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MPC dedication ceremony Monday

by Staff Sgt. Randy Redman
Thunderbolt editor
The sign in front of the Gen. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Conference Center stands covered waiting for its dedication. The dedication will be at 3 p.m., Monday.

A ceremony will be held Monday at 3 p.m. at the Mission Planning Center to dedicate it in honor of Gen. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Leadership from the highest levels of the Air Force will be in attendance, as well as the Honorable L. Scott Melville, General Davis' nephew, and Brian Smith, National Tuskegee Airmen President. General Davis was chosen for the many contributions he gave to the Air Force during his distinguished career.

In 1936, General Davis was the first African American to graduate from West Point Military Academy in 47 years. First assigned to Fort Benning, Ga., General Davis served as an aide to his father, Brigadier General Davis before transferring to the military science staff at Tuskegee Institute, Al. As one of the first five graduates to get wings at Tuskegee Army Air Field in March 1942, General Davis was assigned to the newly activated 99th FighterSquadron. By August of that year, he became squadron commander.

In March 1945, General Davis led the 332nd on a 1,600-mile round-trip escort mission to Berlin. During that mission, the Tuskegee Airmen never lost a bomber, despite an onslaught of the latest and fastest enemy German planes. The 332nd won a Distinguished Unit Citation for the mission. To honor General Davis' flying history, a P-51 Mustang is scheduled to do a fly-by during the ceremony, barring any inclement weather.

Following Judge Melville's remarks there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony and a reception, where the artwork and dedication wall will be unveiled.

For a complete look at the facilities, capabilities and technology the conference center has to offer, be sure to check out the article on page 11.




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