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Remembering Louisiana’s Last Tuskegee Airman, Calvin Moret

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66229Over the weekend, we were saddened to hear that Calvin Moret, the last surviving Tuskegee Airman pilot in Louisiana, passed away. Just one month ago on August 15, 2015, he celebrated the End of WWII with us at the Museum on his 90th birthday, singing with his barbershop quartet, the Mardi Gras Chorus.

Moret joined the war effort during a time when African Americans had two wars to fight: the war against tyranny abroad and the war for civil rights at home. In 1943, he joined the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first African American military airmen, where he completed his advanced training in P-51 Mustangs and was preparing to ship overseas to the 332nd Fighter Group when Germany surrendered in May 1945.

Calvin has had a strong presence with our institution since before we opened in 2000. He was a regular speaker and veteran representative at lectures, panels and commemorations.

Most recently, we’ve been humbled to have had his involvement in our current special exhibit Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in World War II, which highlights the contributions and obstacles of African Americans like Moret during the war-era. This past July, he provided remarks at the exhibit’s opening where he shared a remarkable recollection on the recognition of African American servicemembers throughout our nation’s history. His Aviator Bag used to carry his parachute from the equipment issue room to his aircraft while training at Tuskegee, Alabama is on view in this exhibit until May 31, 2016.

Calvin served his country, and our Museum, honorably. We are deeply saddened by his passing, but so grateful to have known him.

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