ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) -This year's Veiled Prophet Parade will step off with two Tuskegee Airmen on the ground.
”I’m scheduled to be one of the marshals of the parade,” said retired United States Air Force Major George Boyd. “And, it’s quite an honor, to tell you the truth.”
In the air, several of the group’s P51-C Mustang fighters will fly in the U.S. Bank Airshow.
”It’s really a story about hope and courage,” said St. Louis U.S. Bank Market President Joe Imbs. “And, they represent that. And boy, that’s a terrific thing for us to have here on the Fourth of July in the City of St. Louis.”
Boyd joined the group of elite African-American pilots as a Korean War and Vietnam War veteran. He said he knows how to fight racism and win success.
”Stop worrying about racism. Try to overcome that and look at what is necessary for your live and develop and be who you want to be,” he said.
Boyd also said there was an equalizer among all the service men and women, regardless of race: “We wanted to go home. We pretended we weren’t scared and all of this type of stuff. But, we were just kids fighting a war trying to win it. And, that’s what we did the best we could.”
He watched as thousands of the lethal, but slow, B-17 bombers were shot down during World War II.
”But then, the P51 came along – which the Tuskegee Airmen flew, of course,” said retired Air Force Captain Bob Davis. He is flying the B-51 in the airshow. “And, they had a tank in the back of the cockpit which allowed them to go all the way to Berlin and back and protect the B-17.”
The Tuskegee Airmen are known for coping with bigotry in the same homeland many of them died to protect. For that, Kevin Coleman said he was grateful. At just 23 years old, he is one of the youngest air show pilots in the world.
”I gotta say that I appreciate those guys and what they did and they’ve inspired me to keep the aviation dream going.”
Here is the Air Show schedule for Fair St. Louis Weekend:
Thursday, July 4, 2013 noon & 4 p.m.
Friday, July 5, 2013 noon & 4 p.m.
Saturday, July 6, 2013 5 p.m.