As Admiral Chester W. Nimitz famously said of his men during World War II, “Uncommon valor was a common virtue.”
In our country’s history, some years stand out more than others, for example, 1941 – the start of WWII, 1950 – the beginning of the Korean war, 1959 – Vietnam War, 2001 – 9/11. We now have the year 2020 that will go down in the history books as a year that changed our world.
For most of us, 2020 will be the year of world-wide numbers of positive cases, shutdowns, closings, masks, and tragically, deaths. The outbreak of this pandemic has touched everyone, and, unfortunately, it is not over yet.
Just as history has taught us that you can always find “uncommon valor” in our military, we have seen it in our health care workers, first responders, drive by birthday celebrations, and yes, in our current military men and women, to name a few. We have seen so many people who have stepped up to do what was needed to bring comfort to shut-ins, the elderly, and people who have shared their talents and brought cheer to their neighbors, even if it was from a street corner.
At the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum, the year 2020 has been a difficult time, and we will always be grateful for our “virtuous” members and supporters who have made it possible for us to keep our doors open.
We look forward to this new year 2021 and continuing our mission to “Preserve, Promote and Honor Aviation and Military History,” and of course, our most important one to serve our soldiers, veterans, and community.
Celebrating Black History Month
February is Black History Month, so we would like to honor the black men and women who have served our country over the years. The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of primarily black military pilots (fighter and bomber) and airmen who fought in World War II. This elite group paved the way to overcome segregation and prejudice.One such airman was Richard Caeser, pictured to the left. After graduating from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1940, Richard was drafted into the military. Caesar became one of the Tuskee Airmen. An engineering officer and pilot with the 100th Fighter Squadron, Richard ascended through the ranks to become Lieutenant Colonel.In 1943, Caesar helped to rescue fellow pilot Roscoe Brown Jr. from a potentially disastrous plane crash. Of the incident, Richard said he was just doing his job. Roscoe would be credited as the first pilot to shoot down a German fighter jet.
Pictured here is Roscoe and fellow Tuskegee Airman.Come visit the Museum this month and view the exhibit on these brave men as well as a handcarved P-51 Red Tail signed by Roscoe.We will also be honoring Black History Month every Monday and Thursday on our Facebook page.
The Chennault Gala
Discover Monroe-West Monroe and Louisiana Seafood presented the second annual Chennault Gala on December 12th at the Museum’s hangar.
The crowd took in a show by The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra and enjoyed food by the Delta Roux & Que food truck.
The following week, the show premiered on Facebook as a virtual event. Donations were taken in from viewers across the globe! Miss the show? Catch it now here.
Aviation Park updates
Chennault Park is still under construction. Most recently, work on the perimeter fencing continued while the canvas was erected!
Do you want to be a part of the park’s legacy? Visit our website for information on ways to support the project! Click here for info.
DAV Van updates
Only $11,000 left to go!
The General Claire Chennault Flying Tiger Chapter 51 of the Disabled American Veterans has a wonderful opportunity to replace their 1997 van with a brand new Ford Transit Connect 7-passenger van!
This van is used to transport veterans to the VA home in Jackson as needed for appointments. With the possibility of an upcoming vaccine, the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 may soon be relaxed, which dictates the necessity of reliable transportation for our veterans so that they can receive the healthcare they need and deserve.
Chennault Aviation & Military Museum is applying for a matching-funds grant which will put the Museum’s cost at only $15,500 for the van. It’s an incredible opportunity that we don’t want to miss! The current van has high mileage and breaks down, often requiring towing and frequently resulting in stranding veterans en-route to hospital services.
Because the grant was announced in early November 2020, the Museum only had 8 days to raise the money by the 2020 deadline. The goal was not reached so we are now fundraising to raise the funds for the 2021 grant cycle!
If you’d like to donate to this fund, please click here.
If you have questions, you can call 318-362-5540.
Coffee with the Curator
Click the image above to view a recent Coffee with the Curator about Selman Field.
Join us on Facebook every Thursday at 1 PM for Coffee with the Curator! Get a personal glimpse into the treasures of the Museum with curator Roy Bullock. So far, we have covered topics such as the Civil War, Selman Field, and the Tuskegee Airmen. Each week is different, so be sure to like our Facebook page to be notified when new videos go live.
Our Shark Mouth line is available on our online gift shop! Check out our new t-shirts!
Don’t want to leave the house? Shop online for all your Chennault Aviation & Military Museum goodies.