Solano College to host performance honoring Tuskegee Airmen

By From page A3 | February 13, 2013

FAIRFIELD — Solano Community College will pay homage to the African-American Tuskegee Airmen of World War II with with a one-night-only free presentation of “Heroes of the Night – The Tuskegee Airmen.”

The performance is hosted by the Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Museum Education Foundation, which is working to build a new home for its aviation museum next to the Nut Tree Airport in Vacaville.

The Solano College production is based on “Heroes of the Night,” an oral history play that honors the Tuskegee Airmen and was written by Leslie Currier, managing director of the Marin Shakespeare Company. The original play was performed by Marin City youth on Nov. 11, 2010, before several of the original Tuskegee Airmen. The Solano College production was adapted by actor and Solano College drama professor George McGuire.

The title “Heroes of the Night” is taken from the chants the 99th Fighter Squadron airmen set to their cadence while marching between the flight line and the ground schools, according to the memoir written by Tuskegee Airman Lt. Charles Dryden.

“This is the first showing. We are hoping to make it a traveling show,” said aviation historian David G. Styles, who has been involved with the production.

While the performance starts with scenes involving Abraham Lincoln and Tuskegee Institute founder Booker T. Washington, it is mainly about the 99th Fighter Squadron, the first African-American fighter squadron to serve in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II in North Africa and later in Italy.

The show begins at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 in the theater on the Fairfield campus, 4000 Suisun Valley Road.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.

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