Tuskegee Airmen & 555 “Triple Nickels” Airborne Remembered.

On Saturday, February 24, 2024, at 11:00 a.m., American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, will celebrate Black History Month by honoring the memory of the Tuskegee Airmen and the men of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, also known as the “Triple Nickels.”  On February 18, 1944, 16 soldiers from the 555th graduated training to become the first Black paratroopers.  On February 24th, AAM will dedicate a new exhibit honoring the “Triple Nickels.”

At 11:00 a.m., AAM volunteer and Airborne Living Historian Nick Casseus, will give a talk about the Triple Nickels.  He will unveil the Museum’s new exhibit, a life-like mannequin of a Triple Nickel “Smoke Jumper.”  In 1944, the Triple Nickels became the first line of firefighting, parachuting from C-47s to attack blazes in the Pacific Northwest started by Japanese Incendiary Balloons.

The Tuskegee Airmen were skilled African American pilots, whose success in their Mustang fighters, defending B-17’s against Nazi Luftwaffe Messerschmitt’s, persuaded President Harry S. Truman to desegregate the military after World War II.  Reynard Burns, PR Officer for the Claude B. Govan Tri-State Tuskegee Airmen Chapter, will give a presentation about the Airmen and answer audience questions. 

Reynard Burns, Claude B. Govan Tri-State Tuskegee Airmen Chapter. Photo Credit: AAM


On January 11, 2001, AAM dedicated one of the first ever permanent exhibits honoring the Tuskegee Airmen’s 332nd Fighter Group.  Former NYS Governor George Pataki and a dozen surviving Tuskegee Airmen, including Roscoe Brown, Lee Archer and William Wheeler, gathered under a full-size replica of Archer’s P-51D Mustang Fighter for the dedication.  This replica is still suspended from AAM’s Hangar 3 to this day.  AAM also has a real Mustang, which flies at the Jones Beach Air Show and other events.

In honor of the Tuskegee Airmen 332nd Fighter Group, AAM will have two free screenings of the 2012 movie “Red Tails” with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrance Howard.  Admission includes reserved seating.  First screening is at 11:30 a.m., the second at 1:45 p.m.  Refreshments and snacks are available. 

What: American Airpower Museum Celebrates Black History Month.

Where: American Airpower Museum, 1230 New Highway, Republic Airport, Farmingdale, NY

When: Saturday, February 24, 2024, 11:00 a.m.

Why: AAM’s Mission is to honor ALL men and women who served in the U.S. Military.

How: Regular admission Adults $15 | Seniors/Veterans $12 | Children Ages 5-13 $10.

The American Airpower Museum is an aviation museum located on the landmarked former site of Republic Aviation at Republic Airport, Farmingdale, NY.  The Museum maintains a collection of aviation artifacts and an array of operational aircraft spanning the many years of the aircraft factory’s history.  The Museum is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Educational Foundation Chartered by the New York State Board of Regents.


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