Home News Local news Daughter of Tuskegee Airman Says V.I. Connection Deserves Recognition

Daughter of Tuskegee Airman Says V.I. Connection Deserves Recognition

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Feb. 6, 2007 — Descendants of a Tuskegee Airman hailing from the territory are asking for community support to establish a local chapter of the national organization that keeps the dream of these brave men alive.
"A lot of people don’t know two Virgin Islanders served with the Tuskegee Airmen," said Carmen Heywood. "We want to educate young people on the history of the airmen."
Heywood's quest to establish a local chapter is both historical and personal. Her father, Herbert Hosea Heywood, was one of two Virgin Islanders to serve in the 332nd Fighter Group, more commonly known as the Tuskegee Airmen.
Henry E. Rohlsen also joined the squad, and both he and Heywood graduated from the Tuskegee Flight School class of 44-C-SE on March 12, 1944, as 2nd lieutenants.
The Source highlighted the life of Herbert H. Heywood in its 2006 Black History series.
Heywood said there are more than 100 chapters of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., all across the nation. The organization is dedicated to honoring the accomplishments of African-Americans who fought in World War II. She said the chapters introduce young people to the world of aviation and provide annual scholarships to deserving individuals.
An inaugural meeting of the V.I. chapter will be held Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Juan F. Luis Hospital's third floor classroom, according to Heywood. The public is encouraged to attend.
Heywood said more needs to be done in the Virgin Islands to keep alive the memories of people who have made major contributions to our history and the history of the United States. For example, she said, there is no plaque or information at Henry E. Rohlsen Airport to inform visitors and locals of his achievements.
"Most people don't even know who Henry Rohlsen was," Heywood said.
For more information on the local chapter, call Heywood at 778-6311 ext. 2879; 277-1677 or email her.

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