The mission of the CAF Red Tail Squadron is to educate audiences across the country about the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen – America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel – so their strength of character, courage and ability to triumph over adversity may serve as a means to inspire others to RISE ABOVE obstacles in their own lives and achieve their goals.
The RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit is a fully functional mobile movie theater featuring the original film “Rise Above.” This immersive experience is housed in a climate controlled 53’ semi trailer with expandable sides and equipped with a ramp and hydraulic lift to ensure access to all, comfortably accommodating 30 visitors for each showing. Admission to the exhibit is always FREE.
Because of its dynamic 160-degree panoramic screen, the film creates the feeling of being in the cockpit soaring above the clouds in a P-51C Mustang. “Rise Above” was created by Emmy Award-wining filmmaker and aviation cinema specialist Adam White of Hemlock Films, who also created the film “Red Tail Reborn,” documenting the two restorations of the CAF Red Tail Squadron’s P-51C Mustang Tuskegee Airmen.
Don Hinz, a retired US Navy Commander and businessman, spearheaded the foundation of the CAF Red Tail Squadron along with members of the Minnesota Wing of the CAF. Their vision was to restore an authentic P-51C Mustang as a vehicle to spark conversations and educate young and old alike about the often-overlooked history of the Tuskegee Airmen, that had flown this same model as their signature aircraft in WWII.
The P-51C Mustang used for the project was restored initially in 2001, more than 45 years after it had been in service, complete with the group’s distinct red tail and aptly named the Tuskegee Airmen. It is a museum without walls, bringing the story of the Tuskegee Airmen to audiences coast to coast.
Unfortunately, at a great loss to the organization and entire aviation community, Don lost his life in an accident caused by an engine malfunction of the Tuskegee Airmen at an air show in 2004. To honor him and to continue the important outreach work of the Squadron, the aircraft was fully restored a second time and returned to the skies in 2009, a testament to the group’s perseverance and belief in its mission.
The aircraft is flown in numerous air shows around the country each season and is available for up-close viewing on static display at events throughout the year.
The CAF Red Tail Squadron was founded on the objective to carry the lessons and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen into every classroom in America. In addition to the P-51C Mustang Tuskegee Airmen and the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit, utilized for tours and private showings for schools and groups around the country, we offer innovate educational materials for teachers and youth leaders to bring the lessons of the Tuskegee Airmen alive in the classroom to inspire and ignite students of all ages.
“Take Off For Fun” is a kit of materials for classroom use that includes posters, DVD, kids’ pocket-sized books, children’s book and classroom activities.
Aim High: The Aircraft of the Tuskegee Airmen is the Squadron’s FREE original iBook. This dynamic, interactive experience transports readers deep into the world of flight in the majestic and historic aircraft flown by the Tuskegee Airmen in WWII, complete with sound clips, quizzes and other interactive content.