The 42nd Boeing C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft was delivered to the U.S. Air Force in a short ceremony here today. Col. Ed Stickler, Commander 315th Airlift Wing Reserve, flew the aircraft to its new home at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.
The airplane has been dedicated "The Spirit of Tuskegee Airmen" commemorating the 50th anniversary of World War II. The dedication also recognizes the 933 pilots trained at Tuskegee Army Airfield, Tuskegee, Ala., and their support crews who served during World War II. Between 1943 and 1945 some 450 Tuskegee airmen logged 15,553 sorties in the skies over North Africa, Italy and Germany. They destroyed or damaged 409 enemy aircraft, numerous fuel and ammunition dumps, sank a German destroyer with machine gun fire and escorted more than 200 bomber missions deep into the Rhineland without one bomber loss due to enemy aircraft.
An unveiling ceremony honoring "The Spirit of the Tuskegee Airmen" is scheduled in Charleston after the arrival of the C-17 and will be attended by representatives of the Tuskegee Airmen Association.
The Air Force's C-17 fleet has completed 100,000 total flying hours since the beginning of operation in 1993.