of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.
To bring together in a spirit of friendship
and goodwill all persons who share in the aspirations and successes
of the men and women who pioneered in military aviation and in the
Tuskegee experience; To foster recognition of and preserve the history
of Black achievements in aviation; and To inspire and motivate young
men and women toward endeavors in aviation and aerospace careers.
The East Coast Chapter Tuskegee Airmen, Incorporated
(ECCTAI) is the largest and the most active in the national organization.
The chapter has approximately 300 members with diverse backgrounds
that include active duty and retired military, civil servants, and
private citizens from all walks of life - More than fifty chapter
members are "original" Tuskegee Airmen, combat veterans of World
War 11, who received their military training at Tuskegee Alabama.
ECCTAI supports the national goal of Tuskegee
Airmen, Inc., to motivate, inspire and stimulate young people's
minds to aspire to, seek and achieve successful careers in the fields
of aviation and aerospace- To this end, ECCTAI members devote considerable
time, effort and financial resources to capture young minds, to
instill the undying will to learn, sacrifice and attain a self-sustaining
status with marketable skills. Over the years, ECCTAI has
provided more than $30,000.00 in educational assistance grants.
Locally, ECCTAI supports many educational,
charitable and philanthropic activities, including the Tuskegee
Airmen Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Squadron. ECCTAI members enthusiastically
participate in the annual District of Columbia National Guard Aviation
Career Day. This event, held at Andrews Air Force Base, attracts
more than 2,000 young students each year and gives students the
opportunity to meet and talk with members of the military, airline
industry, scientific and educational community, as well the Federal,
State, and local government organizations as they present career
and employment opportunities.
ECCTAI's membership roster includes many
luminaries of great distinction For example, Dr. Florence Parrish-St.John,
widow of the late Brigadier General Noel F. Parrish was honored
recently at a 50th Anniversary of World War II occasion at the Australian
War Memorial in Canberra. During 1995, General Benjamin 0.
Davis Jr., the revered leader of the Tuskegee Airmen, received many
high honors. He received the Thomas D. White National Defense
Award of the United States Air Force Academy and the General Ira
Eaker Felowship Award from the Air Force Association. The
United States Military Academy at West Point bestowed the prestigious
Distinguished Graduate Award, in part because "…Benjamin O.
Davis, Jr., can claim a larger measure of credit for inaugurating
…(integration of the Air Force) … than any other person." (Office
of Air Force History.) Three of the "Gallant 101" ,of the
Freeman Field incident are members of ECCTAI. Their military
records were recently expunged to remove all derogatory information
regarding their participation in the incident, removing the stigma
they bore for over a half century.
The distinctive ECCTAI Chapter Seal is a
fitting symbol for this dynamic organization. The American
eagle is central to the design of the emblem. Following a tradition
that began with the dawn of Western civilization, 5000 years ago,
when Egyptian and Assyrian kings and priests chose eagles as one
of their chief symbols of power of human and superhuman dimension,
the eagle is central to the design and character of our emblem.
From antiquity, the eagle has been a- symbol of might, nobility,
strength, and is representative of courage, conquest, freedom, independence,
magnanimity, truty, and immortality. The American Eagle became
the national symbol by act of
Congress 20 June 1782, having been prominent in the New York State
coat of arms since 1778 and subsequently incorporated in the state
seals of Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan,
Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, and
From the darkness of ignorance and oppression
climbs the young eagle, rising swiftly into the bright sunrise of
new opportunity and challenge- Guiding his rise from the gloom are
the illuminating stars for the supporting elements - women and men,
military and civilian, essential groups and individuals. in his
claws he carries the armament of education - the scroll, and the
ability to fight for right - the arrows. An American eagle
looks to the side of the heart, flying to the defense of the highest
principles of humanity. He embodies Pride - Potential - Progress.