Soul Food Dinner salutes Tuskegee Airmen

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BRANSON MO NEWS: MARYVILLE, Mo. — A large crowd of Northwest Missouri State University students and staff gathered in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom on Saturday for the annual Soul Food Dinner hosted by the school’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.This year’s banquet, which featured a menu of fried catfish, fried chicken, collard greens, macaroni and cheese and corn flour muffins, was themed “African Americans in Time of War” and featured keynote speaker Capt. George J. Dunmore, who retired from the Ohio Army National Guard in 1971 after 21 years in uniform.Dunmore currently serves as public relations officer for the Heart of America Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen of America Inc., a national non-profit organization dedicated to honoring the accomplishments of African Americans who served as U.S. Army Air Corps air and ground crewmen and operations support training personnel during World War II.

The phrase “Tuskegee Airmen” serves as a general reference to a group of African-American military pilots and other personnel who served during the massive global conflict that lasted from 1939 until 1945.Tuskegee Airmen flew as members of the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army air forces. The name also applies to navigators, bombardiers, mechanics, instructors, crew chiefs, nurses, cooks and other personnel.Elements of the Tuskegee Airmen’s fighter group earned multiple Distinguished Unit Citations and initially saw action in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. Later in the war, Tuskegee flyers fought over Romania, France, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia and Greece.African American pilots trained at Moton Field, now home to the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, and educated at Tuskegee University near Tuskegee, Alabama.During his remarks, Dunmore pointed out that in the face of a long history of discrimination and segregation within the U.S. military, African …


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