Vet displays Tuskegee Airmen plane models at VA hospital

A veteran who lives on the Jamaica Plain/Roxbury border recently had his three large model airplanes, replicas of the P-51 Mustangs he says the Tuskegee Airmen flew in WW IIin World War II, displayed at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center at 150 S. Huntington Ave.

Tuskegee Airmen is the name given to the first African-American aviators in the United States military, as well as various ground support personnel, including some white people and women.

Howard Carter said he graduated flight school in 1946 and served six years in the military. The Gazette was unable to confirm his Tuskegee Airmen status and he does not appear on the official pilot list on the Tuskegee University website. Carter said that may be because he trained late in the program.

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Carter made the replicas of the P-51 Mustangs five years ago. Carter said they took about six months to make. The models have an 8-and-a-half-foot wingspan with orange-painted tails and noses with gray bodies.

Carter said they are the same colors as the P-51 Mustangs the Tuskegee Airmen flew escorting bombers from Italy to Berlin and back during World War II.

The models were scheduled to be displayed at the VA Center as part of Black History Month on Feb. 12, after the Gazette deadline.

Carter said he has made the presentation the past several years at the VA Center, where he is also a patient.

Carter said he takes the models to schools and other organizations across the state as part of the New England Chapter Tuskegee Airmen Inc.

For more information about the New England Chapter, contact President Willie Shellman at 978-443-6632 or email him at wshellma@verizon.net.

Three models of the P-51 Mustangs flown by the Tuskegee Airmen. (Courtesy Photo)

Three models of the P-51 Mustangs flown by the Tuskegee Airmen. (Courtesy Photo)

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