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Photos by Fritz Rethage

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AHOF Celebrates Black History Month

A special exhibit of New Jersey African-American aviation men and women who have achieved recognition for their accomplishments is now on display in the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum at Teterboro Airport.

Some of those pioneers include Dr. Albert Forsythe of Atlantic City who with Alfred Anderson, became the first African-Americans to fly coast-to-coast in 1933 and the first to fly to various Caribbean Islands a year later.

Jersey City's Barbara Hebron was the first African-American to become an Airport Duty Manager at Newark Liberty International Airport.

When James Plinton was named the Vice President of Eastern Airlines in 1957, the Westfield native became the first African-American to hold a top executive position with a major airline.

On display are the photographs of a number of New Jerseyans who served with the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II.

During World War II, P-51 fighter planes were flown by African-American pilots in combat in North Africa, Italy and over Germany as bomber escorts.

The airmen took pride in the fact that they never lost a bomber they escorted against enemy aircraft.

The P-51s were distinctly painted with red tails and among the bomber crews and pilots the planes were known as the "Red Tail Angels."

The Germans called them "Schwartze Vogelmenschen" (Black Birdmen).

The majority of the Airmen pilots were trained at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.

The AHOF is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day but Monday.

Call 201-288-6344 for more info. ###

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