New library room dedicated to Tuskegee airmen

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The Pritzker Military Library is dedicating its new Oral History Room in honor of a group of World War II fighters.

Artist Kay Smith, who specializes in watercolors dealing with American History, was commissioned to work on a special tribute painting the facility which honors the Tuskegee airmen.

The Tuskegee Airmen were  the Negro Squadron of pilots who broke color barriers to fight during world War ll.

“To me,  they are just a symbol of what the black man went through, what he endured,” said Smith.  “It was a war within a war. And they had to fight the war first of becoming men that could serve as officers in the air force.”

Smith’s work is a story within a story, a pallet that seems to come to life with the buzzing of P-47 and P-51 mustang fighter planes, with Red Tails and tips, zooming amidst the tracer bullets and anti-aircraft explosions. While below, the earth is ablaze in orange and red from the bombs dropped by the planes being escorted by the Red Tails, all of this you can see in one tantalizing, vivid watercolor.

The Holt Oral History room will be unveiled tomorrow in the Pritzker Military Museum and the public is invited.

WGN’s Bob Jordan will moderate the ceremony.

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