Tuscaloosa air show brings back memories for Tuskegee Airmen



Carter, 94, sat in a wheelchair on a runway of the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport, his eyes squinting against the sun to examine the sleek silver body of a P-51 Mustang that moments ago was streaking through the air as part of the 2012 Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show.
Below the deep hum of planes careening through the sky, Carter shook his head, speaking only to himself. Was it really 70 years ago? Seventy years since he cut through the clouds in one of these stunning aircrafts, since he escorted bombers in the face of German and Italian forces in World War II as one of the original members of the Tuskegee Airmen.
Carter is a heavily decorated veteran, flying in 77 combat sorties as a member of the famous 99th Pursuit Squadron.
Because of his distinguished record, Carter was asked by executive producer George Lucas to fly to Hollywood in 2009 to advise Lucas' team in the making of the film “Red Tails,” which was released this year.
As he looked on at the P-51 in front of him Saturday, its pilot walked over and kneeled down beside him eager to hear how the planes handled in combat.
“It was very reliable,” Carter replied before leaning in to share details only someone who has flown these aircraft can hope to understand.
Shortly thereafter, Carter was asked what he thought of jumping back in the cockpit for old times' sake.
“Kick the tires, start the fire and let's go, boy,” Carter said with a smile

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tuscaloosa air show brings back memories for Tuskegee Airmen


Carter, 94, sat in a wheelchair on a runway of the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport, his eyes squinting against the sun to examine the sleek silver body of a P-51 Mustang that moments ago was streaking through the air as part of the 2012 Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show.
Below the deep hum of planes careening through the sky, Carter shook his head, speaking only to himself. Was it really 70 years ago? Seventy years since he cut through the clouds in one of these stunning aircrafts, since he escorted bombers in the face of German and Italian forces in World War II as one of the original members of the Tuskegee Airmen.
Carter is a heavily decorated veteran, flying in 77 combat sorties as a member of the famous 99th Pursuit Squadron.
Because of his distinguished record, Carter was asked by executive producer George Lucas to fly to Hollywood in 2009 to advise Lucas' team in the making of the film “Red Tails,” which was released this year.
As he looked on at the P-51 in front of him Saturday, its pilot walked over and kneeled down beside him eager to hear how the planes handled in combat.
“It was very reliable,” Carter replied before leaning in to share details only someone who has flown these aircraft can hope to understand.
Shortly thereafter, Carter was asked what he thought of jumping back in the cockpit for old times' sake.
“Kick the tires, start the fire and let's go, boy,” Carter said with a smile

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