserved for rare occasions when Congress has wished to express public gratitude on behalf of the nation for distinguished contributions. Since 1776, this award, which initially was bestowed on military leaders, has also been given to such diverse individuals as Sir Winston Churchill and Bob Hope, George Washington and Robert Frost, Joe Louis and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.